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Authors: Patricia Scanlan

A Time for Friends

BOOK: A Time for Friends
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Dear Reader,

I’m so delighted to welcome you to my latest novel. I really hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

To all of you who have loyally supported me and bought my books over the years, a massive ‘Thank You’. I can’t believe it’s twenty-five years since
City Girl
was
published, and so many of you have been with me on that journey!

To new readers, thank you too for buying
A Time for Friends
. I hope it gives you great enjoyment.

To all of my lovely Facebook followers at
https://www.facebook.com/patriciascanlanauthor
, your kind and supportive comments are
wonderful and it is so good to be able to engage with my readers and get their views.

Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

Love and Blessings,

Patricia

Also by Patricia Scanlan

Apartment 3B

Finishing Touches

Foreign Affairs

Promises, Promises

Mirror Mirror

Francesca’s Party

Two for Joy

Double Wedding

Divided Loyalties

Coming Home

Trilogies

City Girl

City Lives

City Woman

Forgive and Forget

Happy Ever After

Love and Marriage

With All My Love

First published in Great Britain by Simon & Schuster UK Ltd, 2015
A CBS COMPANY

Copyright © Patricia Scanlan 2015

This book is copyright under the Berne Convention.
No reproduction without permission.
® and © 1997 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.

The right of Patricia Scanlan to be identified as author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.

Simon & Schuster UK Ltd
1st Floor
222 Gray’s Inn Road
London WC1X 8HB

www.simonandschuster.co.uk

Simon & Schuster Australia, Sydney
Simon & Schuster India, New Delhi

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-47111-080-1
Trade paperback ISBN: 978-1-47111-081-8
eBook ISBN: 978-1-47111-083-2

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to
actual people living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

Typeset by M Rules
Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY

I dedicate this book with much love to the dearest of friends:

My sister Mary, who is also the perfect friend, and who kept the show on the road while I took some time out to finish this book.

Aidan Storey and Murtagh Corrigan – my stalwarts, who gave me their guest room, fed and watered me, and made me laugh when I needed it most.

Pam and Simon Young and Mary Helen Hensley, who are with me every step of the way and beyond.

And to the memory of Anita Notaro: a true, loyal and steadfast friend. Our great loss is heaven’s gain.

Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket!

Anon

C
ONTENTS

P
ROLOGUE

P
ART
O
NE

C
HAPTER
O
NE

C
HAPTER
T
WO

C
HAPTER
T
HREE

C
HAPTER
F
OUR

C
HAPTER
F
IVE

C
HAPTER
S
IX

C
HAPTER
S
EVEN

C
HAPTER
E
IGHT

C
HAPTER
N
INE

C
HAPTER
T
EN

C
HAPTER
E
LEVEN

C
HAPTER
T
WELVE

C
HAPTER
T
HIRTEEN

C
HAPTER
F
OURTEEN

C
HAPTER
F
IFTEEN

C
HAPTER
S
IXTEEN

P
ART
T
WO

C
HAPTER
S
EVENTEEN

C
HAPTER
E
IGHTEEN

C
HAPTER
N
INETEEN

C
HAPTER
T
WENTY

C
HAPTER
T
WENTY-
O
NE

P
ART
T
HREE

C
HAPTER
T
WENTY-
T
WO

C
HAPTER
T
WENTY-
T
HREE

C
HAPTER
T
WENTY-
F
OUR

C
HAPTER
T
WENTY-
F
IVE

C
HAPTER
T
WENTY-
S
IX

C
HAPTER
T
WENTY-
S
EVEN

C
HAPTER
T
WENTY-
E
IGHT

C
HAPTER
T
WENTY-
N
INE

C
HAPTER
T
HIRTY

C
HAPTER
T
HIRTY-
O
NE

C
HAPTER
T
HIRTY-
T
WO

C
HAPTER
T
HIRTY-
T
HREE

C
HAPTER
T
HIRTY-
F
OUR

C
HAPTER
T
HIRTY-
F
IVE

C
HAPTER
T
HIRTY-
S
IX

C
HAPTER
T
HIRTY-
S
EVEN

C
HAPTER
T
HIRTY-
E
IGHT

C
HAPTER
T
HIRTY-
N
INE

C
HAPTER
F
ORTY

C
HAPTER
F
ORTY-
O
NE

C
HAPTER
F
ORTY-
T
WO

C
HAPTER
F
ORTY-
T
HREE

C
HAPTER
F
ORTY-
F
OUR

E
PILOGUE

P
ROLOGUE

The sun is shining through the window on the landing. Rays of diffused light streaming onto the red-gold-patterned carpet that covers the stairs. This will be one of the many
things to remember on this life-changing day that will be buried deep in the recesses of the mind in the years that follow.

