About the book
Charlie Maddison loves being an architect in London, but when she finds out her boyfriend, Dominic, is actually married, she runs back to the beautiful countryside of Westenbury and her parents.
Charlie’s sister Daisy, a landscape gardener, is also back home in desperate need of company and some fun. Their great-grandmother, Madge – now in her early nineties - reveals she has a house, Holly Close Farm, mysteriously abandoned over sixty years ago, and persuades the girls to project manage its renovation.
As work gets underway, the sisters start uncovering their family’s history, and the dark secrets that are hidden at the Farm.
A heart-breaking tale of wartime romance, jealousy and betrayal slowly emerges, but with a moral at its end: true love can withstand any obstacle, and, before long, Charlie dares to believe in love again too…
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2Ul2evq
About the author
Julie Houston is the author of THE ONE SAVING GRACE, GOODNESS, GRACE AND ME and LOOKING FOR LUCY, a Kindle top 100 general bestseller and a Kindle #1 bestseller. She is married, with two teenage children and a mad cockerpoo and, like her heroine, lives in a West Yorkshire village. She is also a teacher and a magistrate.
We’re going to have a full house,’ Mum said more cheerfully than she obviously felt as she manoeuvred the last of the five bin bags into the battered Volvo’s boot.
‘Oh? Who else is staying?’
‘Well, Vivienne appears to have taken root in the spare bedroom, and Daisy’s home as well.’
‘Granny Vivienne? And Daisy?’ I perked up a bit. ‘How come? Is she just home for the weekend?’
‘Don’t think so. She says she’s had enough of being a trolley dolly and is going to use her degree for what it was meant for.’
‘Which is? Mum, be careful, you nearly knocked that man down.’ I had to grasp the dashboard as she braked sharply. My years living in London obviously hadn’t improved my mother’s driving ability.
‘Sorry, darling, forgot my glasses. Blind as a bat without them. Well, obviously her degree in landscape architecture means she can be a landscape architect. After three years of travelling, working in bars all round the world and now with this job as an air hostess out of Liverpool suddenly coming to an end, she’s decided enough is enough and she wants to have a proper job.’
‘Right.’ I couldn’t see my younger sister settling down to anything, particularly back home in Midhope, where there wasn’t a huge amount of opportunity for setting up a new business in landscape architecture, especially when the only real work experience she’d had, apart from on the flights, was working on a sheep farm in New Zealand and pulling pints in Australia.
I could sense Mum glancing in my direction as I stared through the windscreen, scowling into the night as I bit my nails, a habit I thought I’d overcome.
‘So, are you going to tell me what’s happened? I’m assuming, with all those bags with you, you’ve decided to give London a rest for a while?’
‘I love London, Mum. I love my job.’ I could feel the traitorous tears begin to gather once more. ‘Loved it…’ I trailed off, my voice wobbling as I slid down into the seat in an attempt to get warm. ‘God, I’d forgotten how bloody cold it is up here.’
‘Where’s your coat? It is November, you know.’
Hell, where was my lovely sheepskin coat? Not in the black bags, I was certain. A sudden vision of it hanging on its usual peg in my office swam before my eyes. Well, that was obviously gone. I couldn’t see anyone bothering to parcel it up and send it on to me. Good job I always carried my phone and laptop in the Tardis with me. I gave its voluminous contents on my knee a reassuring pat.
‘So, I’ve got both my daughters home for a while, have I?’ Mum stopped at a red light and turned once more in my direction.
‘Is that OK? I mean, you’ll enjoy having us both to feed and fuss over, won’t you? Look how much you missed us when we went off to uni.’
Mum laughed. ‘One very quickly gets used to having a tidy house and not having to feed and fuss over one’s kids. It’s quite blissful not having to think about what to have for supper. Dad and I can have a glass of wine and just saunter down to the village for a “two for £13 meal deal” at the Jolly Sailor. Quite liberating really.’
‘Oh, so you’re not happy about having us back then?’ I felt the tears that had been threatening all evening start once more. Rejected now by my own mother as well as that bastard Dominic.
‘Oh dear, something has happened, hasn’t it?’ Mum set off at speed once the lights turned to her advantage, totally oblivious of the woman in the Evoque to her left, mouthing some obscenity as Mum cut her up. ‘So, Dominic? I assume he’s got another woman – or even another man, what with all this gender fluidity – and as he’s your boss that means you’re out of a job as well?’
‘He’s married, Mum.’
‘Doesn’t surprise me, darling.’ Mum gave my arm a little squeeze of sympathy.
‘I thought you liked him?’ I turned and stared at her.
‘We only met him once, Charlie,’ Mum protested. ‘And yes, Dad and I both liked him enormously… but…’