Everything Will Be All Right

A Novel

Tessa Hadley

Henry Holt and Co.

From Everything Will Be All Rightt :

Zoe studied her face with concentration in the mirror. She was forty-three. There must have been changes over the past couple of years, only she hadn't had time to take them in until today: a leaching of color from her skin and hair, perhaps; a loss of resilience, so that the little lines didn't spring back when she stopped grimacing. She worried now, when it was presumably too late, that she had never used anti-wrinkle cream or taken vitamins. Joyce spent at least half an hour in front of her mirror every day, "getting ready." Zoe truly didn't know what you were supposed to do in that time; the full extent of her beauty regime involved washing her face and running a comb through her hair.

She had thought she was too intelligent to worry over the usual women's trivia. Now she wondered if she hadn't simply taken youth and freshness carelessly for granted; and she was suddenly swamped in a bewildered vanity.