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Authors: Rosie Rushton

Summer of Secrets

BOOK: Summer of Secrets
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Rosie Rushton
lives in Northampton. She is a governor of the local Church of England secondary school, a licensed lay minister and passionate about all issues relating
to young people. Her hobbies include learning Swahili, travelling, going to the theatre, reading, walking, being juvenile with her grandchildren and playing hopscotch when no one is looking. Her
ambitions are to write the novel that has been pounding in her brain for years but never quite made it to the keyboard, to visit China, learn to sing in tune, and do anything else God has in mind
for her, with a broad grin and a spring in her step. Her many books for Piccadilly Press include
Tell Me I’m OK, Really; Friends, Enemies and Other Tiny Problems; Secrets of Love
and
several series including
Best Friends
;
The Leehampton Quartet
and
What a Week
.

 

 

First published in Great Britain in 2007
by Piccadilly Press Ltd,
5 Castle Road, London NW1 8PR
www.piccadillypress.co.uk

Text © copyright Rosie Rushton, 2007

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 electronic, mechanical,
photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

The right of Rosie Rushton to be identified as Author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978 1 85340 907 3 (paperback)

5 7 9 10 8 6 4

Printed in the UK by CPI Bookmarque, Croydon, CR0 4TD
Cover illustration by Susan Hellard
Cover design by Fielding Design
Text design by Carolyn Griffiths, Cambridge
Set in Goudy and Caslon

 
CONTENTS

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

 

This book is dedicated to Colin and Mary Wake, who apart from being as enthusiastic about the writings of Jane Austen as I am, have walked the walk with me over many years
and to whom I am very deeply indebted.

My thanks to Kate Little for her invaluable help on the flora and fauna of Liguria – not to mention her snippets of local colour!

To Unity College students Jack, Paige, Louise, Joseph, Jenna and Darryl, for their valued input and to Joan Mackness for making it happen.

To my fantastic editor, Ruth Williams, for always hitting just the right note.

And to all those wonderful SAS members (Scattered Authors Society, not Special Air Services!) who cheered me, encouraged me, put up with my whinging and generally shared their
amazing pool of talent with me. Thank you.

 
  CHAPTER 1  

‘No one would have supposed her born to be a heroine . . .’

(Jane Austen,
Northanger Abbey
)

‘S
O CAN
I? C
AN
I
COME OVER TO YOUR PLACE ON
S
ATURDAY
?’ Izzy Thorpe
pranced over to Caitlin, who was sprawled on one of the beanbags in the Day Den and gazed down at her with sea-green eyes as wistful as if she’d been some poor, homeless kid longing for a bed
for the night, instead of the daughter of a cabinet minister and a woman whose knitwear designs were sought after by the glitterati of the world.

‘To my place?’ Caitlin asked, looking up reluctantly from her new copy of
Goss
magazine and raising her voice above the babble of Year Eleven students crashing in for morning
break. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to spend time with Izzy – in fact, she couldn’t wait to build on this new friendship. It was just that she’d rather do it
anywhere other than in her own home. She had spent the past three weeks trying to create the right image here at Mulberry Court and she wasn’t about to blow it now.

Getting the Hector Oliver Art Scholarship was just the start, she knew it was: the gateway to the sort of life she had always known she was destined to lead. In the three weeks she’d been
on the induction programme for the following term’s Sixth Form intake, she’d realised that to make friends with these guys would be her passport to better things.

‘Caitlin!’ Izzy prodded her in the ribs impatiently. ‘So is it a deal? I can’t wait to meet your family!’

‘Why?’ Caitlin thought it was a perfectly reasonable question, given the nature of her nearest and dearest.

‘Why
?’ echoed Summer Tilney, brushing past her and grabbing a paper cup from the stack by the water cooler. ‘Use your head. She’s been gagging to get to your place
for days.’

Caitlin sighed inwardly and tossed her magazine to one side, resigned to having to wait to discover the identity of the secret love of reality-show star Lisa Loretta. Clearly, Izzy had no idea
what it was like to share a ramshackle house with four brothers and sisters, two dogs, a variety of cats, gerbils, mice and chickens and a couple of parents who had clearly been absent when
anything approaching style or finesse was being handed out. Her father earned shed loads of money, she was sure of that; but he was so busy saving for what he called a ‘rainy day’ that
none of it got spent on anything remotely relevant to an upmarket lifestyle.

Compared with everyone else she’d met at MC, her life was without doubt the most boring and unsophisticated. Summer, who played three instruments and sang like an angel, was the daughter
of the marmalade magnate, Sir Magnus Tilney; Isabella’s dad was an MP and he and her mum were in and out of the news on a monthly basis; and Bianca Joseph’s mum was an ageing rock diva
with her own Lear jet and houses in three continents. Even the kids whose parents weren’t so high profile seemed to live fascinating lives in which every weekend was spent sussing out the
latest clubs or dashing between divorced parents and ripping off both sides for new clothes and the latest MP3 players.

Which made it all the more unfair that someone like her – someone with passion and sensitivity and a deep connectedness to the finer things of life – should be afflicted with a
family who could win Oscars for dullness. Sometimes she wondered whether her mother, who was, after all, absent-minded at the best of times, had picked the wrong baby from the maternity ward and
that in reality, Caitlin was from a family oozing with class and eccentricity and a total dedication to the pursuit of glamour and excitement.

Caitlin, much as she adored her parents, had to admit that they were not big on excitement. Her father was the sort of man who in the olden days would have been called ‘worthy’.
Edward Morland, in addition to being senior partner in the highly-respected law firm of Morland, Croft and Isingworth, sat on numerous charitable committees, campaigned in favour of traffic calming
in the high street and against litter universally, drove old ladies to church (often when they didn’t even want to go) and, on the rare occasions when he did something for himself, played
chess. Not just on the infrequent evening when there was nothing worth watching on TV, but for the local club and even for something called Chess42morrow, which sounded trendy but actually was all
about teaching innocent little kids to learn the game and grow up to be as boring as he was.

As for her mother, Lynne Morland was the original earth-mother type: having finally given up reproducing after the unexpected arrival of child number five, she spent her time baking bread,
growing organic vegetables in their garden in Ditchcombe (runner up in the Prettiest Village in Sussex competition for three years running), masterminding the local flower show and avoiding any
activity that could possibly drag her into the twenty-first century. Caitlin loved her to bits, but there was no way she was about to parade her and her unfortunate dress sense in front of her new
friends – especially when those friends had parents who knew how to live life to the full.

‘Caitlin!’ Izzy prodded her in the ribs. ‘You’re daydreaming again. So I’m coming, right? I so want to sort out my party and we could do it together at
yours.’

BOOK: Summer of Secrets
11.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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