PART OF THE Summer in the City ISSUE
The chilling debut novel from acclaimed author Tasha Kavanagh
Extract from Things We Have in Common
By Tasha Kavanagh
Published by Canongate Books
The first time I saw you, you were standing at the far end of the playing field near the bit of fence that’s trampled down, where the kids that come to school along the wooded path cut across.
You were looking down at your little brown straggly dog that had its face stuck in the grass, but then you looked up in the direction of the tennis court, your mouth going slack as your eyes clocked her. Even if I hadn’t followed your gaze, I’d have known you were watching Alice Taylor because she had that effect on me too. I used to catch myself gazing at the back of her head in class, at her silky fair hair swaying between her shoulder blades as she looked from her book to the teacher or said something to Katy Ellis next to her.
At that moment she was turning to walk backwards, saying something to the girls that were following her, the sketchbook she takes everywhere tucked under her arm. She looked so light and easy, it was like she created space around her: not space in the normal sense but something else I can’t explain. Even in our green school uniform it was obvious she was special.
If you’d glanced just once across the field, you’d have seen me standing in the middle on my own, looking straight at you, and you’d have gone back through the trees to the path quick, tugging your dog after you. You’d have known you’d given yourself away, even if only to me.
But you didn’t. You only had eyes for Alice.
Tasha Kavanagh lives in Hertfordshire with her family and three cats. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, has worked as an editor on feature films, including The Talented Mr Ripley, Twelve Monkeys and Seven Years in Tibet and has had ten books for children published under her maiden name Tasha Pym. Things We Have in Common is her first novel.
Francesco Cheynet was born and lives in Rome, Italy, where he is a primary school teacher. He approached the world of writing thanks to the participation in various competitions of short stories, with notable placements, and then moved on to write nov …
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