• Twistleton is a village untouched by time, taking its rhythms from the countryside around. Daisy, Jean, Freddie and their friends Aurelia and Laura are devoted to the place, so that when war breaks out Twistleton becomes the embodiment of everything for which they are fighting. For the previous generation the new conflict causes private despair, increased when Twistleton is requisitioned by the Army. Turfed out of their houses, the villagers take refuge at the Hall.

    It is here that evacuees from the East End, butler and countryman weld together to fight common enemies, whether drunken troops in the village, the bombs from the air, or rationing and the bitter weather. They all know only victory will do. With death haunting their every moment, love is their one all-too-fleeting consolation - and also their final triumph.

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  • A force de ténacité, l'indomptable Cassie est devenue la première femme entraîneur d'Angleterre : Rossignol, son magnifique cheval, est au sommet de sa forme et l'avenir s'annonce enfin avec sérénité. Hélas, c'est sans compter avec la terrible Leonora, l'éternelle ennemie, femme mauvaise et envieuse qui ne supporte pas le succès de son ancienne camarade de pension. Pour briser son bonheur, Leonora est prête à tous les coups bas. Et Rossignol est une proie facile.
    Devant le déferlement de ses malfaisances, Cassie n'en reste pas moins un modèle de dignité et de courage. Mais seule, sans le soutien de son défunt mari qu'elle ne parvient pas à oublier, réussira-t-elle à sauver ses enfants et ses employés de la ruine et de la déchéance ? Car vient un moment où aucune arme n'est efficace contre la malveillance foncière. Cependant, Cassie est, à sa manière, une force de la nature...

  • Following the death of her seventeen-year-old mother in childbirth, Leonie Lynch is brought up in London's Eastgate Street by foster parents through the auspices of her godmother, the redoubtable Mrs Dodd, her living expenses provided for by her young mother's friend, Lady Angela Bentick.
    Mrs Dodd turns to Lady Angela when her godchild is nearing her eighteenth birthday. Lady Angela runs a fashionable nursing home and can provide Leonie with a profession, whilst Mrs Dodd offers her accommodation. Upon joining Lady Angela's staff as a nurse, Leonie meets our two other heroines - Mercy Cordel and Dorinda Montgomery.
    Mercy grew up at the family home, Cordel Court in Somerset, and shortly after her seventeenth birthday, was brought up to London by her stepmother for the London Season. Dorinda Montgomery, on the other hand, has hardly ridden up and down Rotten Row more than a half a dozen times before she has captured the heart of every masher around town, and earns the sobriquet 'Dorinda Blue.' Within days she is a famous member of the demi-monde, with her own house and carriage in St John's Wood. Meanwhile, Mercy Cordel is hard put to find a dancing partner. That she eventually finds a husband in the hard-bitten, hard-riding John Brancaster is a source of happy amazement to her.
    Three such very different young women, and yet Society seems to reward Dorinda Montgomery more than it does the virtuous girl pushed into marriage with a suitably older husband Certainly this is how it seems to Leonie Lynch, the only one of the three who has quite made up her mind to dedicate herself to something other than marriage...

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  • Twistleton is a village untouched by time, taking its rhythms from the countryside around. Daisy, Jean, Freddie and their friends Aurelia and Laura are devoted to the place, so that when war breaks out Twistleton becomes the embodiment of everything for which they are fighting. For the previous generation the new conflict causes private despair, increased when Twistleton is requisitioned by the Army. Turfed out of their houses, the villagers take refuge at the Hall.

    It is here that evacuees from the East End, butler and countryman weld together to fight common enemies, whether drunken troops in the village, the bombs from the air, or rationing and the bitter weather. They all know only victory will do. With death haunting their every moment, love is their one all-too-fleeting consolation - and also their final triumph.

  • It is 1941, and England is at its lowest ebb, under-nourished, under-informed and terrified of imminent invasion. Even at Eden Park, the beautiful country estate where Poppy, Lily, Kate, Marjorie and her adopted brother Billy are working in espionage, confidence is at an all-time low, and that is before the authorities discover there is a double agent operating from its MI5 unit.

    Lily volunteers to be dropped into France, only to find herself linked to Poppy's husband Scott. Meanwhile, Kate's lover Eugene is in Sicily to sabotage the bombers besieging Malta while her mother is recruited to work for Jack Ward, known affectionately as 'the Colonel'.

