Fallen apples

Familial ties, fairytales and the forbidden fruit

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  • Published 20221101
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-74-0
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

‘THE APPLE DOESN’T fall far from the tree,’ said the woman from the abortion clinic on the other end of the phone. She repeated this proverb or idiom – with Turkish, Germanic and Russian origins – several times during our conversation.

I could not bring myself to agree or disagree with her insinuation, curled in my grandmother’s worn chintz recliner. The broken left arm of this enormous chair hung like a disfigured bird’s wing. Of all the reasons I was considering a termination, the genetic taint of a man who was emotionally unstable at best, physically violent at worst, was not one of them. Did this woman, I wonder now, also use this strained apple and tree analogy, implying nature trumps nurture, on traumatised rape victims? It does have a simple, appealing logic, even if its bucolic imagery – a fallen apple resting on a soft blanket of grass, protected by the leafy abundance of the mother tree – couldn’t be further from the reality of deciding to terminate a pregnancy.

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