There Is No Dog
by Meg Rosoff
You know this lady, or at least you've seen her on TV. She's the perfect proper suburban housewife. She has a "prudent marriage and an attractive home in the Regency style," and "She specialized in expensive tweeds and cashmere cardigans in useful colors, cooked an excellent roast beef and only occasionally wondered how her life might have turned out differently" (7.16). Sounds great right? Not so much.
In addition to being the perfect wife and mother, Laura wants Lucy to follow in her footsteps. The thing is, although we kind of see Lucy as a bit stupid, she still seems to be doing better with this whole life thing than her mom did. Especially when you consider the whole Bernard issue. Lucy wonders, "Her mother had obviously experienced many things in her time, but had ended up marrying her father—a perfectly dear man, but one with whom (even to Lucy's affectionate eye) she appeared to have little in common. Lucy's brain slid to her Godfather, Bernard, as it had many times over the years." (7.19)
Lucy's dad was her mom's second choice. So what was wrong with Bernard? Too poor, too priest-y, too full of doubts? Whatever the problem, we get the sense that Laura isn't quite as happy as she thinks she is. And maybe if she had more of a life of her own, she'd stop worrying about Lucy's quite so much.
Still, even though Laura is mostly a one-dimensional character, we get a little surprise now and then. Like, take her meeting with Bob: When she meets him, she thinks, " I could probably take him. He may be young but he doesn't appear to be very fit. It wouldn't be difficult. Spike heel to instep, knee to groin, fingers in eyes (don't be afraid to gouge), heel of hand extended full force into Adam's apple " (30.30).
Slow down, lady! That is totally not what we were expecting. Maybe Lucy is more like Laura that we thought.