While I Was Waiting is a Harper Impulse read, which mixes light romance with historical fiction. It is written using the “time-slip” style. The book opens with a prologue set in 1963. seventy year old Hetty is writing a memoir, she lives in Clematis Cottage, Stoke St. Mary, Herefordshire.
April 2000 and Rachel Makepeace, an illustrator is making a move away from London to the countryside. She has just bought Clematis cottage, a little run-down it hasn’t been lived in for a while. Gabe Llewellyn, a local builder arrives to give a repair quote and see she’s settled. In the attic he discovers an old tin full of papers, photos and a book, they belong to Mrs H Lewis.
As the book progresses Rachel dips into the tin to discover the life-story of Hetty, from 1903 when her natural scientific father left her with Aunts Hester and Leonora while he travelled the world. Hetty lived with two distant cousins, also staying with the Aunts. Richard and Edward were destined to be a part of Hetty’s future. Hetty’s memoir reached the years of The Great War of 1914, a marriage for Hetty and her volunteering at the local school. But there are intriguing gaps in the memoir which Rachel becomes obsessed with finding answers to.
In her own life, Rachel gets the house sorted, has Gabe and his father doing repairs and makes a friend of Stan who comes and helps out in the garden. Stan is full of local knowledge which fill in some gaps to Hetty’s life. Rachel feels the ghost of Hetty at the cottage as she finds out more about her.
There is a fun romance between Gabe and Rachel and when it falls apart help in the form of a bundle of puppy called Piglet helps Rachel become a more tolerant less controlling person, but is it too late for Gabe?
This is a light read and touches on much from Hetty’s era as well as Rachel’s time in Herefordshire without going into too much depth or exploration.
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Genre: Historical/time-slip romance
Release Date: 2/7/15 (e-pub) 10/9/15 (print)
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Tired of her life in London, freelance illustrator Rachel buys the beautiful but dilapidated Clematis Cottage and sets about creating the home of her dreams. But tucked away behind the water tank in the attic and left to gather dust for decades, is an old biscuit tin containing letters, postcards and a diary. So much more than old scraps of paper, these are precious memories that tell the story of Henrietta Trenchard-Lewis, a love lost in the Great War and the girl who was left behind.
ABOUT GEORGIA HILL
I used to live in London, where I worked in the theatre. Then I got the bizarre job of teaching road safety to the U.S. navy – in Marble Arch!
A few years ago, I did an ‘Escape to the Country’. I now live in a tiny Herefordshire village, where I scandalise the neighbours by not keeping ‘country hours’ and being unable to make a decent pot of plum jam. Home is a converted Oast house (Old agricultural building used for drying hops), which I share with my two beloved spaniels, husband (also beloved) and a ghost called Zoe.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel widely, though prefer to set my novels closer to home. Perhaps more research is needed? I’ve always wanted to base a book in the Caribbean!
I am addicted to Belgian chocolate, Jane Austen and, most of all, Strictly Come Dancing.
A print copy of the book (Open Internationally)