Book Extract :
Crouching low beneath the bedroom window, young Rosie peered through the murky darkness of a cold November evening.
Anxiously training her gaze along the pathway that ran by the big barn, she wondered if her mother might show at any moment. Rosie would not mind if her mother stayed away for ever, but she knew her father would be sad because he loved her, even though they were always arguing.
So, for his sake, Rosie hoped her mother might somehow manage to find her way home from the village pub where she worked as a barmaid. Often her shift would slip into her social life. She liked a drink and a laugh. She also liked the admiration of men, who were drawn to her dark looks and enticing smile.
Whenever her mother was late coming home, Rosie had good cause to fear the worst. Keeping her vigil at the window, she wondered what kind of mood her mother would be in if she did come home. Would she be in one of her dark rages? Would she be feeling spiteful and ready to fight with Rosie’s father? Or would she be laughing and playful, or impossible to talk with and so drunk she could hardly stand?
Rosie could never decide which was worse, because whichever way it was, it always ended badly.
Neither Rosie nor her father ever knew what to expect when Molly Tanner returned from a night out. She never spoke about exactly where she had been, or who she had been with, and if John Tanner dared to pursue the truth, a fierce row would inevitably ensue, and Rosie would run upstairs in fear, to hide under her bedclothes.
Looking back, Rosie realised that nothing much had changed over the years except that they all had grown older and a little wiser. Her mother was forever complaining that she was ‘coming up to her dreaded fifties’. She was still proud of her sultry looks, and rumour had it that she was still cheating on her loving and hard-working husband. Her dislike for her only child had reached the point where she could hardly bear to be near her.
Molly Tanner had never possessed the strong maternal instinct that bonds a mother with her child. She had neither the instinct nor the wish to be a mother, and made that clear to all who would listen. Consequently, she played precious little part in Rosie’s life.
After a while, young Rosie had stopped caring. Her daddy had been, and still was, her whole life. If she was ever worried or hurting, it was her father’s help she sought; she had learned long ago that there was no point in seeking comfort or advice from her disinterested mother. The little girl had grown and flourished without her help.
This fabulous new book from the bestselling Josephine cox will be published on 08 October 2015.