Alice has a scrupulously organised, comfortable life in West London with Noel - her second husband whose main ambition in life is to sharpen his golf handicap in time for retirement. But when her mother Jocelyn, residing in shabby splendour in a crumbling house on a clifftop in Cornwall, becomes ill, Alice and the family goes to look after her.
What she finds there appals her: her glorious childhood home falling into decay. Noel, helpfully, thinks Jocelyn should offload the house ('She's sitting on a goldmine, you know') and move into sensible sheltered accommodation. But their children love the freedom and beauty that they discover in Cornwall, and Alice begins to wonder whether her chosen way of life is necessarily the right one . . .
Readers love Judy Astley:
"Warm, funny and unerringly true to life" Katie Fforde
"A laugh out loud read" Woman's Own
"Wickedly funny" Daily Mail
"A lively laughter-packed riot of a story" Heat
But Lizzy hadn't counted on Ellie's boyfriend coming along for the ride. Steve is a convicted juvenile criminal and, more importantly for Lizzy, his colours are bad. For as long as she can remember, Lizzy had seen bands of colour around people. Some were good, some not so; Steve's colours were almost black. And, as Lizzy predicts, the journey does not lead to happiness . . .
Now a mother herself, Lizzy writes of her past to her own daughter, patching together her curious upbringing afresh: a brave and heart-warming process, revealing the secrets and mysteries at the core of her life.
A stirring, ultimately uplifting novel of love, loyalty and survival.
All their lives, Alice Stanhope and her daughter, Zoe, have been a family of two, living quietly in Northern California. Zoe has always struggled with crippling social anxiety and her mother has been her constant and fierce protector. With no family to speak of, and the identity of Zoe’s father shrouded in mystery, their team of two works—until it doesn’t. Until Alice gets sick and needs to fight for her life.
Desperate to find stability for Zoe, Alice reaches out to two women who are practically strangers but who are her only hope: Kate, a nurse, and Sonja, a social worker. As the four of them come together, a chain of events is set into motion and all four of them must confront their sharpest fears and secrets—secrets about abandonment, abuse, estrangement, and the deepest longing for family. Imbued with heart and humor in even the most dismal moments, The Mother’s Promise is an unforgettable novel about the unbreakable bonds between mothers and daughters and the new ways in which families are forged.
Sally Hepworth novels are "sure to appeal to fans of Jojo Moyes, Jodi Picoult, and Lisa Genova; book clubs will be lining up." —Library Journal (starred review)