The Songbird extract


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The Songbird

Summer on the River

Postcards from the Past

The Sea Garden

The Christmas Angel

The Summerhouse

The Prodigal Wife

The Way We Were

Memories of the Storm

Echoes of the Dance

The Golden Cup

The Birdcage

The Children’s Hour

Forgotten Laughter

A Week in Winter

The Chadwick Trilogy

     Looking Forward

     Holding On

     Winning Through

Second Time Around

Starting Over

Hattie’s Mill

The Dipper

The Courtyard

Thea’s Parrot

Those Who Serve

The Songbird



All through the spring, early and late, the thrush

sings in the ash tree below the cottage. It’s the first thing he hears, when he comes carefully down the narrow precipitous staircase to make coffee, and the last thing, as he leans from the small window into the quiet luminous evening, unable to abandon the unearthly magic and get into bed.

 There are no leaves yet on the trees. They hold up bare, misshapen arms and bony, twiggy fingers against a pale, translucent sky; yet he can never see the thrush hidden within these interlaced, fantastical patterns. He stands watching, seeing how the gardens tip down to the two fields – sown with barley, edged with thorn and ash – and across those fields to the lane beyond which curls and climbs up to the old farmhouse....