Marcia stands on Staverton Station deserted save for Fliss, Mile and Susanna as they wait for Freddie to come and fetch them. You and I cannot see these three small children but something tells me that Marcia can - probably better than she can see us!
Looking Forward is the first book about the Chadwick family - often referred to as the Chadwick Trilogy.
Life at The Keep changes forever when Fliss, Mole and Susanna arrive in the summer of 1957. Their parents and older brother have been killed in Kenya so the children are sent to their grandmother, Freddy, who lives in Devon.
Freddy is no stranger to grief but she would be lost without the support and encouragement of her devoted helpers, Ellen and Fox, who enable her to cope with the latest tragedy. Above all she looks to her brother-in-law, Theo, to guide her while, under Freddy’s watchful gaze, the three children heal their wounds and embark on the treacherous journey to adulthood.
‘It all started because I wanted to find out what happens when an entire generation is wiped out,’ says Marcia. ‘Actually it’s never that simple. In this case there was the violence in Kenya and that left its mark on the children which meant that even when they were fully grown the story hadn’t ended. Before I really knew what was happening, I had a trilogy to write.’
Book two, Holding On, opens in 1972.
For generations, The Keep in Devon has been home to the Chadwick Family. Now the three young siblings who grew up there are leaving to start out on their own. Fliss must journey to Hong Kong with he husband, even though she dreads being so far from home. Mole has embarked on a naval career and Susunna is about to fall in love.
Their grandmother Freddie’s fear is that she will not live to see the arrival of the next generation, but her worries are unfounded. It seems her grandchildren need her and Great Uncle Theo’s love more than ever to guide them through the rocky times ahead and, no matter what happens, Freddie knows that The Keep must always be ready and waiting for their safe return.
Finally we come to Winning Through.
It’s nearly thirty since the Chadwick siblings arrived from Kenya at The Keep in Devon to live with their grandmother and while much has changed since, The Keep remains the sanctuary for the whole family: warm, unchanging, filled with love.
Now mistress of The Keep, Fliss finds it hard to fill the place of her beloved grandmother, specially when she has so many doubts in her life. Mole has settled into his second family, the navy, and Susanna is now a wife and mother herself.