Patience, heroine of John Coates' novel Patience, is almost impossibly open and trusting and naive. She loves her three children and her sister, and feels towards her husband what she believes she ought.
But then ... Patience finds extramarital sex (and her backbone). More specifically, she discovers love and marvellous sex and has a revelation. She then decides to do what she wants, rather than what she has thought was the right thing to do. Tricky for Patience, because she has strong religious beliefs, and what she wants to do is not what the Church says to do.
What happens after that is pretty funny, and also involves one of the most delightful descriptions of assertiveness I've read in a long time:
And this delicious sense of bitchiness inside, like a gloriously soft, silken, Persian cat purring in the middle of her stomach, was obviously only brought into being by people she didn't like. Or by the person she didn't like, because so far her human dislikes were very, very limited.
p183, Patience by John Coates, Persephone Books, ISBN 9781903155899
Patience fosters her inner Persian cat, sticks to her guns and has no regrets. Aw.
(and why the peacock feathers? the book's endpapers have a design which looks like a repeated stylised ... shell, or eye ... and the eye of the peacock seemed a reasonable compromise to echo this pattern).