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.
At the beginning of the last century, that three women determine on making their own way at a time when to be independent was to risk social ostracism, or even tragedy, is partly due to the influence each comes to have on the others’ lives. The love knots that they face in their relationships finally unravel, but not before hearts have been broken, and scandals risked.
This tells the often hilarious story of two middle-aged women, Pat and Sam, intent on fleeing hearth and home for a blissful, family-free fortnight of drawing and cooking classes – only to end up at leaky old Hartley House. There, the ever-resourceful Aunt Biddy is struggling to get her nephew Tom’s life back on track by opening his only asset as an idyllic country retreat.
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 Eden Park is a surprise, not least to them.
"An amazing book everyone should read."
As children, George Dashwood and Amelia Dennison were friends, just as their two very different families were. But in 1914, the now mature George realises the way he feels about Amelia has changed, and the declaration of war cuts across any romantic plans that the two might have. But when, miraculously, George returns safely from the front after four years, Amelia finds that the boy she loved has gone…
Portia and Emily meet to launch their daughters on an unsuspecting society for the London Season of 1913. Both are determined that their offspring will catch the eye of their friend May's son, a future duke.
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....
"Charlotte Bingham's best"
Hope Merriott has always thought of herself as truly blessed; her three daughters bring her much joy. But when Hope’s fourth daughter arrives, her birth coincides with the failure of her husband Alexander’s newest business venture. And although Alexander’s Great Aunt Rosabel offers to solve the family’s financial worries by gifting Alexander her large, elegant house in Wiltshire, Hope is full of seemingly unreasonable foreboding...
Twistleton is a village untouched by time. 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.
Before the Second World War breaks out, Chevrons, the idyllic country house where the Garlands have lived for centuries, has already been touched by events in Europe. To the horror of her family, Katherine, the eldest daughter, has run off to join the Nazis. On the outbreak of war, Caro, her younger sister, her friend Robyn, and the maids, Trixie and Betty, leave Chevrons to help the war effort, and the old house is left to be managed by men too old to fight.
When famous artist Napier Todd stumbles across Edith Hanson scrubbing floors, he is immediately struck by her beauty. Within weeks Napier and Edith are married, and she moves into his large country house. However, the marriage is troubled from the start, and Edith falls ill. Napier takes her to the idyllic Cornish fishing village of Newbourne to convalesce, and there Edith meets Celandine, a struggling artist, and her husband, Sheridan, another painter.
When Alexandra Stamford goes to stay with her Millington cousins at Knighton Hall, she knows nothing about the handsome stable lad Tom O'Brien. But are Alexandra and Tom really destined to be together?
1941. England is at its lowest ebb. At Eden Park, where Poppy, Kate, Lily, Marjorie, and her adopted brother Billy are part of the espionage unit, the authorities have discovered there is a double agent operating in their midst. Lily volunteers to be dropped into France, only to discover that her partner is Scott, Poppy's fiance.
"Just love the style"
Emmaline has always understood from her mother that, as the eldest of four daughters, she must marry. But it seems that no proposals are going to come her way. Until, at a crowded ball, Julius makes his way to her side and waltzes her off. The next morning he makes it plain that he wants to marry her, and will marry her no matter what. So Emmaline finds herself travelling to England from America to join her husband-to-be, her hopes as high as they have ever been.
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. Sunny herself remains unconvinced.
"Really engaging, but disappointing ending"
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. Against everyone's advice, Florence enlists friends and neighbours to help restore Edward's missing memories. But can they discover who he might be?
When Kitty is invited to stay with her friend Partita at Bauders Castle, her mother sees it as an undreamed-of opportunity for her daughter to escape from the dark presence of her notorious father.