Not yet published (Chicken House) – October 2016 –

Its just after the first World War. Henry (Henrietta) is living at home with her family.  All is not well. Henry’s mother is ill, and the doctor comes regularly, but she doesn’t seem to improve. ‘Piglet’ – the baby, is unsettled and cross, and Nanny Jane just has too much to do to spend much time with Henry. Her father is far away, working abroad and her brother, Robert…though encouraging, seems ephemeral…

The house is set in the shadows of a wood, in which periodically Henry has spotted the flame from a bonfire, glinting between the tree trunks. There is the smell of wood smoke in the air. Henry sinks into a time of reading, of stories, exploring the house, and an old attic, and watching the coming and going of the doctor and his wife.

There is mention of a place called Helldon, as Henry’s mother becomes less and less aware. Henry is unsure about what Helldon is, or why the idea of her mother going there bothers her. She just knows its not something she wants to happen.

This is an atmospheric story of families, secrets and friendship.

The proof I read was illustrated with simple line drawings – beautifully done – as chapter headings, which reflect the content of the story. It is a story to read in the evenings, preferably in front of an open fire…