Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Flightsend is Charlie's new home, whether she likes it or not. Her mother sees it as an end to all that’s gone so tragically wrong. They had been a proper family. Mum; her boyfriend, Sean; and Charlie, with a new baby sister on the way. But the baby died before she was born and everything changed. Gradually, Charlie’s mother pushed Sean away, before resigning from her job and selling the house.
Charlie is certain that the move to a ramshackle cottage, miles from anywhere, can only make things worse. She couldn’t be more wrong. For Charlie’s mum there’s a new business and the fresh start that she knew she needed. And for Charlie there’s a new job, new friends, a newly discovered talent for art, and new feelings for two very different men. It’s a summer of beginnings, not ends; a summer that Charlie will never forget.
with an egg-painter. 'It's the youngish one with long hair and a floaty scarf and long silver earrings,' she told Suzanne, when the dessert plates had been cleared. 'Nope! Knew you wouldn't get it. It's the short, squat one with a tweedy jacket. I heard her introducing herself to Fay. Have a look when you take the coffee in.' Charlie looked. The only woman who fitted Suzanne's description was stout and fierce-looking, with orange lipstick, and iron-grey hair pinned back in a bun. 'Of course
child, but she'd never seen him before. The dog walked obediently between Charlie and her mother as they worked their way round the rest of the houses. People looked at him sympathetically, but no one claimed him, or knew where he came from. 'The pub, next,' said Kathy. In the Bull and Horseshoes, an elderly man drinking alone at the bar told them, 'I seen that dog a few times, hanging round. He been abandoned if you ask me. Lurcher, he is. Coursing dog. He prob'ly weren't no good.'
finished tidying, leaving the dish to soak. Then she turned off the lights and went up, too. Getting ready for bed, she heard muttered words from the other bedroom: Sean's voice, low and pleading; her mother's, irritable at first, becoming angry. Finally, 'Oh, leave me alone, please! Just leave me alone!' Charlie heard Sean come out and go to the bathroom, then his footsteps going downstairs. The sofa creaked as he settled on it. Wide awake by now and staring into the darkness, she thought of
the nursery, perfect and untouched behind its closed door. There were three people in the house, sleepless and miserable, lying isolated in their separate rooms. It needed the tiny, absent fourth person to unite them. Without Rose, they were identical magnet poles, repelling each other. Village Fête Fay had asked Charlie to spend Saturday afternoon at Nightingales, serving refreshments for the village fête, but Charlie had already promised to help her mother. On Kathy's birthday, Charlie
At the moment, that's all I want. Him being so much older is fine. He's mature, in charge of his life. He's been married, he's got grown-up children. He doesn't make demands. He's happy the way things are.' 'So that's OK,' Charlie said flippantly. She didn't like the implication that Sean had been unreasonably demanding, wanting to stay when everything went wrong. But she wasn't going to argue today. 'Did he ever tell you why he left Flightsend, when he liked it so much?' she asked. 'He was