It's a very exciting extract and Leah even explained why she chose this particular snippet for you guys today, so I shall hand over to her...
I chose this letter because it sums up the quest of the story and introduces the idea of family secrets for Melissa.
Sorry to spring all this on you but I wondered if you were up to solving the mystery I never got round to sorting in my life. Funny how it never seemed important to go searching for my past but now I’ve run out of time I feel I owe you an explanation…
I ‘ve had this postcard for years. Found it when I was clearing out old Grandma Boyd’s effects. It was stuffed in with Pa’s love letters. She’d kept it for a reason and when I saw the picture and the name, I just knew it was something to do with me. Don’t ask me why, I got a tingle of something, a fuzzy memory that just wouldn’t surface but when I asked Pa, he just laughed and offered to chuck it out. He said she liked the picture. It reminded her of England before the First World war. I knew he was telling fibs so I kept the postcard,
I don’t recall much how I came to be in Australia but I know I wasn’t born here. My memories are liked broken shards of glass, fragments, flashes of colours in a kaleidoscope. I recall the taste of metal on a ship’s railings, flaking grey paint, salt spray on my cheeks; these are flashes that come to me in dreams. Some bits are like lead, heavy and dark. It’s as if I am peering through a hole in a huge wall through to a green garden full of flowers. I’m not one for flowery lingo as you know, don’t know one plant from another but I know the smell of roses anywhere.
I saw a shrink once in the Rehab clinic who thought a bit of hypnotism might help my recall but I didn’t fancy that. Who knows what can of worms it might open up? I know I was a bit of a shit to you both , a closed book at times with my binges and black moods,, not fit to be a parent. I never deserved the love your mother gave me. I let her down every time but deep inside I sense a waste of potential in me. I could have been a better husband and father. I’m not making excuses but there are memories and bits of my life, I’ve worked hard to blot out. Perhaps if I could have faced up, I might have made you proud of me not ashamed. The Boyds were kind folk but not ones to lavish the praise and affection I craved. It was your Mum who opened my heart to such possibilities but I let her down big time. I wish things could have been different for all of us…
I’ve often wondered where that voice of yours came from. Your mother, bless her heart was tone deaf but I did once warble in tune, I think, so someone passed it down the line and I’d like you to find who. I’m handing on the baton to you. You have a right to know what made me the way I am, warts and all.
I know once you get your claws into a job you see it through but don’t let it interfere with your future. I just hope you are curious. The answers will be out there somewhere. Who the hell brought me out here and why? I wish I could recall things better but there’s a Berlin wall between me and my past. One day you’ll have kids of your own and they ought to have a proper history to blame for their failings. If anyone can piece this jigsaw puzzle together you can, so go find it, girl, no matter what and try to forgive the apology that was Lew Boyd,
Thanks so much to Leah for that extract and don't forget to order your copy of The Postcard to read more from this fabulous book! http://amzn.to/1taUU0Z