Shades of Appley Green by Miriam Wakerly
Once revered as the landed gentry, the Devonish family and their patronage to the village of Appley Green go back many generations. Within recent living memory, the very approachable Ted Devonish was well known as the local landowner and farmer, wealthy but generous to a fault. He recognised some of the changes that had taken place in the village during his lifetime, not all good, and decided to leave a sustainable legacy that might do something to help.
He had a philanthropic vision and, before his sudden tragic death, identified a spiky, capable young woman as the right person to make it happen, initially for Appley Green.
Steph Perriman always remembered how he singled her out and put his trust in her. She would never let him down …
Publication Date: 01.03.2012 Launch Waterstone’s Camberley by invitation 7 March.
Publisher: Strongman Publishing
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Already available on all Amazon sites as Kindle ebook from 01.01.2012
Miriam Wakerly’s first two novels, Gypsies Stop tHere (2008) and No Gypsies Served (2010) with a theme that is clear from the titles, are set in the fictitious village of Appley Green. ‘Readers said they liked this place and really enjoyed the storytelling’ so I decided to show another side of Appley Green in a new series of village novels that begins with Shades of Appley Green.
‘Steph is a special, but troubled young woman. Chosen by the most venerated man in Appley Green to fulfil his mission, she feels publicly admired rather than privately loved. She certainly does not trust men!
In helping a once famous, elderly architect with Parkinson’s regain a social life, she finds herself taking personal risks, fending off objections, blind to danger. We wait for the moment when it dawns on Steph what is driving her deep-seated obsession; for only then can she find the happiness she deserves.
Appley Green is a charming English village. Everyone says so. But people are still people. With the emotional turmoil that comes with love, birth and death, a close-knit community can harbour betrayal and guilt, as well as joy and laughter.’
Excerpt – first page of novel:
Every year since her daughter was five years old, Steph had read aloud to her a special page from her old Diary. Even long after Faith was perfectly able to do this for herself, it had become something of a tradition, a birthday ritual. It was to remind her who she was, who her real father was.
As she was about to leave for school, Faith casually remarked, “So, tomorrow I’ll be able to read the rest of the Diary – at last.”
“You always said – when I’m grown-up I can see the whole thing. Until then I wouldn’t understand …”
Steph blinked. Sixteen! Is she an adult?
“Oh … When you’re eighteen, I meant, or twenty-one.”
“That’s just mean!”
“I’ll have to read it through to see what I wrote. You know, it’s…” She struggled to find the words. This had taken Steph by surprise, much to the amusement of her teenager, who went off to school, swinging her bag, clearly thinking she had also swung the argument.
Steph knew she must park this domestic issue somewhere in her overcrowded head until her working day was over.
For today, she was going to see Jackson, her favourite elderly ‘client’, as Special Support for Seniors, or SSS, called them. This was not going to be an easy ride – for she must sit down with Jackson to broach the dreaded subject of residential care …