Read Something in Common Online

Authors: Roisin Meaney

Tags: #FIC044000

Something in Common

BOOK: Something in Common
12.1Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
Praise for Roisin Meaney

‘Repeatedly and deservedly likened to Maeve Binchy, she is a master of her craft and a gifted storyteller’
Irish Independent

‘Like chatting with a friend over a cup of tea … this touching and intricate story will give back as much as you put in’

Irish Mail on Sunday

‘Warm and engaging’
Woman’s Way

‘Meaney weaves wonderful, feel-good tales of a consistently high standard. And that standard rises with each book she writes’

Irish Examiner

‘Highly engaging and heart-warming’
Melissa Hill

‘If you like Maeve Binchy, this will be a treat’
Stellar magazine

R
oisin Meaney was born in Listowel, Co. Kerry. She has lived in England (where she worked as an advertising copywriter), Africa (where she taught High School English), and the USA (where she worked as a waitress). She also spent time teaching at a primary school in Ireland. She is the author of Top Five bestsellers
One Summer, Love in the Making, The Last Week of May
, and
The People Next Door. Something in Common
is her ninth novel. Roisin currently shares her home in Limerick city with an extremely picky cat, and tries to balance her chocolate habit with Pilates and juicing.

www.roisinmeaney.com

@roisinmeaney

www.facebook.com/roisinmeaney

Also by Roisin Meaney:

One Summer

The Things We Do For Love

Love in the Making

Half Seven on a Thursday

The People Next Door

The Last Week of May

Putting Out The Stars

The Daisy Picker

Children’s Books

Don’t Even Think About It

See If I Care

First published in 2013 by Hachette Books Ireland

Copyright © Roisin Meaney 2013

The right of Roisin Meaney to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

All characters in this publication, other than those clearly in the public domain, are fictitious. All events and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to real life or real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

A CIP catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library

ISBN 978 1444 743 555

Hachette Books Ireland

8 Castlecourt Centre

Castleknock

Dublin 15, Ireland

A division of Hachette UK Ltd.

338 Euston Road

London NW1 3BH

For Treas, for her unstinting support

Acknowledgements

T
hanks to my editor Ciara Doorley, invaluable for the feedback and suggestions, and to the entire hardworking and friendly crew at Hachette Books Ireland. Long may you prosper.

Thanks to Hazel my copy editor for her wonderfully thorough work, and to Aonghus my proofreader for the final checks.

Thanks to Maura, my mother’s late penfriend: their relationship was the inspiration for this book.

Thanks to the internet, which proved very useful in so many ways.

Thanks to my family for their unwavering faith in my abilities.

Thanks to you for doing me the honour of choosing this book: I sincerely hope you enjoy it.

Roisin x

www.roisinmeaney.com

O
ur lives are written by other people. Some
are with us from the start: parents, siblings, first friends, each adding a chapter to our stories as the years go by. Others find us later – teachers, work colleagues, romantic partners, new friends – and these more mature relationships bring further twists to our plots, at times leading us down paths we might not otherwise have chosen, turning new pages and ushering us along.

Of course, many more whose orbits briefly intersect ours leave little or no legacy. The gruff sweet-shop owner who relieves us of our pocket money each Friday, the smiling dentist who subsequently drills and fills our childhood teeth, the librarian who silently stamps our fortnightly teenage borrowings, the boy with the woolly hat pulled over his ginger hair who pushes the newspaper through our first very own letterbox every morning for a year – these minor characters leave us largely unaltered, and are quickly forgotten.

And then occasionally there are others, not looked-for, not anticipated. They are the ones presented to us almost as an afterthought, whose paths cross ours in unexpected ways, and who are destined, whether we like it or not, to change us profoundly.

This is the story of such a relationship. It is the story of the unlikeliest of friendships and its effect on the two women involved, from its traumatic beginning to its most unforeseen end.

This is the story of Helen and Sarah.

