Get Into Reading Group Diary #7: The Rescue Man by Anthony Quinn

Throughout the book Baines has been haunted by various shadows from his past – one of which involves the suicide of an intimate friend called Alice, who Baines met whilst studying at university. Without wanting to give too much away, Louise reflects upon how Baines reacts when confronted by someone from that past at the photography exhibition.

On to Chapter 6 and the exhibition finally opened and we all started laughing when the comment was made – ‘It is virtually impossible to hold a party in Liverpool without gatecrashers.’ I remember the crush at my brother’s 21st, and afterwards when asked who some of the people were he was clueless, like asking me a maths question and I failed maths miserably!

Arriving at the exhibition Baines got a glimpse of a face he thought he recognised and we had a discussion about how you can see a face and think you know them and give them a whack on the back and say ‘Hiya’, only to realise you have thumped a stranger! Tom’s eyesight had put him in good stead and the person he recognised was Duncan Heathcote from Architectural School. Heathcote showed no signs of recognition but flinched with Baine’s mention of the name Alice, but was still dismissive of Tom. This was the red flag to a bull and suddenly fists were flying. I know from experience someone will say something which makes you explode into a rage of fire and the fists begin to roam. The two were soon surrounded by the other party goers shouting ‘Fight, Fight!’

Afterwards Tom was beginning to wonder why he blew his fuse and shame began to grow inside him and we talked about how when we explode it is not long after that feelings of guilt begin to fester. Tom could not face seeing the crowds again but Bella encouraged him to go for a drink and explain the reasons for his outburst! The two walked in silence and Bella encouraged Tom to talk and Tom knew an explanation of his behaviour was needed. Often I explode, and it is always easier to try and explain my behaviour although it does nothing to erode the guilt away! So Tom began his story.

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