By Dorothy M. Mitchell
Key Themes: fiction, relationships, mystery, mental health
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Ben Bristow is married to Jess. They have two children, Alice and Jack, and they live in a small village in the Cotswolds. Ben is left an inheritance by an uncle, a rambling old House called Willerby Grange, situated on the East Yorkshire coast. The house dates back to the year 1570 and is steeped in a chequered history. It is full of intrigue and mystery, strange noises and even stranger discoveries. This book will fascinate the reader from the first page to the last. Read and enjoy.
About the Author
Dorothy was born in a small village in Yorkshire just before the Second World War. She remembers ration books, her mum swapping coupons with other mums; one might need extra clothing coupons and another butter or meat coupons. Dorothy also remembers being in their garden air raid shelter as enemy bombs rained down over nearby towns and cities mostly at night; very frightening. Dorothy was only six years old, so memories are rather hazy. Her dad was in the Home Guard, or Dads' Army, as you may know it being called. She also thinks back to that time as being very hard. One memory she recalls vividly and that was sweet shops without any sweets! You could get sherbet and your weekly ration of sweets or chocolate; this added up to about two ounces a week. Not much by today’s standards. Dorothy remembers the shelf where her mum kept the sweets, well out of reach of little fingers.
Dorothy moved to Evesham in 1954 with her mum and dad and her younger brother and sister. Her dad had a job as Steward of the local Working men's club.
She married a local lad when she was eighteen. Her first son Andrew was born when she was twenty-one, her second son David when Dorothy was twenty-seven.
Dorothy was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of thirty-seven. She has suffered many painful relapses and seen the inside of many hospitals.
She was widowed at the age of fifty-three. Her life at that time was at a low ebb.
Eighteen months after her husband died she was invited to go to the local Pentecostal Church. Her thought at the time was, why not? I can’t feel any worse than I do right now. Well to cut a long story short, Dorothy met, at the church, the man who was to become her second husband. Ken had been widowed about a year before Dorothy.
That was almost eighteen years ago.
Dorothy found she had a flare for writing, and to her joy CHIPMUNKA publishers picked her up. She has much to thank them for; they have to date published two of her novels and are at the moment working on her third. Dorothy would like to thank her sons Andrew and David, and Ken her husband, for all their help and support. Dorothy would also like to thank her good friend and fellow writer Martin P Buckley for his help.
Dorothy says all these must have the patience of saints.
“But dad, I don’t want to live in Yorkshire! We belong here. Jack won’t want to go either.”
Ben Bristow looked at his daughter. “You don’t know what you’re saying, Alice. You’ll love Yorkshire.”
“But I won’t, dad! I’m not going!” Alice stood petulant, arms crossed in front of her, that stubborn look on her face. She was ten years old, a young ten. “What about school? I’ve just been picked for the netball team. All my friends are here. It’s not fair. Who wants to go to rotten Yorkshire? It’s a dump.”
“Now then, that’s enough.” Ben was fed up of listening to all the negative reasons why they shouldn’t move north. Alice was used to getting her own way. He knew it was the fault of Jess and himself. They had indulged their children far too much. Alice had been a sickly child, born premature, in and out of hospital for the first three years of her life. This was where the spoiling started: Alice because she was poorly, Jack, because Ben and Jess felt they didn’t want him to feel left out.
Jack was a quiet eight year old boy, who loved to read and play with Montgomery his dog, a soppy collie cross, given to him for his sixth birthday. Montgomery and Jack were almost inseparable. Jess came into the kitchen.
“I could hear all the commotion from upstairs,” she said, and looked at Ben and Alice. Her husband and daughter were usually the best of friends, but since the proposed move to Yorkshire, Alice seemed to be blaming her dad for disrupting her life so much. To be honest, Jess herself wasn’t feeling all that happy. Since Ben had been left that inheritance, life for them had been turned upside down.
A letter had arrived from a solicitor in East Yorkshire about two weeks before asking Ben to get in touch regarding the death of an old uncle, by the name of Reuben Bristow. It seemed that Reuben was an eccentric who never married and his brother James and he had fallen out many years ago and completely lost touch with each other.
James was Ben’s father, and although Ben knew of a skeleton in the family cupboard he didn’t know what it was, because his father would never speak of it. He had taken the secret to his grave. So Ben had grown up with the knowledge that something had caused his father a great deal of anguish. This was reflected often in the pain he could witness in the sad eyes of his dad.
Ben had loved his father, and although he would always have fond memories of growing up with a good mum and dad, there was just a blank. Something bad had happened in the family and he really needed to know about it.
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 27 July, 2011.