Another You is a contemporary romantic mystery set in Dorset, England.
Marie Johnson is a chef at The Smugglers pub in Studland Bay. She runs the business with her estranged husband. Their son Jude works the bar in between studying art.
It has been sixty years since the D-Day landing and the local area is taking part in the celebrations. Studland had been used as a practice ground for many of the original D-Day invasion plans. Exercise Smash, tanks designed to float through water had been trialed off the coast.
Marie and her husband argue all the time and the stress causes Marie severe migraines. When walking along the coast Marie meets Corbin an American she assumes is here for the D-Day reenactments.
Another American Paxton from the local Bovington camp offers Marie an escape from her worries and they have a fling. Ex-British soldier George is also over on Studland reliving some of his war years with his son Mark. They also befriend Marie and offer support and advice with her business decisions.
All the while Marie’s thought return to the mysterious Corbin and his old world mannerisms and speech.
A ghostly mystery and a romantic triangle for an older women with plenty of domestic turmoil to muddy the waters. I know Studland and Swanage so the setting was a delight to read, it’s great when you can nod your head and think – yes I know where that is, I’ve been there, it helps you picture the setting.
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Sometimes the hardest person to save is yourself…
Marie Johnson is trapped by her job as a chef in a Dorset pub and by her increasingly poisonous marriage to its landlord.
Worn down by his string of affairs she has no self-confidence, no self-respect and the only thing that keeps her going is watching her son, Jude, turn into a talented artist.
But the 60th anniversary of a D-Day exercise triggers chance meetings which prove unlikely catalysts for change.
First there’s Corbin, the American soldier who she runs into as she’s walking on the cliffs. He is charming and has a quaintness about him, calling her an ‘English rose’.
Then there’s George the war veteran, who comes to dine at the pub, and his son Mark. George fascinates Marie with his first-hand accounts of the war, whilst Mark proves helpful in making sense of the pub’s financial situation.
And there’s Paxton. Another American soldier with an uncanny resemblance to Corbin. Young, fit and very attractive, Marie finds him hard to resist. But little does she know Paxton is also battling some inner demons.
As the heat of the summer intensifies, so do the issues in Marie’s life.
Why is Corbin so elusive? Why is the pub struggling to make ends meet? Why has Jude suddenly become so withdrawn and unhappy?
Can she help Paxton open up and begin to deal with his pain?
Or will she be shackled to the pub and her increasingly spiteful husband forever?
But as events unfold, Marie finally realises that she is not trapped, but stuck, and that it is down to her to get her life moving again.
Perfectly blending the complexities of twenty-first century life with the dramatic history of World War Two, Another You is a charming tale that will warm your heart.
About the author
Perhaps writing is in my blood. My father, Mercer Simpson, was a poet; my cousin, Roger Hubank, a novelist; Roger’s uncle, John Hampson was also a novelist and fringe member of the Bloomsbury Group. And it’s even rumoured that John Keats is somewhere back there in the family tree.
No wonder that I have always scribbled. But it took me until I was in my forties to complete a full length manuscript. And then another, and another… Writing stories became a compulsive hobby. I could lose myself in my characters, almost live their lives, and I started to long for readers other than my mother and a few close friends to be able to do the same.
It was reaching the final of The Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist competition in 2011 which made me take my writing seriously. The Cheesemaker’s House, a gripping romance-suspense, saw the light of day in September 2013 and I was delighted when it received great reviews from book bloggers and, just as importantly, from the people who bought and read it. My second novel, The Faerie Tree, came out in March 2015 and is a suspenseful romance about the tricks memory plays.
Shortly afterwards The Cheesemaker’s House won the independent novel of the year prize awarded by Words for the Wounded and as a result of this I was signed by the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency and then by Endeavour Press who published Another You at the end of 2016.