A Journey of Hope

Today, on the blog I have a treat for you. An exclusvie extract from the newe novel, The Last Letter from Paris by Kate Eastham. Enjoy, and I hope it tempts you into reading it! P R O L O G U E  MONTAUK, LONG ISLAND, JULY 1933 Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild With a faery, hand in hand, For the world’s more full of Weeping than you can understand. W.B. Yeats 
A foundling. It sounds romantic, something from a fairy tale or perhaps just plain accidental, stumbled upon by chance. I was left in the long grass on the shores of Southampton Water in the summer of 1917, a year before the end of the war. A foundling during wartime, all very dramatic. As soon as I was old enough to be aware, my adoptive mother, not wanting a secret to act like grit in a wound that would be hard to heal anyway, told the story of my finding. Easy for her, she was the one who witnessed it as she stood leaning on the rail of a small pier. She was tantalisingly close to the woman with dark red hair – exactly like mine – who left me next to the gently lapping salt waters.  
  I’ve never found out why I was abandoned, left to wonder if my birth mother was desperate, terrified, or merely too poor to take care of me, especially since I needed an urgent surgical repair of the harelip that I’d had the fortune to be born with. My special mark, as my adoptive mother, Evie, calls it, tracing it gently with her fingertip. It’s a fine silver line but it pulls my top lip slightly out of shape. Now, in my teenage years, I see the scar as a huge, deforming mark which I cover with my fingers every time I stand in front of a mirror – which is often. Gone are the days when the other kids in class would ask about it then grab my hand and pull me into a game of hide and seek. Now some of my peers narrow their eyes, look closer, make derogatory noises or offer sympathy. ‘You won’t get a boyfriend with a scar like that,’ Justine Murray said the other week. I had to bite back a response of, ‘Neither will you, with your ugly mug.’ Stuff like that doesn’t usually get you anywhere except left out in the cold. Not that I’d ever let anyone truly intimidate me, I’d always stand my ground. If you’ve been dumped by your own mother, it pays to hold on to every scrap of self-belief that you have.  
  It was sixteen years ago today that Evie saw me being deposited by the woman with dark red hair. And without knowing my actual birthday, we always celebrate this as my day to remember. I’ve had cake and candles, even a sip of wine, and my best friend Martha bought me a leather-bound journal and a set of pencils. And this year, Evie gave me something very special – the necklace that my birth mother had hidden in my clothing when she left me. It has a silver chain and an enamelled pendant with a distinctive spiral pattern… I’ve worn it all day, I’ll never take it off. When Evie fastened it around my neck, she said, ‘The woman who gave birth to you meant for you to have this, Cora, it shows that she loved you very much.’ Then we both cried, her more than me.   If you have been tempted and want to treat yourself you can purchase this historical fiction book here. Kerry x


There was a huge part of me fighting against turning anything like fifty. It happens though and there is nothing we can do to fight it. Well we can’t fight the chronology of years and minutes ticking by but we can stay fabulous. I try to be fabulous, despite having a few things I am fighting against like RA, Diabetes and Pernicious Anaemia. This blog is simply about me embracing life. Food, make-up, fashion and more. My trials and tribulations. I hope you enjoy!

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