    As further agents are wiped out by the informant at Eden Park, Poppy leaves to train as a pilot. But as she closes the wooden shutters at the House of Flowers, the old folly where she and Scott began their married life, she realises that they were made over a century before to keep out another invader. England survived then, and will again.

  • DAUGHTERS OF EDEN focuses on the lives and fortunes of four very different young women at the outbreak of the Second World War. Marjorie, left at a boarding school by her emigrating mother; plain Poppy, pushed into marriage with a mean-spirited aristocrat; Kate, despised by her father, but determined to prove herself; and man-mad Lily, who turns out to be the bravest of them all.

    That all of them are chosen to work undercover for the espionage unit at a beautiful stately home is a surprise, not least to them. At Eden Park they not only meet each other, but become involved with three unusual young men - Eugene, the seemingly feckless Irishman; Robert, Kate's brother; and dashing Scott, a master of disguise, and the undisputed favourite of the unit. While there is hardly time for romance before each is sent out into the field, there is just enough for passionate new relationships to form. Only Jack Ward, the mysterious spymaster, manages to remain aloof as he guides their destinies. The fact that they will look back on this time as having made them feel more exquisitely alive than ever before is not something they will know until much later.

  • As Walter Berrisford paints beautiful Katherine Garland, she asks him to put a ladybird on her finger without his knowing why. He is appalled when he discovers that Katherine is a Nazi. The outbreak of war means that her sister Caro and her friend Robyn join the FANYs, while former maids, Betty and Trixie, work in a factory. War brings frantic romance to all, including their flatmate Edwina O'Brien, but it is Betty, transferred to decode at the Park that alone discovers the truth about the Ladybird.

  • Following the death of her seventeen-year-old mother in childbirth, Leonie Lynch is brought up in London's Eastgate Street by foster parents through the auspices of her godmother, the redoubtable Mrs Dodd, her living expenses provided for by her young mother's friend, Lady Angela Bentick.
    Mrs Dodd turns to Lady Angela when her godchild is nearing her eighteenth birthday. Lady Angela runs a fashionable nursing home and can provide Leonie with a profession, whilst Mrs Dodd offers her accommodation. Upon joining Lady Angela's staff as a nurse, Leonie meets our two other heroines - Mercy Cordel and Dorinda Montgomery.
    Mercy grew up at the family home, Cordel Court in Somerset, and shortly after her seventeenth birthday, was brought up to London by her stepmother for the London Season. Dorinda Montgomery, on the other hand, has hardly ridden up and down Rotten Row more than a half a dozen times before she has captured the heart of every masher around town, and earns the sobriquet 'Dorinda Blue.' Within days she is a famous member of the demi-monde, with her own house and carriage in St John's Wood. Meanwhile, Mercy Cordel is hard put to find a dancing partner. That she eventually finds a husband in the hard-bitten, hard-riding John Brancaster is a source of happy amazement to her.
    Three such very different young women, and yet Society seems to reward Dorinda Montgomery more than it does the virtuous girl pushed into marriage with a suitably older husband Certainly this is how it seems to Leonie Lynch, the only one of the three who has quite made up her mind to dedicate herself to something other than marriage...

  • When the famous portrait artist Napier Todd stumbles across Edith Hanson scrubbing floors, he is immediately struck by her beauty. Within a few weeks Napier and Edith are married and she moves into his large country house - much to the envy of the other maids. However the marriage is troubled and Edith falls seriously ill. Napier takes her to the idyllic Cornish fishing village of Newbourne to convalesce where Edith meets Celandine.

    Celandine Benyon is a struggling artist who moved to Paris to seek inspiration and fell in love with another painter, Sheridan Montague Robertson. The couple eloped to Gretna Green after Celandine was disowned by her mother, and together they set up home in Newbourne.

    /> Because Celandine understands Napier's artistic temperament, she tries to help Edith with her troubled marriage. However, although her advice succeeds beyond Edith's wildest dreams, it also causes tragic repercussions.

    And with the dangerously attractive Alfred Talisman waiting in the wings, will Edith ever find happiness?

  • Christmas 1913. Kitty and Lady Partita are best friends despite vastly different backgrounds. Partita has invited her friend, Kitty, to stay at her ancestral home, Borders Castle. The grandeur of Partita's family seat is in stark contrast to Kitty's home in London where she and her mother, Violet, struggle to maintain appearances despite Kitty's father gambling away the family money. Kitty is introduced to the aristocracy; a fascinating, decorative and theatrical world. Kitty is enthralled and desperately wants to be part of this way of life, far removed from the genteel poverty in which she and her mother are forced to exist.

