Saturday, 20 January 2018

What She Left by Rosie Fiore + Excerpt


What She Left by Rosie Fiore
Published in the UK by Allen And Unwin in August 2017.

Where to buy this book:

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Helen Cooper has a charmed life. She's beautiful, accomplished, organised - the star parent at the school. Until she disappears.

But Helen wasn't abducted or murdered. She's chosen to walk away, abandoning her family, husband Sam, and her home.
Where has Helen gone, and why? What has driven her from her seemingly perfect life? What is she looking for? Sam is tormented by these questions, and gradually begins to lose his grip on work and his family life.

He sees Helen everywhere in the faces of strangers. He's losing control.

But then one day, it really is Helen's face he sees...

Excerpt

Miranda Cooper is eight. Her mother died suddenly of a brain haemorrhage when she was small, and her step-mother, Helen has now gone missing. She describes what happened when Helen first came into their lives.

Anyway, that was a very hard time for our family, and Dad didn’t know what to do, so he had to come back to north London and we moved in with Granny and Grandpa. Dad stopped trying to be a designer and got a job doing client services in the advertising agency, which is different, and you have to wear a suit and go for dinner and drinks and do schmoozing, but you get a lot more money. And after he had been doing that for about a year, he met Helen at work. She had come from Australia to live in England, not too long before Daddy met her. ‘Down Under,’ she said. She didn’t say under what. 
The first time they went on a date, Marguerite and I came too. We all went for a picnic in the park. Helen was kind and pretty, and when we walked in the park, she and Dad each held one of my hands and said, ‘One, two, three, wheee!’ and swung me off my feet, and then Marguerite, who was two, said, ‘Me! Me!’ and they did it for her too. It was nice. Actually, I’m not sure if I remember it, but there’s a picture of us all in the park that day, and Dad has told us the story often. He couldn’t believe a lady from work could be so nice to his two little children. Anyway, Helen started spending more time with us all, and as Dad likes to say, the rest is history. They fell in love and got married, and then Dad got a big promotion at work and bought this house. That meant that Granny couldn’t look after us and pick us up from school because it was too far, and Helen gave up her job to look after us. 
It’s not a secret at school that Helen isn’t actually my mother – the teachers know and everything – but I don’t talk about it to my friends. Marguerite calls her Mummy, but I don’t like calling her Helen, and she isn’t actually my mother, so I don’t call her anything. I like it that everyone at school says she’s the best mum – the prettiest and best at organizing and cakes and stuff, and I don’t say ‘She’s not my mum’ when they say stuff like that. Some of the other children are late, or their school uniform is dirty or they don’t bring their homework on the right day, and that never happens to us. It’s not so stressful that way, with Helen making everything okay. I sometimes wonder what my real mother would have been like – would she have done my hair so perfectly for my ballet exam as Helen does, or would she have been one of those messy, late mothers? Would I have minded if she was my mum? I don’t know. Life has lots of questions we will never know the answers to. 


Meet the author:
Rosie Fiore was born and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. She studied drama at the University of the Witwatersrand and has worked as a writer for theatre, television, magazines, advertising, comedy and the corporate market.

Her first two novels, This Year's Black and Lame Angel were published by Struik in South Africa. This Year's Black was longlisted for the South African Sunday Times Literary Award and has subsequently been re-released as an e-book. Babies in Waiting, Wonder Women and Holly at Christmas were published by Quercus. She is the author of After Isabella, also published by Allen & Unwin.
Rosie’s next book, The After Wife (written as Cass Hunter), will be published by Trapeze in 2018, and in translation is seven countries around the world.

Rosie lives in London with her husband and two sons.

Author links: 
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Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Rosie Fiore / Women's fiction / Books from South Africa

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