The pile of dogs asleep at the foot of her bed are similarly rescued creatures. And she seems even more protective of them, when it comes to the way that the three children – home for Easter – are teasing them.
The one spot of joy in the woman’s day (spoiler – it doesn’t come from the company of or the gift from the three children – as if you hadn’t already guessed that) is a collectible item which her brother has sent to her: a letter from Sigmund Freud’s collection.
It’s written in German – so, incomprehensible – but clearly prized by the woman all the same. The children press for more information. And April is at a loss. She doesn’t want “the children to feel de trop or rejected”, but Maria-Gabriella comes into the room for the breakfast tray and discretely intervenes to direct the children out of the room.
She doesn’t want the children there. She doesn’t want the dogs to bark. She doesn’t want to speak to her solicitor on the telephone. She doesn’t want the fish that the children have brought. She doesn’t even really want the letter – only just a few moments after she has prized it so.
What she does want is a young Vietnamese girl, one of those who have suffered from the bombing in the war. But her solicitor has rung to say that the girl will not be forthcoming.