The Wife’s Promise
Alice looked at the young girl standing alone on the platform, sensing the same vulnerability she’d once felt entering the village she now called home. Then, as the child gripped her hand, the pain and sorrow Alice had held in her heart for so long softened… And in that moment, she vowed she’d always protect her – whatever the cost…
England, 1939: When Alice marries twinkly-eyed, kind-hearted vicar David, it means leaving everything from her old life behind and moving into the draughty vicarage in the beautiful but remote village of Goswell, Cumbria. Though homesick, Alice is determined to make a new life there for herself and her husband.
But soon tragedy strikes, and she is devastated when war breaks out and David chooses to sign up to fight. But everything changes when Alice is asked to take in a child evacuee, and she makes a promise to protect this girl, no matter what it costs her…
Now: When Jane and her family move to the small coastal village of Goswell where her husband grew up, she’s afraid she might have made a huge mistake. Their new home – in what had once been the vicarage – feels a million miles from their previous fast-paced life in New York City, and Jane struggles with her empty days that seem lonely and purposeless.
But then she finds a small note, forgotten behind a shelf in the pantry. A note written in the Second World War. By a woman named Alice, whose incredible story has the power to change everything…
Two wives’ stories – told over 70 years apart – about courage, finding a home, and how the unexpected arrival of someone else’s story in your life can change your own.
The Daughter’s Garden
“I had to free it,” Eleanor said, and stretched her hand out to the blue butterfly that seemed almost to hover in the air. “I had to let something find what happiness it could, since we cannot.”
England, 1918: As war ends, across the world, people are trying to heal and recover. But Eleanor still feels broken. The loss of her beloved brother, killed just days before the Armistice was signed, feels impossibly unjust. Spending her time in the neglected garden behind their house, she fears her heart will never recover.
Then her father hires a man to help restore the garden to its former glory. Gruff, handsome Yorkshireman Jack comes from a totally different world to Eleanor, but he understands the nature of her grief more than anyone else seems to. And as they spend time together, even though she knows her family will never accept someone of Jack’s class, Eleanor starts to wonder if – like the butterflies around them – there is any way for her to learn to soar again…
Now: Nearly one hundred years later, Marin is not prepared for finding herself the guardian of her fifteen-year-old half-sister Rebecca, after her father and his second wife are killed in a tragic accident. The sisters are practically strangers, and Rebecca’s grief makes her seem even more distant. Marin too is in need of a fresh start, so when Rebecca begs her to let them move to the picturesque village of Goswell on the Cumbrian coast, Marin impulsively agrees.
But it is only when they find a locked door to a secret garden, and a photograph of a girl with a butterfly landing on her hand, that the sisters start to realise they have a mystery to solve, one about war, about secrets, and about a love that could never be. A mystery that might just bring them together…
The Bride’s Sister
She clutched the piece of paper close to her chest, tears welling in her eyes, hardly believing what she had read. Silently thanking Sarah for all she sacrificed, she took the death certificate and slipped it under a loose floorboard – no one must ever find out what she’d done…
England, 1868: Orphaned and penniless, 18-year-old Sarah is left the sole guardian of her beloved little sister Lucy – who she’s vowed to protect at all costs. With nowhere left to turn, she is forced to accept mysterious widower James Mills’ proposal of marriage.
She believes being his bride can’t possibly be as bad as the threat of the workhouse. But nothing prepares her for the darkness of her marriage, the shocking secrets of her new family and the lengths she will have to go to, to keep her sister safe…
Now: Living in the beautiful village of Goswell, Ellen believes her family life to be idyllic… until her estranged seventeen-year-old stepdaughter Annabelle moves in and shatters the peace. Ellen fears they will never bond, until she finds a death certificate – for a woman named Sarah, from over a century earlier – hidden under the floorboards of their house, and Annabelle starts to help her unravel the mystery.
Yet as Ellen and Annabelle dig deeper into Sarah’s life and death, shocking truths, both past and present, come to light which change everything Ellen thought she knew about Sarah’s family – and the new addition to her own…
The Widow’s Secret
She looked down at the sweet little girl and knew she wouldn’t listen to what anyone else said. She had to do what was right. Even if it meant going against everything she was taught to believe and keeping a secret from the person closest to her…
England, 1766: Abigail is happily married to James, a tobacco trader turned sea captain, and is looking forward to starting a family and settling down in Whitehaven, deep in the Lake District. But after a series of devastating losses, she finds herself in turmoil, with her future suddenly seeming unknown…
When James announces that he will captain a ship to Africa and then the Americas for a year, it sparks a series of surprising and heartbreaking events – involving some of the darkest evils in humanity’s history, and a tiny, terrified slave girl who’s brought back to England. This helpless child forces Abigail to reconsider everything she thought she knew – and will change her life forever…
Now: When a shipwreck is discovered off the coast of Cumbria, local expert Rachel is brought in to investigate. Her first thought is that this will be a perfect distraction from her troubled marriage and the memories of her past that she is desperate not to think about. But then it becomes clear the wreck is a slaving ship from the 1700s – one that was recorded as sinking in the Caribbean – and Rachel begins to wonder if there’s more to this terrible mystery than meets the eye.
Faced with uncertainty about both the past and present, can Rachel learn from Abigail’s extraordinary story and take the first step towards a brighter future of her own?
About the author
Kate Hewitt is the bestselling author of many novels of both historical and contemporary fiction. She particularly enjoys writing contemporary issue-driven women’s fiction, and her novels have been called ‘unputdownable’ and ‘the most emotional book I have ever read’ by readers.
An American ex-pat, she lives in a small market town in Wales with her husband and five young(ish) children, along with their two Golden Retrievers. Join her newsletter for monthly updates and giveaways at http://www.kate-hewitt.com, or be part of her Facebook groups Kate’s Reads, to discuss all manner of books, movies, music and cooking.