Contents

Praise for Roisin Meaney

Also by Roisin Meaney:

Title Page

Copyright

Acknowledgements

1975

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

1976

Helen

Sarah

Helen

1978

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

1983

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

1987

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

1990

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

1991

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

1992

Sarah

1995

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

1998

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helen

Sarah

Helan

Helen and Sarah

1975
Sarah

I
f it hadn’t
been
for
the
scarf she’d have kept going. She’d noticed the maroon Beetle, of course, as soon as she’d turned onto the bridge – impossible to miss it, so carelessly positioned, front wheels skewed, bonnet poking right out, as if it had been flung there in a temper rather than deliberately parked – but with her mind still picking its way through the interview, the image of the car did little more than skitter across the edges of her vision, gone the minute she’d pedalled past it.

What had they thought of her, the three people who’d just spent forty-five minutes picking their way through her background? She had no idea. There’d been no frowns, no indication of dissatisfaction at anything she’d said, but she’d seen no sign that they’d approved of her either, as they’d scribbled God knows what into their identical navy hard-backed notebooks.

At least she was female, and everyone knew that women made better cooks. But maybe they’d been hoping for someone a bit older than twenty-four, someone with a bit more experience: all she’d done since her Leaving Cert was work, with varying degrees of responsibility, in the kitchen of her uncle’s small country hotel.

Not that she hadn’t been grateful to Uncle John for taking her in – with her mediocre Leaving Cert there hadn’t been a lot of choice. Jobs were scarce, and a lot of businesses preferred to employ a man, who wouldn’t leave the minute he got married, or became a parent. Small wonder so many of her friends had emigrated the minute they’d left school, or found husbands as soon as they could.

But emigration hadn’t
appealed to Sarah, and no man had offered to marry her, so she’d made the most of her time in the hotel. She’d watched others and learnt from them, and she’d devoured cookery books in her spare time. She understood food, she respected it – and she felt she was ready for bigger things. She liked the idea of being head cook, even if it was only in a smallish County Kildare nursing home, forty-odd miles from Dublin. It was a perfectly respectable job, and she’d be doing pretty well to get it.

Christine didn’t agree.

‘Why you want to work in St Sebastian’s is beyond me,’ she’d said, drawing her kohl pen in a slow black arc beneath her left eye.

‘What’s wrong with it?’ They’d grown up three miles from the nursing home; it was down the road from their old primary school.

‘Nothing as such – well, I presume it’s decent enough, as nursing homes go – but, honestly, who are you going to meet there under seventy-five? What hope have you got of finding anyone if you’re stuck in some kitchen surrounded by old-age pensioners?’

‘I’m not looking for a job just to find a husband,’ Sarah had protested. ‘I can meet men socially.’

But her sister’s words had struck a nerve. Impossible, unbearable scenario, never to walk down the aisle on someone’s arm, never to become a wife and a mother – and it was a fact that a lot of women met their future husbands in the workplace. What hope did Sarah have of finding anyone in a nursing home?

It had been so easy for Christine, paired up with Brian since their early teens, engaged to him now at twenty-three, getting married the year after next. All set to give up her part-time job in the library whenever the first baby was on the way. Ready to be supported by her husband as she cooked his dinners and ironed his shirts for the rest of her life.

And look
at Sarah, a year older and currently unattached, and still living at home. Still sleeping in the single bed she’d had since childhood, her Beatles and Dickie Rock and Joe Dolan posters covering the flowery wallpaper her mother had chosen. And two of Sarah’s friends were already mothers themselves: Goretti Tobin had two little boys and Avril Delaney had had a baby girl just after Christmas. Where was the man Sarah was destined – must be destined – to marry?

But she had to work, and she loved working with food, which was why she’d answered the St Sebastian’s ad. If she got the job she’d take it, whatever about Christine’s reservations, and hope for the best.

BOOK: Something in Common
12.1Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

La rebelión de las masas by José Ortega y Gasset
The Up and Comer by Howard Roughan
Hiding Jessica by Alicia Scott
Between Two Worlds by Zainab Salbi
Billionaire Menage by Jenny Jeans
The Map of All Things by Kevin J. Anderson, Kevin J. Anderson
Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson
Saturday's Child by Ruth Hamilton