Today I’m on the ‘The Forgotten Children’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote Isabella Muir her book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Isabella Muir has been surrounded by books her whole life and – after working for twenty years as a technical editor and having successfully completed her MA in Professional Writing – she was inspired to focus on fiction writing.
As well as her newest title, The Forgotten Children, Isabella is the author of the Sussex Crime Mystery series. These Agatha Christie style stories are set in the sixties and seventies and feature a young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke, who has a passion for Agatha Christie. All that Janie has learned from her hero, Hercule Poirot, she is able to put into action as she sets off to solve a series of crimes and mysteries.
Aside from books, Isabella has a love of all things caravan-like. She has spent many winters caravanning in Europe and now, together with her husband, she runs a small caravan site in Sussex. They are ably assisted by their much-loved Scottie, Hamish.
A woman’s search to find her son uncovers the shocking truth about one of Britain’s darkest periods
Struggling with the demons of her past, Emily is a children’s author with a dark secret, and a guilt that threatens to consume her. For twenty years she has lived in Brighton, England, trying to forget the day they took her baby from her, just hours after he was born. But now, in the summer of 1987, she decides to begin the search for her son.
Emily takes refuge in a small town on the Isle of Anglesey to plan the search, where she meets Walter, a gentle stranger, who helps her with his words of wisdom and kindness. But it is when she decides to return home to Hastings, that she really has to face her demons.
Estranged from her parents when she was just sixteen, Emily is shocked by what her mother has to tell her about events that occurred before Emily was even born.
Beside her, throughout her search, is Emily’s beautiful Irish friend, Geraldine, recovering from her own sad experiences. Together they uncover a truth that shocks them all.
The Forgotten Children draws the reader into lives affected by narrow-minded beliefs and blinkered thinking at the highest level. Children who weren’t allowed to be born, children who were abandoned, and children who were taken, forced to lead a life thousands of miles away from everyone and everything they knew – leaving scars that may never heal.
At its heart, The Forgotten Children is a story of survival, but the journey that Emily has to take is painful. Even more so because she knows it was allowed to happen by individuals, religions and governments, who should have known better.
Emily was just sixteen years old when she ran away from her home in Hastings, having been crushed by the decisions enforced on her by her parents. She goes to Brighton and here we learn about her first meeting with Geraldine, the Irish beauty who becomes Emily’s best friend. Geraldine helps Emily through the years that are to follow – years when she tries desperately to forget what has gone before.
The first night in Brighton I walked along the promenade. The lights on the West Pier were a blaze of turquoise, silver and pink, shouting out to all in the vicinity that there was fun to be had.
Over the next few days I walked past the Zodiac Coffee Bar three times before venturing in. The Vespas and Lambrettas parked up outside encouraged me, until finally I pushed the door and was enveloped with smells of frying and burnt toast. The floors were sticky with spilt coffee, trodden in and over, and the tables yet to be wiped. No-one looked up. Sgt Pepper was playing in the background. It was like going into a club where at last I understood the rules. Eyes were focused on newspapers, or their plates of runny eggs and crispy bacon, satisfying mind and stomach. Red and white checked plastic cloths covered the tables. I had to brush past wet coats hanging on the back of plastic chairs, to weave through to an empty table in the corner by the kitchen hatch.
‘Share, if you like?’ Her accent was familiar, reminding me of the Irish children I’d shared my schooldays with. She was long legged, with hair the colour of coal and her hand-knitted jumper a rich mix of red, yellow, orange, green and brown.
‘You can’t bag a table ‘til you’ve got your drink – are you having a drink? There’s no table service here, darling.’
Food and drink were an aside. After three nights in Cherry View, with Mrs Lacey showing clear disapproval at her young guest, I had to find a job and then a room. I’d escaped one regime and was loath to replace it with another.
‘I’m Geraldine, by the way, but most folk call me Gee. And you are, let me guess…new in town?’
Two coffees later and Gee and I had discovered we were both Beatles fans, with the Stones coming a poor second. Our conversation was interrupted a few times with people coming over to chat to her.
‘Tonight, Gee? Leeroy’s at 8?’
‘Gee, meet you outside – don’t be late.’
She laughed at my quizzical look.
‘I appear to be their social secretary – well, that’s fine with me – life’s for living, that’s what I say. Now, do you have a job? Somewhere to live? I don’t even know your name.’ Gee was direct and intuitive.
‘It’s Emily and no, neither to be honest’, I replied.
‘Okay, I’ll be your fairy godmother if you like. When I arrived here I had to do it the hard way, trawl around the agencies, search the ads. But I can save you all that, can you type?’
‘No problem, my crowd are looking for a new junior assistant. They’re a friendly bunch to work for, they’ll send you to night school, they’re great like that. How’s your English, spelling and the like?’
‘Pretty good.’ She didn’t need to know I sailed through my exams, despite the months of school I’d missed.
‘Fine, well come along to this address at 10’o’clock tomorrow, dressed for an interview,’ Gee said, shoving a business card into my hand. ‘Do you have a skirt to wear?’
She told me briefly about Black’s Design agency and reassured me I would love it.
‘You’ll fit in like an arm in a sleeve, or whatever the saying is.’
I wasn’t sure there was a saying, or that I would fit, but I was in no hurry to question her. She was easy to talk to, for the first time in my life I felt like one adult speaking to another. I started to believe I could do this. If I felt daunted when I entered the café, my chance encounter with this charismatic Irish beauty meant I returned to Cherry View with adrenalin buzzing through me and this time it wasn’t about flight.
The Magic Of Wor(l)ds