Discover life-lit, a new genre from popular Australian author

Day 9: Do you love to read? Every day throughout January we are publishing an extract from an Australian author to help you find excitng new authors to add to your reading list.

Today’s extract is from Flying the Nest by Perth based author Rachael Johns. She is Australia’s leading writer of contemporary relatationship stories around women’s issues, a genre she’s calling life-lit.

Extract from Flying the Nest:

Perth

It was seven o’clock in the morning and I was cutting oranges for

Payton’s soccer game when Adrian casually asked if I’d heard of nest

parenting.

I paused and searched my memory. It sounded vaguely familiar —

like I’d read about the concept online or heard it discussed in one of

the many podcasts I listened to. Although I’m almost forty, I pride

myself on my memory and, sure enough, I recalled there was a mum

who had a kid in the year below at Saxon’s school who was nest

parenting with her husband. Or rather ex-husband!

‘Yeah, what about it?’ I said, as I bent to get a large container

from our Tupperware drawer.

Adrian took a sip of his coffee, then, ‘I was thinking we should

give it a try.’

And that is the exact moment the bottom fell out of my world!

I had to have heard wrong or at least misunderstood. Or maybe

Adrian had.

How did he even know what nest parenting was? It wasn’t like he

usually concerned himself with the day-to-day minutiae of our kids’

world, never mind other people’s. Adrian’s world revolved around

his podiatry clinic and (currently) cycling.

So, perhaps he thought nest parenting was something else —

possibly something like leaving Saxon at home to look after

Payton while we had a dirty weekend away down south. It

had been a while since we’d had much ‘alone’ time, and while I

didn’t really miss frequent sex, my husband was as red-blooded

a male as they came. When we’d first got together, we’d had sex

every day — sometimes two or three times — but that was over

twenty years ago when we were young and childfree, before

life and responsibility got in our way. And, from the way my

other mum friends talked, our ritual bonk on Saturday night was

quite normal.

But before I had the chance to ask him what exactly he was

talking about, Payton skipped into the kitchen, proudly wearing her

soccer uniform, her socks pulled up to her knees, her long, golden

brown hair pulled back in a high ponytail and her usual bright smile

lighting her face.

‘You guys ready to go?’ she asked, thankfully oblivious to

the dark cloud that had descended upon the room. ‘I don’t

want to miss pre-game training. I know summer soccer is only

supposed to be for fun, but coach says if we work on our team

communication and win this game, we have a real chance of getting

in the finals this year.’

‘Course we are, kiddo.’ Adrian dumped his mug in the sink and

reached out to ruffle her hair. She ducked just in time so as not to

spoil her look. She may only be ten and what some of my friends

called a tomboy, but she cared immensely about her appearance.

Almost as much as she cared about her juggle record.

‘Mum?’ Payton whined. ‘What are you doing?’

I blinked, realising that I was frozen, still semi-bent over the

Tupperware drawer, my hand tightly gripping the container.

Straightening fast, I said, ‘Just organising the oranges,’ but my voice

didn’t sound like mine.

My daughter rolled her eyes and gave me a look that only teenage

girls should give their mothers. Payton was definitely ten going on

nineteen.

As she and Adrian started out of the kitchen towards the front

door, my hands shook and my eyes prickled as I placed the oranges

into the container and shut the lid. What if my husband did know

what he was talking about? Was this his less-than-subtle way of

telling me he wanted a divorce?

Want to read more? Buy Flying the Nest by Rachael Johns (published by Harper Collins) here


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