Sam and her partner are getting ready to go out. She is due to have a baby soon, and they need to acquire just a few more items to complete the nursery and baby wardrobe. Sam wants a Forever Baby duvet, but realizes that it may be difficult because duvets are large and hard to conceal. Slowly it emerges that her trendy baby supplies are stolen.

Sam stops by the clinic where an assistant makes the mistake of asking if this is her first pregnancy. The glance from a colleague silences her, but Sam notices. She has no baby now but she remembers her little girl who "ought to have kept out of his way" although she was hiding in her duvet.


A bold exploration of the mind of a woman who is about to have a baby, having battered (or seen her husband batter) a previous child. Avoiding explicit words, Dunmore recreates the necessary fictions that sustain existence in such a dark situation, thereby forcing the reader to derive it first hand.

Sam seems to be trying to insulate herself against a repetition of the great crime by cocooning herself in a "duvet" of the materialistic emblems of contented parenthood and prosperity. In order to succeed with this desperate plan, she resorts to the lesser crime of theft. Despite the soothing story that Sam tells herself, she is terrified, and so are we.

Primary Source

Love of Fat Men



Place Published

Harmondsworth, U.K.



Page Count