Alice Baxter knows the best things in life are free. But the approach of her 40th wedding anniversary and 60th birthday surely warrants a proper celebration. With visions of a glorious family gathering complete with a marquee, champagne and sunshine, Alice has big plans for the big day. Her husband David isn't so enthused. He seems to have lost his lust for life since retiring from his job. And he's not the only one who isn't in the mood to celebrate. Each of Alice and David's four grown-up children has their own problems to contend with.
Florence has never forgiven Jane for the circumstances of her birth. She was an accident; the product of Jane's first and only one-night-stand, and Flo does not want to know how hard her teenage mother fought to keep her. When Flo's own, carefully planned, baby arrives, and her glossy, controlled world is turned upside down, for the first time in her life she turns to her mother for help.
Emily and Clemmie's lives changed forever when they took their great aunt's ashes to rest in a strange and exotic land. Clemmie stayed behind to begin a new life in the Mali desert, but now Emily fears for her cousin's safety. Returning to Africa with her new husband and two friends, she is determined to find out why Clemmie seems so desperately to need her help. Divinity is travelling to Mali to satisfy her curiosity about the land her father came from, and to source new materials for her design company. She doesn't expect the chaos and adventure she finds - nor the danger that seems to grow as her little group begin to make its way....
Maeve Delaney has learnt to attack life with a vengeance, restlessly seeking diversions and thinking up escapades that leave her conventional friends reeling. Now, as carer and companion to Lady Pamela, she gives new life to all at Charlton.
When Harriet meets Robert, she is attracted by the easy confidence of the handsome, married older man. When their affair begins, Harriet finds it amusing - she is convinced she will enjoy a lustful relationship with no commitments.
When Jodie Fook goes missing from a sleepy Dorset village, the repercussions that reverberate through the small community are as far-reaching as they are devastating. Will she turn up safe and sound - or will she be one of the unlucky ones?
"That Summer Affair"
When Emily arrives at the church for her Great Aunt Mary's funeral, she has no idea that her life is about to change completely. Still grieving for her broken relationship with Ted, she sobs her heart out in the church.
A couple of books bought from a jumble sale with the name Johnnie Bearsden in the front is all it takes for rumours to begin swirling again: Rumours about little Izzy Haddon, whose mother has kept the identity of her daughter's father a secret.
Kate and Josh Hutchins have lived on Dancing Hill Farm in Dorset for thirty years. Here they have brought up three children, expected to grow old, and imagined they would pass the farm on to one of their boys, like generations of family before them. But things have not gone to plan and Kate is restless. Longing for some time to herself, dreaming of what she might have achieved had she not married so young.
"silly story going nowhere"