A novel set in England.
Lady Isabel wanted for nothing in her younger years. As a daughter of an Earl and Countess, she had a privileged upbringing. All of this was to change with the death of her mother in the late 1870s, when Isabel was only sixteen. The Earl, from then on, would not let her out of his sight, in fear of losing the only precious thing left in his life. All normal events at the manor ceased. No more balls or hunts. Lady Isabel was even forbidden to ride her own horse. She felt isolated and alone, since she only had the servants within the walls of the manor to talk to. The story begins on one fine spring morning as she is finally free of her prison to go and walk in her garden. It is here, that Isabel meets James, a new servant boy of her own age. He seems different than anyone she has met before.
He is kind and understanding, having lost his own other at birth. Isabel warms to him quickly, enjoying his company each fine day in her garden. This union does not last long though, once the Earl discovers their friendship. The boy is banished from Blackburn Estate and Isabel is
sent to live with her grumpy aunt at Winton House in the North of England. Isabel does not only have to deal with the loss of her one true friend and a disagreeable aunt, she also has to look out for a future foe, who taunts her relentlessly. Will she ever again find the happiness that she shared with the
boy in her garden?
About the author
Joy McNiel was born in 1963 at Whakatane, New Zealand. Joy spent most of her younger years in the Wellington region. After her first marriage dissolved, she moved to Auckland, where she met her second and forever husband, Callum. Joy's love of animals and the dream of a quiet country life to bring up their two daughters saw them purchase a small lifestyle block in Eketahuna. This change of location came much to the amusement of their Auckland City friends, who joked about the iconic New Zealand town (much as the English use the metaphor for 'Timbuktu' as a distant or outlandish place). Other friends didn't even know where Eketahuna or the Wairarapa was located. It is here that Joy decided to write her first novel, something she had been toying with since she was in her teens. Joy's love of classic English novels was the driving force behind her book. She hopes her readers enjoy reading it, as much as she has enjoyed writing it!
Author: Joy McNiel
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