Epilogue 41

Liesel watched through the kitchen window as Anne swung effortlessly from the tree swing. She appeared to be chattering away to someone but the garden was empty. Liesel smiled to herself - she had had an imaginary friend as a child, particularly when there was blame to apportion. She knocked on the window and waved. Anne did not answer, so Liesel went to the back door and called, “Anne, time to come in, love!”

Her daughter still did not answer, continuing to chatter enthusiastically while the swing continued its effortless pendulum motion.

Something about her daughter’s expression troubled her, so Liesel hurried over and caught the swing, bringing it to a gentle stop.


Anne suddenly stopped talking, waking, as if from a trance, and looked up startled at her mother.

“Who were you talking to, Sweetie?”

Anne looked a little guilty but did not respond.

“Anne,” Liesel’s voice hardened, “tell me who you were talking to.”

Her daughter started to cry.