My blog post on my stop on the blog tour for ‘Secrets At Meadowbrook Manor’ is slightly different to my usual blog tour posts in that it comes in two parts. Part One contains my review and Part Two (this part) contains an extract from the book to give you a taste of what to expect when you pick the book up for yourselves. I hope you enjoy reading it just as much as I did.
Extract Taken From Chapter One
Gemma Matthews rang the buzzer, rubbing her gloved hands together and stomping her feet to try to ward off the cold. She had taken the bus, but still had a twenty-minute walk to get to the residential home. Despite the fact that she did the journey frequently, it was still a difficult one, in more ways than one.
The door was opened by Sarah, one of the carers at the home.
‘Gemma, come in, come in,’ she said, kindly, grimacing as a blast of cold air shot through the door. ‘Blimey, it’s freezing.’
‘Hi,’ Gemma said, still able to see her own breath. ‘How is she today?’ Gemma’s voice wobbled, as it always did when she asked after her nan.
‘Not too bad, love,’ Sarah replied.
Gemma nodded and made her way in.
The warmth of the nursing home hit her as soon as she closed the door behind her. She wrinkled her nose at the familiar smell; the aroma she now associated with old age. Kenworth House was a residential home specialising in taking care of dementia sufferers. Unfortunately Gemma’s nan was one of them, and she’d been here almost a year, ever since Gemma became unable to care for her at home. She signed in at the big marble reception desk, her signature like a spidery mess across the page. If it wasn’t for the smell, Gemma would think she had walked into a five-star hotel – the home was grand and expensive, which was reflected in its interior. Although Gemma knew they were struggling to afford to keep her nan here, she was determined. She had never been so determined about anything in her life, and now it seemed that determination had paid off.
She took the stairs up to her nan’s room on the first floor. Out of habit, she knocked on the door before opening it straight away. She took a breath; every time she walked through this door, she had no idea what would greet her. Would her nan recognise her? Would she welcome her even? One thing she had learnt about dementia was that it was riddled with inconsistency.
‘Hi, Nan,’ she said as breezily as she could, going straight over to where her nan was sitting. She bent down to kiss her cheek, breathing in the familiar lavender scent that characterised Gemma’s childhood, her family.
Her nan was staring out of the window, something Gemma often found her doing. She had a lovely view over the grounds of the home, which were vast with beautifully kept sweeping lawns, and flower beds ready to spring into colour. Her nan had always loved gardens, and Gemma was glad that she had this view.
‘Gemma?’ her nan asked uncertainly as she turned to her. Relief flooded through Gemma; it was a good day.