    But war breaks out, not only irrevocably changing society, but also the lives of these two beautiful young women. The headstrong Partita and down-to-earth Kitty become nurses and selflessly care for the men horrifically injured in the trenches of WWI.

    This novel is about the mothers and daughters, sisters and wives left at home holding things together on the homefront and caring for their men. It's about love and heartbreak, but most importantly of all, the remarkable nature of female friendship.

  • Florence Fontaine has still not recovered from a family tragedy when she discovers a strangely dressed young man asleep in her guest cottage at the Old Rectory. Against her better judgement she offers him breakfast, only to rue the day as she finds herself caught up in the resulting drama of his life. Florence's young and beautiful daughter, Amadea, is immediately suspicious of Edmund, as he appears to be called, fearing that he might be a fraud.

    Against everyone's advice, Florence enlists friends and neighbours to help restore Edmund's now wandering mind and discover who he might be. As the mystery unfolds, it becomes apparent that Edmund's history is entwined with that of nearby Harlington Hall, but that his real identity is something quite other.

    Florence and Amadea become united in their quest, an adventure that takes them into many pasts, not least that of the young man whom they are now dedicated to help. In doing so they are finally able to put the tragedies of the past behind them, repair their once disjointed lives, and embrace a new and happy future.

  • When Alexandra Stamford goes to stay with her Millington cousins at Knighton Hall she knows nothing about the handsome stable lad they have cruelly nicknamed 'the oik'', nor is she destined to meet him until he is rich and successful. If Tom O'Brien is a servant, Alexandra herself is very much the poor relation, while the daughters of the house have beauty, status and wealth. Shortly after Alexandra's return home, her father re-marries. No longer wanted, Alexandra is forced to become a maid-of-all-work for a Mrs Smithers who lives in a grand Regency house in the seaside town of Deanford. Here she rapidly makes her mark among the impoverished ladies of the town, arranging romantic luncheons where they can meet wealthy widowers in comfort. It is through one of these occasions that handsome, funny Bob Atkins meets and falls in love with Alexandra.Despite her commitment to Bob, Alexandra is determined to make a success of her new life. Meanwhile Tom O'Brien meets and falls for the beautiful Lady Florazel Compton who introduces him to the sophistications of 1950s London. As Bob is conscripted for National Service, Alexandra plans her future, and in doing so discovers the awful circumstances of her birth. Tragedy strikes, and it is only when Tom returns from New York to search out his old friend Bob Atkins' fiancee that Alexandra's life appears about to be truly transformed. But the past seems destined to wreck the happiness of the present, as the glamorous Lady Florazel Compton s determined to re-capture her former love, destroying the magic hour of Tom's and Alexandra's meeting.

  • Sunny's mundane country life is changed overnight when handsome, stylish Gray's Bentley breaks down outside her parents' cottage in Rushington. It seems that he may have fallen in love with her.Although Sunny herself remains unconvinced, her best friend Arietta believes that Sunny is soon to be set on the road to wealth and happiness.

    Shortly after meeting Gray for the second time at a local ball, Sunny is invited out by his close friend, the beautiful socialite, Leandra Fortescue, who tells her over lunch that Gray wants to marry her if she will accept certain conditions. Sunny does accept, even as Arietta is leaving Rushington to work in London.

    Sunny soon joins Arietta at her cheerfully chaotic lodgings. It is here that she realises that she can find the sort of contentment that has eluded sophisticates such as Gray and Leandra.Here too she meets Hart and, despite being engaged to Gray, falls in love with him, just as Arietta has fallen for his friend, jazz-playing painter, Sam. By chance Arietta comes into a secret about Gray, but is afraid to tell Sunny, and yet not to tell her might ruin her future.

  • As the eldest of four daughters, American heiress Emmaline Nesbitt has always understood that she is obliged to wed. But no proposals have so far come her way, until at a ball in her family home she meets Julius, a handsome and charming Englishman who wastes no time in proposing to her. Shortly after, Emmaline sails to England for her wedding.

    What awaits her on arrival is a long way from her expectations. She is brought to a strange house full of odd guests and eccentric servants - a far cry from the fine home Julius had promised - as well as a very different Julius. As the days go by, her fiancé changes beyond recognition, so much so that Emmaline believes there is no future to their relationship. But that is before Julius's past, and the history of his family and background make themselves plain to her.

