Today I have an extract for you form the fabulous new novel by Tracy Buchanan My Sister's Secret. It looks to be very mysterious and intriguing and so I'm sure that this will whet your appetite! Here's the blurb and the cover, scroll down for the extract and buy details...
Everything you’ve built your life on is a lie
Willow’s memories of her parents are sun-drenched and full of smiles, love and laughter. But a mysterious invitation to a photographic exhibition exposes a secret that’s been buried since a tragic accident years ago.
Willow is forced to question everything she knew about Charity, her late mother, and Hope, the aunt she’s lived with since she was a child.
How was the enigmatic photographer connected to Willow’s parents? Why will Hope not break her silence?
Willow cannot move forward in her life without answers. But who can she really trust? Because no one has been telling the truth for a very long time.
‘Mrs Tate read a poem in class about a whole town that got flooded in Wales after I told her where Mum was going,’ Hope said.
‘You can still see the remains of its forests when the tide goes out.’
She flicked through her notepad then tapped her finger on a page.
‘Here it is.
its wake / The bells of Cantre’r Gwaelod / are silent ’neath the wave.”’
‘So these forests are a bit like Atlantis?’ Charity asked.
‘Kind of,’ Faith said. ‘But minus the buildings. And they’re not just beneath the sea. You can find them in lakes and rivers too. There’s one in Austria that only appears in the summer when the snow melts. The water floods the trees, and even a park bench. I found a book in the library about them, and drew a map of all theforests I could find in it.’
Faith pulled out what she’d been hiding behind her back and laid it on the towel. It was a large and rather beautiful drawing of the world map, tiny illustrated trees dotted in different locations. At the top, in Faith’s pretty looped handwriting, was: ‘World Tour of Submerged Forests.’
The three sisters bent over the map, hair trailing across it, dark, red and blonde. They traced their fingers over the trees then all peered up at one another.
Charity smiled. ‘This is so cool, Faith.’
Faith’s pretty face lit up. ‘Isn’t it? I can collect samples from the trees as we travel. I’ll be a marine biologist by then anyway.’ She looked at Hope. ‘And you can write poems about them.’ Hope nodded, grey eyes sparkling. ‘And Charity, you can—’
‘Sunbathe after each dive?’ Charity suggested.
The three girls laughed.
There was the sound of crunching pebbles. They all looked up to see their friend Niall approaching. The top half of his wetsuit was around his waist, exposing the tanned skin of his chest. His face was very tanned too, his blue eyes even more vivid as a result. He looked like he’d grown up in the weeks since they’d seen him last.
Faith supposed he wasn’t the annoying little boy they’d first met on this beach four years before. He was fifteen, after all, nearly a man. She noticed Charity staring shyly at him, her cheeks flushing. Clearly
Charity had noticed the change in Niall too. Hope on the other hand was oblivious, rolling her eyes as she always did when Niall appeared.
‘Come join us, Niall,’ Faith said, beckoning him over. ‘We’ve decided to do a world tour of submerged forests.’
Niall crouched down and looked at the map. ‘There’s a submerged forest off Busby’s coast, apparently.’
Hope looked at him cynically.
‘Seriously. A fisherman saw the branches of a tree during a storm.’
‘That’s hardly proof,’ Hope said.
‘But it’s something,’ Charity said, jumping up and shading her eyes as she looked out to sea. ‘I’d love to see it.’
Niall smiled at Charity. She bit her lip, looking away. Hope shot her a warning glance, but Faith smiled. It was nice, watching the way they were together. Niall was a good kid, despite his troubled background. It wasn’t his fault his parents drank too much and lived on the grim estate at the other end of Busby, was it?
He pulled a pencil from the small blue rucksack Faith always carried around with her and quickly drew a little tree over Busby-on- Sea on the map.
‘If we find it, it can be the first forest we visit,’ he said.
‘We?’ Hope replied.
‘Yeah, who else will teach you all to dive properly?’
The three sisters looked out to sea, the waves crashing and receding before them. Then Niall picked Charity up, throwing her over his shoulder and running into the sea with her as Faith laughed. The happy memory dissipated. A tear slid down Faith’s cheek.
She was so cold, so frightened. Her sisters would find her though. They’d see her bed was empty and they’d come looking for her. Then she’d tell them every littlething that had happened during the past few weeks and they’d figure it all out together, because that was what they always did.
No more secrets, she thought to herself.
She closed her eyes.
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