Return to Songs from the Violet Café

Songs from the Violet Café — excerpt

‘A woman sat behind a low reception desk, her head bent over a large reservations book. She was an older woman, dressed in an impeccably tailored navy-blue linen dress that might have looked mannish had it not been for the drawn threadwork across her breast. There were no rings on her fingers but she wore a heavy silver bracelet on her right wrist and a square -faced watch on the left. The woman looked Jessie up and down, a slight contempt lurking in her cool blue gaze.
‘I have no vacancies,’ the woman said, before Jessie had a chance to speak. Her astonishing hair, the colour of a pale hydrangea head, was drawn up in a chignon, giving the effect of a halo of flowers or blue smoke. On the dark wooden bench stood a small sign bearing the name ‘Violet Trench’

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