“She didn’t feel like she thought she’d feel at twenty-three. She was wearing uncomfortable shoes and telling people her job was fascinating when it was really just a lot of photocopying and standing round on the Tube. It was doing what she was told, and trying not to do anything provocative. It was being watched, and trying to stay polite. It was being suspicious, and staying calm. It was thinking about wine in the evenings all day long, and wondering what Berlin was like. It was saying, “I’ll come and visit you soon,” and knowing she wouldn’t.

She had too much work. She had to look after this angry man in the next room, now shouting at his wife, apparently, on the phone. She and the intern pretended not to hear anything.”