  • During the Second World War, Eastenders Miranda and Ted are sent to the country with another young evacuee, Roberta (Bobbie), to live with two unmarried sisters in their idyllic rectory. The time they spend with Aunt Sophie and Aunt Prudence turns their underprivileged lives into something very near to Heaven: gathering wool from hedgerows, initiating do and mend campaigns, and trotting about the countryside with Tom Kitten, Aunt Prudence's pony. But when the Committee for Evacuation object to the women's efforts to adopt all three of them, it is Bobbie who is sent away to live with the Dingwalls in very different circumstances. And when the aunts die, Miranda, Tom and Bobbie - who have come to regard themselves as a family unit - are eventually parted, seemingly forever.
    The three find each other after the war, and Miranda, now a beautiful young model, falls in love with grown-up Ted Mowbray, but unfortunately he can only think of her as a sister. In turn, he loves Bobbie, who can only think of him as her brother, having already met her beloved Julian during a summer by the sea in Sussex.
    Necessarily there are many intriguing complications, and all hearts are destined to be broken before a satisfactory emotional climax can be reached.

  • It is the summer of 1939, and like the rest of Europe, the residents of the little idyllic Sussex fishing port of Bexham are preparing for war. Beautiful but shy Judy Melton, daughter of a naval war hero, her determinedly feckless friend, the social butterfly Meggie Gore-Stewart, seemingly demure Mathilda Eastcott, and Corrie Hogarth, the tomboy daughter of the owner of the local boatyard, are all in their very individual ways determined to play an active part in the defence of their country. Knitting socks and bomb-dodging is not what they have in mind for themselves while their husbands and brothers, fathers and lovers are away fighting.
    But attitudes to women's roles in a warring world are difficult to change, and at first all four find it impossible to settle for the traditional kind of work that their families envisage. However, it is not just the young women of Bexham who are determined to find new roles for themselves - so are their mothers. In this manner the little Sussex village, facing as it does the coastline of Nazi-invaded France, finds its closely sewn social fabric gradually unstitch, inch by little inch.
    Under the tree on the green the women of Bexham meet to look back on a landscape that has changed irrevocably, and which they have in their own ways helped to alter. None of them are the same, and yet, with the men returning from war, they are expected to slip back into their simple roles of mother, daughter, grandmother. This, more than aything perhaps, is their greatest sacrifice. Having been freed by war, they have now to relinquish that very independence that gave them the liberty for which they once fought.
    Only the chestnut tree planted by Corrie at the edge of the village flourishes in the accepted manner, finally becoming the uniting symbol of all that has passed forever.

  • When Kathleen finds a mare in foal, despite the fact that she and her father can barely afford to feed her, they take her in. Tragically the mare dies, leaving an orphan that they name The Enchanted. As the young horse grows up among Ireland's lush pastures, Kathleen loses her heart to him...

    But as Kathleen has always feared The Enchanted must be sold. Rory James and his father take a chance on the little horse in the hope of improving the fortune of their run-down racing yard. But luck does not run Rory's way when The Enchanted mysteriously sickens. It seems that only Kathleen can help. And it is only under her care that The Enchanted is able to live up to his name and astonishing things start to happen to all those around him.

  • It is late autumn, 1962, and darkness is falling, but not just over the idyllic fishing port of Bexham. The threat of atomic warfare is so real that people are taking their children to work, or staying home with their families as they face what they think might be the end of the world. For some, the threat is all the more bewildering as they struggle to understand the new generation of the Sixties, a generation for whom they made so many wartime sacrifices, for whom they had such high hopes. No sooner has the threat of nuclear war seemed to have passed than Judy, Mathilda and Rusty are facing a new, personal crisis brought about by their teenage children. Much as Waldo Astley would like to remain on the sidelines, he finds it impossible, and this too brings about bitter opposition from those caught up in the near-tragedy. Still grieving for his lost wife, he tries his best to help his three friends, only to find himself falling in love with one of them.
    Meanwhile the younger generation have their own problems, all of which involve their families. That all the generations find themselves once more united in a battle, this time to save the village they love, is both an irony and finally, a saving grace. Once more an enemy has to be defeated, once more they must arm themselves, but this time for a war of a very different kind.

  • Anglais The Season

    Charlotte Bingham

    Portia and Emily meet to launch their daughters on an unsuspecting Society for the London Season of 1913. Both are determined that their offspring, Phyllis and Edith, will catch the eye of their friend May's son, a future Duke. If that were all, the Season would be a relatively simple affair, but since Portia is recently widowed and Emily is away from her husband, life is bound to get more interesting.

