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Villa of Sun and Secrets by Jennifer Bohnet

Villa of Sun and Secrets by Jennifer Bohnet

Author:Jennifer Bohnet [Bohnet, Jennifer]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781838892197
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Published: 2019-08-07T16:00:00+00:00


23

‘I think I’ll make a cup of tea. You two want one?’ Carla said, looking at Maddy and Sam. A brief nod from both of them and she stood up and made her way to the kitchen. Shock had kept the three of them sitting in silence on the terrace when an agitated Josette had stood up saying, ‘I’m sorry. I think I’d better go. Thank you for today.’ Gordon had quietly said his goodbyes, taken her by the hand and left with her.

Carla had never felt less like tea, but she had to do something grounding to reassure herself she had a normal life when it felt like her whole world had fallen apart. Maddy too, she could tell, was struggling to take in the enormity of what she’d been told.

The day had been going so well until Josette had decided her birthday tea was the right time to break the silence of the past. Why had she done it today? The ramifications of admitting her true status in the family would taint her birthday for evermore.

Joel walked into the kitchen as she lifted the kettle to pour the boiling water and Carla glanced at him.

‘You’re looking serious.’

Joel hesitated. ‘I was about to join you on the terrace when Josette dropped her little bombshell. I’m sorry, I couldn’t help overhearing.’

‘Not sure that “little bombshell” is the right description. More akin to a nuclear explosion,’ Carla said, sighing. ‘We’re being very British and having a cup of tea. Want to join us? There’s cake as well.’ Carla placed four mugs, plates, knife, milk and sugar on a tray as she sensed Joel’s reluctance to intrude. ‘Please do join us,’ she said quietly as Joel hesitated. ‘I’d really appreciate it. We can pretend then it’s still a normal Saturday afternoon down on the Riviera.’

Joel took the tray from her and carried it out to the terrace table. The sparkler had burnt itself out and somebody had removed it from the cake and placed it to one side.

Carefully, Carla cut four slices and handed them round, praying as she did so that somebody would say something and break the awkward silence that hung in the air. When nobody did, she gave a strangled laugh and said. ‘Well, at least you’ve been spared my out of tune rendition of “Happy Birthday”, so that’s something to be thankful for.’

‘Mum, do you believe Josette?’ Maddy asked quietly. ‘It seems such a big lie to have been covered up for half a century.’

Carla sighed and nodded. ‘Well, we’ve always known there had to be some big reason for the feud for it to last so long, and Mum, sorry Amelia, would never talk to or about Josette, so yes, I do believe her.’

‘I suppose, too, once your grandparents had died there was no one else to talk to about it,’ Sam said thoughtfully.

‘There was always me! But none of them seemed to have ever considered it important enough for me or my family to know the truth,’ Carla said.



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