Page 70. " myriad Lexies and Alexandras, all sheathed inside one another, like Russian dolls "

The Russian name for a set of wooden Russian Dolls is matryoshkas, and there can be any number in a set, and they can be any size too.


Set of Three Russian Dolls
Creative Commons AttributionSet of Three Russian Dolls - Credit: aussiegall, Flickr

In 1970, a matryoshka was made to celebrate the Soviet Communist leader Lenin's birthday, and it was one metre tall, and contained 72 dolls in all.

O'Farrell uses the metaphor of the Russian Doll to convey the various identities that Lexie will have as she develops. It is a popular metaphor, that some self-development organisations have picked up on as a tool for teaching. It has also been found useful by a blog article on the New Scientist, as a way to convey the five stages through which the human brain develops over a person's lifespan.




Page 74. " What are rissoles anyway? What are they for? "

Innes is not impressed with Mrs Collins's rissoles, which, if she made the plain meat version pictured here, may not be surprising given his sophisticated tastes.

GNU Free Documentation LicenseRissoles - Credit: Pumpmeup, Wikimedia Commons



What a pity Mrs Collins didn't have the internet, and then she could have found a more glamourous type of rissole to offer her guests, such as this pastry-covered version. I think they look quite tasty.

Rissoles in Pastry
GNU Free Documentation LicenseRissoles in Pastry - Credit: Moumou82, Wikimedia Commons