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by J.M. Coetzee

Bev Shaw Timeline and Summary

  • Lucy introduces David to Bev the first time he goes to the Saturday market. He finds her appearance to be a total turn-off.
  • We learn that Bev runs the Animal Welfare clinic. When David and Lucy go to visit her there, David gets totally grossed out by the smells.
  • Bev performs dental surgery on a dog with an abscess. Then someone brings in a goat that has been attacked and has grubs peeking their heads out of its scrotum (there goes our appetite). Bev tells the owner that the goat should be put to sleep, but the owner is like "uh, no," and takes the goat away. Bev gets upset and appears to be crying, though she hides her face so we don't know for sure.
  • Bev and David talk about why he's in Salem. She says she knows that he's in trouble for something or other.
  • After the attack, Bev and her husband take Lucy and David into their home. She runs a bath for David and fills him in on what's happened with Lucy since he was hospitalized.
  • David asks Bev how Lucy is doing but she deflects his questions.
  • Bev takes care of David's wounds but won't answer any of his questions about Lucy. Instead, she encourages him to talk to Lucy himself.
  • Bev fields more questions from David about Lucy. She tells him it's time to let Lucy go. This makes David feel like an outsider.
  • Bev starts to clarify what the relationship is between Petrus and Lucy – Lucy seems to owe Petrus a lot because he helped her get a space at the market.
  • Bev and David put some dogs to sleep.
  • One day in the clinic, Bev starts asking David about what happened with Melanie in Cape Town.
  • Bev and David have a moment where he's running his finger over her lips and she's kissing his hand. She blushes like a maniac, to the roots of her wiry close-cropped hair.
  • Bev booty calls David.
  • Bev and David do it on the floor of the clinic. She seems to have had everything planned out from the beginning.
  • Bev and David do it again (on a different day, but still on the floor. Seems to be a popular locale for David…). Bev asks David about what happened with his first wife.
  • Bev tells David that if he leaves, she, Bill, and Petrus will all keep an eye on Lucy.
  • David calls Bev to check up on Lucy. Bev tells him there have been "developments" and tells him it's probably best if he talks to Lucy himself.
  • David goes to see Bev and they hug (but no sex on the floor this time). Bev tells David it might be time for him to let Lucy live her own life.
  • Bev and David work on putting some dogs to sleep. When he brings in the dog that's been following him around, Bev remarks that she thought he'd save that dog for another day.