About the Book, Spanish House Secrets
- Publisher : UK Book Publishing (February 8, 2023)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 335 pages
- Scroll down for an excerpt from this book!
In 2019 Grace’s memories from childhood are stirred by the sound of a melody. Her home in 1950’s England was a Spanish House. A house with secrets.
1920’s England…loveable, likeable Simon receives a letter on the eve of his twenty-first birthday. A letter that will change the course of his life.
Dainty, demure Olivia has so much to be thankful for: a doting husband, a beautiful house and a thriving business…but a nagging doubt. In the last years of the Roaring Twenties this doubt is compounded by the discovery of a discarded item.
Elise has known many harsh blows in her young life. Returning to her home in Madrid in 1922, she knows she must pick herself up and move on. Can she continue to live in this Spanish House? The arrival of a visitor creates a new dimension for her.
Spanish House Secrets is a story of love, life, loss, jealousy and forgiveness set in the twentieth century.
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About the Author, Susan Gray
Susan Gray lives with her husband in northeast England. She has a son and daughter, both married, two granddaughters and a grand dog. After a career in primary teaching, she embraced retirement fulfilling her ambition to travel, attend Wimbledon and write a novel. She enjoys reading, walking, crafting, doing puzzles, catching up with friends over a coffee and being a gran. She has written several novels – Spanish House Secrets is the first to be published.
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Read an Excerpt from Spanish House Secrets
SIMON’S DOUBLE LIFE
Simon returns to his hometown in England, from his six weeks visit to Spain in 1922, where he has learned of his unexpected inheritance. His former sheltered life is now a thing of the past – but how much of his newly acquired wealth should he convey to his family?
Simon was never sure when his double-sided life began. He never set out to be secretive, but he just knew on that beautiful day in May, when he returned to Newcastle station, the Spanish side of his life must remain largely secret. Before taking the train to Loftam he needed to make some arrangements. So, he made his way to the premises of Hodgson, Smith and White where he had first learned of his legacy last autumn. The events of those months were mind blowing. His intention was to make an appointment with Mr Hodgson, but the lady behind the desk informed him Mr Hodgson was no longer with them, having retired due to ill health. His clients were being handled by another solicitor, new to the firm called Mr Adams. This information suited Simon, as he had found Mr Hodgson rather imposing. He made a future appointment with Mr Adams then took the train home to Loftam.
In the bubble that was Simon Guilder’s world, he expected a welcoming homecoming – a celebration meal and Serena jumping around eager to hear all his news. Instead, he entered an almost empty house – no father, no Serena, no cosy fire in the drawing room – only Mildred, in the kitchen finishing off the cold buffet for tonight’s evening meal.
“Oh, Mr Simon, it’s so good to see you, sit down – you seem to have been away for ages. I’ll get you a cuppa,” she said.
“Where is everybody?” Simon asked, grabbing a biscuit.
“Serena’s at the store, busy with her new venture, but I’ll not steal her thunder – she’ll be wanting to tell you all about it. Serena and Olivia have been in ecstasy – they’ve been like two busy bees – she only went home today.”
Simon stopped munching his biscuit and asked, “Olivia?” sounding very puzzled.
Mildred replied, “Oh, you must remember her, Mr Simon – she stayed over after the funeral with her grandmother. She lives in York.”
Olivia…Olivia… thought Simon, trying to sift through the many, many, people he’d met in recent weeks, and then there she was in his mind’s eye…an attractive young lady, someone he thought was worth a second meeting, something about her eyes intrigued him, as he recalled.
“Well, that’s me done. I’ll be off now,” Mildred called, retrieving her coat and hat from the hall. Mildred’s words pulled Simon back from his faraway thoughts.
“Your bed is newly made up and I opened the window to let some air in this morning. Cheerio. Mr Simon…it’s so good to have you home,” she called, walking out the back door.
Simon climbed the stairs to his room. The sun was still shining, and the garden was bursting with life, as he looked out of the window.
Everything was normal for Loftam…but in the six weeks since he had gone off to Spain, Simon knew life would never be normal for him again. This is where I take off ‘Spanish Simon’ and put on ‘English Simon’, he thought. Then he went to take a bath and change for dinner.
That was how Simon’s secret Spanish life started. He was never deceitful – just careful with the truth.