    Meanwhile, their arch-enemy Daisy Lanford, fallen on hard times due to extravagance and too many lovers, is busy launching American heiresses. However, her protegee, Sarah Hartley Lambert, whilst an engaging girl, is not the wild success Daisy hopes for. This is largely due to the machinations of Phyllis, who, having formed an unholy alliance with Edith, is intent on spoiling the American girl's chances.

    As always, the Season is fraught with dangers for both the young and the middle-aged, while the old observe, knowing it has all gone on before. It will be a minor miracle if all three girls find husbands before the end of the Season, and their mothers, not to mention Daisy Lanford, renewed happiness.

  • It is 1947, the worst winter in England since records began, and even the sea is frozen. For the women living in the little fishing port of Bexham, the chronic lack of everything from fuel to food has left them reeling.

    When Waldo Astley drives through thick Sussex snow into the village in his large American Buick, it is to find Bexham filled not just with grumbling residents, but frustrated wives and mothers forced back behind their stoves after the joy of the victory for which they fought so hard on the home front. Government directives have ensured that the returning men resumed the jobs their women managed so brilliantly through the gruelling years of war.

    But Waldo is no ordinary character, and while he has come to Bexham on a personal mission, his effect on all the residents is as warming as the electricity of which there is still such a shortage. For Judy, whose marriage to Walter has been badly affected by long years of separation; for Rusty, whose miscarriage has been mind-shattering; for Mathilda, whose single motherhood has put her eligibility in jeopardy, and for Meggie, still not recovered from her alter ego as a secret agent. No matter what the age or circumstances of the person, Waldo Astley is not just a breath of fresh air - but the wind off the sea.

  • In the 1950s, when Britain was still recovering from the effects of the war, the only people in society who could be said to have a glamorous lifestyle were the very wealthy, the aristocracy, and people who worked in the theatre.
    Elsie Lancaster is the granddaughter of a hardened old professional actress who runs a seaside boarding house.
    Oliver is the third son of an Catholic aristocratic Yorkshire family whose mother has run off, so the theatre-mad butler has brought him up like a son to be a Great Actor.
    Coco Hampton, Oliver's best friend, has been raised in Sloane Street by Gladys, her profligate guardian, who is always borrowing money from Coco to buy more clothes.
    Gladys and Oliver have been fans of the theatre since they were knee-high, but Coco has only ever wanted to be a designer. When Coco joins Oliver at his drama school in London, to his chagrin she promptly gets cast in films because of her photogenic looks. Meanwhile, Elsie is 'discovered' in the provinces by Portly Cosgrove, but is sacked by Portly's partner, who runs off with their assets. She is forced to retire from the stage while suicidal Portly walks the streets.
    Oliver meets and falls in love with Elsie. Meanwhile, on location, Coco has her first affair with a handsome actor and falls pregnant by mistake...

  • Anglais Summertime

    Charlotte Bingham

    When Trilby meets Lewis, the all-powerful proprietor of a newspaper group, she suspects that her life might be about to change, but not, as it transpires, forever. For not only does Lewis wish to acquire her cartoon strip, but Trilby herself. She is inevitably drawn to this handsome, older, and far more sophisticated personality, just as Lewis is, from the first, determined to marry the insouciant Trilby, despite the opposition of her friends and family. But having won her, Lewis reveals himself to be irrationally possessive.

    Becoming a virtual prisoner in her own home is not something that Trilby had ever dreamt could happen to her, a young woman in 1950s London, but it is not long before she realises that Lewis is prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to keep her to himself. Quite by chance, she discovers the real reason for her husband's unforgivable behaviour. Trilby must come to terms with the truth about Lewis, and more importantly, herself, before she can experience the kind of carefree happiness she once knew before her marriage.

  • Brougham is the stateliest of stately homes, but for Lady Artemis Deverill it proves a lonely, loveless place. Eleanor Milligan, born in downtown Boston, knows only poverty and a continuing battle against bullying brothers and a sadistic father.

    From the moment Artemis and Ellie meet on a liner sailing to Ireland, they are destined to become friends. And when Eleanor's Cousin Rose asks not only Eleanor but also Artemis to stay on at Strand House, County Cork, it marks the start of what is for both of them an idyllic time.

    But with the arrival of the devastatingly handsome artist, Hugo Tanner, it seems as though nothing will be quite the same. For in the sunlit prewar summer, all three become emotionally entwined, with startling consequences that threaten to haunt them for the rest of their lives.

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