‘The Devastating Boys’ by Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor was on my bedside table in the hospital when I gave birth to my first child.  ‘The Devastating Boys’ is about a childless woman in a prim English village fosters who fosters two rough little boys from London just after the war. Nothing dramatic happens: it’s just a devastatingly real portrayal of what love is like, and how it will run its own roads through your life – a bit like ‘Livvie’ I suppose.

First published in McCalls, 1966 and collected in The Devastating Boys (1972) and the Virago Complete Short Stories, 2012