The next morning, Penny has barely stepped out of the shower when she hears Sander call out, “They’re here! They’ve arrived.”
She gasps – she’s way behind schedule – then wraps a towel around her middle, and runs up the three stairs that separate their bedroom from the main bathroom. As she passes Sander’s studio, she ducks in and joins him as he looks out of the window. Below them, Martin’s BMW is shuffling back and forth into a seemingly impossible parking space.
“Kiss?” Sander asks, turning to face her. Continue reading
Inexplicably, from Penny’s point of view at least, it takes Sander a full eight days to move the twenty-two boxes of random junk and clothing back from the spare room to the walk-in wardrobe of their bedroom. Eight days, at – she works it out on her iPhone – two point seven five boxes per day. Continue reading
The sun is setting as Penny swings into Wave Crest, the sky lit up like one of Sander’s colour charts. She has rarely, if ever, seen such a spectacular eruption of colour and once she has parked and turned the engine off she sits and stares and allows herself a couple of minutes, a brief, magical pause in what so far has been a horrendous day.
When the rapidly falling temperature within the car makes her shiver, she reaches for her bag from the passenger seat and climbs out.
Indoors, the house is dark and unusually silent. Even the cat, who generally keeps watch, ever hopeful for extra food, is absent. Continue reading
Victoria peers into the oven and then straightens and looks around the kitchen. The dinner, a tray of Delia’s oven-cooked ratatouille and an organic chicken, should be ready right on time, she reckons.
She crosses to the kitchen sink and pulls the squirty bleach out of the cupboard. She particularly likes oven-based meals because once the food’s cooking she can tidy the kitchen entirely and eat without her eyes straying to the pots and pans waiting to be dealt with. There’s something reassuring, she finds, about the cold surfaces of a clean kitchen. She squirts bleach onto the sponge and begins to wipe the worktop. Continue reading
“I didn’t mean anything,” Sander offers softly after a moment’s pause.
Penny blinks at him slowly. “I know,” she replies.
For a few minutes, they eat their soup in silence. Sander thinks about Victoria in Venice and the fact that he mentioned the cost of Christmas and wrestles with his sense of guilt. For they both know that he hasn’t contributed financially for years.
Yes, he still sells the occasional painting, but he hasn’t made any serious money from his work since the noughties. Continue reading
Part One: Two Sisters.
Penny glances at her buzzing mobile then, continuing to stir the soup, she leans over to study the screen on which a single word is flashing: Vicky.
She sighs. She probably has about eight buzzes left before she has to decide what to do. She loves her sister – forty-five years of shared history makes that a given. But it doesn’t mean that Victoria is an easy person to love, and it doesn’t make their relationship an effortless one, either. So Penny generally attempts, at least, to choose the most fortuitous moment in which to speak to her sister. She tries to wait until a positive outcome seems feasible.
She gives the soup another stir as she glances back at her husband, Sander, seated behind her. He raises one eyebrow. She returns her gaze to the phone, now vibrating gently across the worktop, slowly making its way towards the abyss. Continue reading
Christmas Eve, 1975, Margate.
Penny descends the staircase, banging the feet of her doll against the bannisters as she does so. They make a series of satisfying, almost musical, twangs.
The sun is shining through the stained glass window above the front door, casting colourful geometric patterns across the floor tiles.
At the base of the stairs she swings for a moment on the large final bannister. The lounge door is ajar and peering in she can see one edge of the television screen, her mother’s slippered foot, and a single branch of the Christmas tree. Continue reading
So, it seems I’m big in
I just got back from a brilliant book promotion trip to Oslo and Bergen where I was invited by my Norwegian publisher, Bastion Forlag.
They were truly gorgeous to me, putting me up in swanky hotels and holding my hand very delicately as they led me through the ordeals of on-stage interviews, press sessions, and photo shoots, ultimately turning what threatened to be my most terrifying nightmare into an honest bundle of fun. Once the signing, presenting, interviewing was over, Lolo and I spent a week driving around and exploring the fjords. Amazing people, amazing country, and an amazing ego boost seeing my novels on the shelves of quite literally every bookstore.
Penny and Victoria are about as different as two siblings can be, one with a smart London lifestyle, the other struggling to make ends meet.
But they are joined by more than blood, and their shared tragic past is affecting the present more than they realise.
When events begin to tug at the fabric beneath which dark secrets are hidden, the resulting chaos threatens to tear the two families apart.
Could there be aspects of the past that youngest child Penny doesn’t remember?
Could the truth of Marge be more complex than the beloved mother the girls choose to perceive?
And could the true story of that terrible Christmas be the key to understanding Victoria, Marge, and much much more?
A moving new drama from Nick Alexander, Let The Light Shine is a tale of sisterhood, resilience and hope that will have you hooked to the gripping end.
Available for preorder now. Delivered to your Kindle on the 30th September, 2016
Have you ever had a really good friend who was about to make a terrible, terrible choice, and wondered whether to let her get on with it or say something?
You’re terrified for her, but her mind seems made up, she gets angry as soon as you challenge her… But in the end, you think, what is friendship if it isn’t speaking your mind?
Well, my friends are all of you, and next Thursday, we, as Brits, will make a momentous, once in a lifetime decision: to stay in the European Community, or to leave, and I’m terrified, truly waking-up-at-three-am terrified, that we’re going to make the wrong choice next Thursday, so here’s my contribution. It’s a fairly long read, but an easy one, but if you’re thinking of voting out, I beg you, as a friend, to hear me out.