The sounds will never be forgotten either. The groaning and grunting getting louder at the top of the stairs. The absolute terror of feeling something is wrong. That a loved one is ill.

The bedroom door is open. The sickening tableau is revealed. A gasp of shock escapes as innocence is lost, and life alters its course forever in that instant.

The man and woman turn at the sound. Horror crosses the man’s face as the woman untangles her legs from him. Both of them are naked. The woman’s hair is mussed, cascading like a
blonde waterfall over her rounded creamy breasts. The man grabs his trousers to hide his pale-skinned, hairy nudity.

‘Wait!’ he calls frantically. ‘Wait!’

But it’s too late.

A burden is added to the hurt and sadness already borne.

July 1965

‘Do I
have
to ask her to my party, Mammy? She just is so mean to my friends. She says horrible things and she tells Aileen that she’s
fat!

Hilary Kinsella gives a sigh of exasperation as she studies her mother’s face to try and gauge what Sally’s response will be. Surreptitiously she crosses the fingers of both hands
behind her back as she gazes expectantly at her mother who is rubbing the collar of her elderly father’s white shirt with Sunlight soap, before putting it in the washing machine.

‘Colette shouldn’t say things like that, but I think she’s a little bit jealous of you and Aileen being friends. She doesn’t really mean it,’ Sally says kindly.
‘And it would be a bit cruel not to invite her to your birthday party. Wouldn’t it now?’

Hilary’s heart sinks. She has been hoping against hope that just this once she can have fun with her friends and not have to listen to Colette O’Mahony boasting and bragging about
her huge birthday party which will be two weeks after Hilary’s own.

‘But, Mammy, she says that we can’t afford to go on holidays to Paris on a plane like she does, an’ she says her mammy and daddy have more money than we do,’ Hilary
exclaims indignantly, seeing that she is getting nowhere.

‘Well we can’t afford to go abroad and the O’Mahonys
do
have more money than we do,’ Sally says equably, twisting another shirt to get rid of the excess water
before dropping it into the twin tub. ‘But do you not think you have much more fun in our caravan, going to the beach every day and playing with your cousins on our holidays, than walking
around a hot, stuffy city, visiting art galleries and museums with adults, and having no children to play with? Do you not think it must be very lonely not to have any brothers and sisters?’
Sally remarks, a smile crinkling her eyes.

‘I suppose so,’ sighs Hilary, knowing what is coming next.

‘Poor Colette with no sisters or brothers, and not many friends either. And no mammy to have her dinner ready after school like I do for you, pet. You’re so lucky with the family and
friends you have. You always have someone to play with when you come home from school, so wouldn’t it be a
kindness t
o invite Colette to your party? Because I know that you are a
very
kind little girl. Now go and play with her and I’ll bring some lemonade and banana sandwiches out into the garden for the two of you, and you can have a picnic for tea,’
her mother says briskly.

But I don’t
want
to be a very kind little girl, Hilary wants to shout at her mother. But she knows she can’t. Sally has high expectations of her children. Kindness to others
is mandatory in the Kinsella household. Whether she likes it or not, Hilary has to be kind to Colette O’Mahony and, yet again, endure her unwanted presence at her much anticipated birthday
party.

Tears smart Colette O’Mahony’s eyes as she scurries away from the door where she has been listening to Hilary and Mrs Kinsella discussing whether or not she should
be invited to Hilary’s crummy birthday party. Colette’s heart feels as though a thousand, no a
million
nettles have stung it. Mrs Kinsella has said ‘poor Colette’
in a pitying sort of voice. She is
not
poor. She has her own bedroom and doesn’t have to share with an older sister. She has loads of good dresses and other clothes. Hilary Kinsella
only has
one
good dress for Sundays.
And
most important of all, Colette has a
servant
at home to make her dinner when she comes home from school.

Mummy calls her ‘the housekeeper’, but Colette tells all the girls in her class that Mrs Boyle is her ‘servant’.

Mrs Boyle will make jelly and ice cream and many delicious fairy cakes and chocolate Rice Krispie buns and a
huge
chocolate birthday cake for her birthday. Hilary will only have a cream
sponge and Toytown biscuits and lemonade and crisps. This thought comforts Colette. It is only through her supreme sense of superiority that she is able to process the enormous envy she has for all
that Hilary has. She hates that her mother works four days a week and Mrs Boyle – who is quite strict for a servant – looks after her three days, and Mrs Kinsella minds her on
Thursdays.

BOOK: A Time for Friends
11.84Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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