Ready to enjoy an amazing read this 2020? Take a look at this great book…
A Village Affair by Julie Houston
About The Book
Cassie Beresford has recently landed her dream job as deputy head teacher at her local, idyllic village primary school, Little Acorns.So, the last thing she needs is her husband of twenty years being ‘outed’ at a village charity auction–he has been having an affair with one of her closest friends.As if it weren’t enough to cope with, Cassie suddenly finds herself catapulted into the head teacher position, and at the front of a fight to ward off developers determined to concrete over the beautiful landscape.But through it all, the irresistible joy of her pupils, the reality of keeping her teenage children on the straight and narrow, her irrepressible family and friends, and the possibility of new love, mean what could have been the worst year ever, actually might be the best yet…
‘Mum, please don’t tell me you’re going like that.’
‘Which bit don’t you like?’ Paula turned to the ancient, tarnished mirror that had hung in the exact same position over the mantelpiece for as long as I could remember, baring her teeth in a rictus smile.
‘All of it, for heaven’s sake. That hat looks like something from Oxfam.’ I frowned, taking in my mother’s bizarre wedding ensemble, and wishing once again the wish that I’d had ever since my first day at infants’ school when I began to realise, with a five-year-old’s desire to be the same as everyone else, that my mother was somehow different from other mothers. Paula’s dreadlocked hair, pierced nose, flowing orange dress, and open sandals revealing grubby hennaed feet stood out starkly among the business suits, gym apparel, trendy jeans and snow-white shirts sported by my new class mates’ parents and Miss Palmer herself.
‘The hospice shop, actually,’ my mother smiled beatifically. ‘A bargain at £2.50 and I have the satisfaction of knowing that my purchase not only helps the planet by recycling someone else’s unwanted goods, but also puts some money into something other than the capitalist shop owner’s pocket.’
Oh God, did she ever give up?
‘I just think you could have made a bit more of an effort for your only niece’s wedding day.’
‘Effort? Effort? Do you know how many charity shops I had to trail round in order to come up with matching items that wouldn’t upset your auntie Linda’s strict wedding colour scheme?’
‘And you think what you’re wearing won’t annoy her?’ I glanced once more at Mum’s strange aubergine knitted dress, at the purple tights and offending purple floppy hat. ‘At least let me put your hair up and try out a couple of my lipsticks on you; as a family member, she won’t be able to hide you at the back out of the way, will she?’
‘No time for that,’ Mum said cheerfully. ‘The taxi with your nan and granddad will be here in a minute. I think we both look pretty good, although…’ she took an appraising look at the little peach-coloured dress and matching collarless jacket I’d spent too many Saturdays looking for, after being inspired by Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, and on which I’d spent far too much of my newly qualified teacher’s wage. ‘… I’ve a fabulous pair of dangly orange earrings that would liven up that outfit–give it a bit of colour…’
‘Are we ready for the off?’ My nan appeared at the open kitchen door, frowning up at the gathering dark clouds heading our way and tottering slightly on her new navy court shoes, bunions obviously giving her some gyp. ‘Come on, our Sandra, let’s be’aving you. Your granddad’s hoping he can have a quick one before the kick-off …’
I grinned, loving Nan for her words. ‘Letsby Avenue’ and ‘Our Sandra’– Nan had never been able to get used to my ‘right weird’ name of Cassandra Moonbeam – had been so often uttered over the years I reckoned they’d be engraved on her tombstone if she managed to avoid the willow casket and humanist service Mum had in mind for any of us popping our clogs before her.
Nan took my arm as we made our way down the garden steps to the beribboned wedding car waiting on the street. ‘What is your mother wearing this time?’ she tutted in a whisper. ‘Our Linda and our Davina won’t be happy. You’d have thought she’d have smartened herself up a bit, wouldn’t you? I mean, it’s not every day we have a right big do like this. Linda and Anthony have shelled out an absolute fortune for this wedding, you know. Mind you, Anthony can afford it…’
About The Author
Julie Houston is the author of The One Saving Grace, Goodness, Grace and Meand Looking for Lucy, a Kindle top 100 general bestsellerand a KindleNumber1 bestseller. She is married, with the two teenage children and a madecockerpoo and, like her heroine, livs in a West Yorkshire village. She is also ateacher and a magistrate.