In 1957, on England's Suffolk coast, Margery Paxton, the owner of Mersea House, the town's only lodging, is informed she has a new ward, the eleven-year-old orphaned daughter of her first love, while her lodgers find the past is never far behind and looming secrets may destroy the friendships they've created. - (Baker & Taylor)
In 1957, on England’s Suffolk coast, Margery Paxton, the owner of Mersea House, the town’s only lodging, is informed she has a new ward, the 11-year-old orphaned daughter of her first love, while her lodgers find the past is never far behind and looming secrets may destroy the friendships they’ve created. - (Baker & Taylor)
In the tradition of Kristin Harmel and Elise Hooper, USA Today bestseller Marty Wingate transports us to postwar England’s Suffolk coast in a rich historical drama about love lost—and promise found.
England, 1957. Olive Kersey’s only love never returned from World War II, and now, she’s alone and penniless. Then, the last person she ever expected to see again returns to Southwold. Olive’s childhood friend, Margery Paxton, arrives to claim her inheritance: Mersea House, a stately old home she plans to turn into the town’s only lodging. Olive’s life takes a sunny turn when Margery hires her to run the establishment. But Mersea House holds its own mysteries—and its own dangers.
First, rumors begin to fly when two enigmatic lodgers move in: Hugh Hodson, manager of the town cinema, and Mrs. Abigail Claypool, a recluse and war widow. And then, the completely unexpected: Margery is informed she has a new ward, eleven-year-old Juniper Wyckes, the orphaned daughter of Margery’s first love. Mrs. Lucie Pagett, Children’s Officer at the local authority, informs Margery that Juniper was severely stricken with polio as a child, and makes clear that she could be taken away if her welfare is in jeopardy.
But the past is never far behind for the inhabitants of Mersea House, and looming secrets may destroy these friendships they've created. - (Random House, Inc.)
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Wingate (Glamour Girls) takes a moving look at a group of young women as they navigate life in postwar England. Olive Kersey, about to become homeless after her mother dies, is rescued by her childhood friend, Margery Paxton, whom she hasn't seen for 15 years. Margery, raised by her aunt and uncle in Southwold, returns from London, having inherited her uncle's shop for kitchen goods and his house, which she decides to turn into a boarding house. She'll run the shop—unheard of in 1957— and hire Olive as manager. In addition to being responsible for boarders, two of whom have secrets about their pasts, Margery unexpectedly becomes guardian to 11-year-old Juniper, daughter of her wartime boyfriend and his wife. The amiable Juniper, who contracted polio at age four, enchants Olive—a good thing as Olive takes on more of a mother role than Margery, who is caught up with her store. Wingate has a sure hand in detailing changing societal mores, both progressive or retrograde; in a poignant scene, Olive feels a mix of relief and guilt after revealing to friends that her brother, who died in the war, was gay, which was at that time was illegal. It adds up to a nuanced look at a makeshift family. Agent: Christina Hogrebe, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Aug.)
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