I’m delighted to join the blog tour for The Kindness of Strangers, the new book from Julie Newman. I have an extract to share with you all in a moment, but first let’s have a look at what the book is all about.
About the Book
Deception abounds in Julie Newman’s breath-taking new novel.
Widow Helen is desperate for a perfect family life, and will do everything she can to get what she wants.
A veteran of the Afghanistan conflict Martin is adrift and seemingly without hope – can he ever win back his estranged family?
Pregnant teenager Charley is striking out on her own to create a new life for her unborn child, but her mother Lizzie has other ideas.
When three seemingly disparate lives connect, the past and the present collide to reveal secrets, lies and how far people are willing to go to hide the truth.
Following the gripping and controversial Beware the Cuckoo, Julie Newman’s thrilling new novel lifts the lid on the dark past that haunts a seemingly happy household.
IT TAKES QUITE SOME TIME to load up the car with Robert’s clothes; who knew he had so many? And he had the cheek to say that I bought too many clothes. ‘Is that new? Another new coat? More shoes?’ Not that he was complaining; after all I was earning more than he was in the latter years of my working life. But there was always an edge to his voice, suggesting many of my purchases were frivolous and unnecessary. One of the over-loaded carrier bags splits and clothes spill onto the driveway. As I begin to scoop them up I spot his holiday shirt; one of many holiday shirts but this was definitely a favourite. It’s adorned with palm trees and brightly coloured exotic birds – it’s rather loud. So unlike the conservative style that he generally adopted. I remember him buying it many years ago at Freeport straw market in the Bahamas. He bartered for some time with the stall holder, getting it quite cheaply in the end, although she did persuade him to buy other items which I’m sure she inflated the cost of to make up her loss on the shirt. Still, he did feel rather pleased with himself and his purchase. I think I’ll keep this one. I tuck it under my arm as I squeeze the last bag into the boot. I nip back indoors to make sure I have everything I intend to take. Nothing left in the hallway, I go upstairs to check the bedroom and his wardrobe. As I slide the door, the emptiness emits a hollow groan; inside it is bare and cold like a discarded tomb. I stare into the void. It is a stark reminder of my loss and I can’t bear it. I can’t leave it like this. I run downstairs, go to the car and begin sorting through the bags. Before long the wardrobe is once again home to some of Robert’s clothes, just a few, enough to revive it. I know I’m being pathetic, trying to enliven an inanimate object, but removing everything seems so wrong and besides I can’t completely let go, I don’t want to, not yet. I am no more able to leave his wardrobe empty than I’m able to sleep on his side of the bed.
If that has piqued your interest and you’d like to know more about the book, or to order a copy of The Kindness of Strangers for yourself, it is available from the following retailers:
About the Author
Julie was born in East London but now lives a rural life in North Essex. She is married with two children. Her working life has seen her have a variety of jobs, including running her own publishing company. She is the author of the children’s book Poppy and the Garden Monster. Julie writes endlessly and when not writing she is reading. Other interests include theatre, music and running. Besides her family, the only thing she loves more than books is Bruce Springsteen. The Kindness of Strangers, Julie’s second novel following Beware the Cuckoo, is due out spring 2018.
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