Harriet has begun to despair of her life.
With a failed relationship behind her, a business on the rocks and a flat that’s falling apart around her ears, she could really use some luck.
Elena Banbury, née Guseva, an elderly but imposing Russian woman who is Harriet’s neighbour and landlady, frequently entertains the punters at Harriet’s jewellery stall with tales of the palaces of St. Petersburg and the treasures of Fabergé. But Harriet sometimes feels, guiltily, that she could do without the endless errands that seem to fall to her as Elena’s friend.
Then, unexpectedly, when Elena dies, she leaves all her worldly goods to a grateful Harriet. In time, however, it becomes clear that others are shocked by Harriet’s good luck, too. Shocked… and very, very unhappy.
Challenged in court by Elena’s family who live in Berlin, Harriet is forced to give up her inheritance and long-dreamed-of plans for a new business, and start her life again. But with her reputation in tatters and the memory of Elena tainted, Harriet knows a great injustice has been done.
Against the advice of her friends, family and lawyers, Harriet sets off on her own, very singular journey to Berlin.
In the weeks that follow she meets rich and poor, the glamorous and the criminal, the honest and the secretive, and begins to see that perhaps she has something to learn from them all. Something to learn about herself, and something to learn about her priorities.
She knows she has to fight for justice. But, when she meets the scholarly, perceptive Neil, who generously tries to help Harriet in her mission, but who is struggling with a complicated marriage, she must also decide if she’ll fight for love, too.
A Single Journey is a compelling and lively story, combining colourful characters with a page-turning plot and romantic highs and lows.
Fans of Jojo Moyes and Lucinda Riley will be hooked.
‘Mesmerising’ – www.magdas-poetry.tumblr.com
Frankie McGowan is a journalist and former magazine editor. Her novels include My Mother’s Wedding and A Kept Woman
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
Harriet simply rented a flat from aging Elena Banbury. Elena though saw Harriet as more than a tenant, often hanging round Harriet’s failing market stall, she could be found entertaining the punters and other traders telling tales of her childhood years in Russia and the war years that followed. It was only when Elena passed away that Harriet found out how Elena really saw her.
What should have been a new beginning for herself and others turned into a nightmare. Then the discovery of a name from the past, a link to Berlin and the chance to put wrongs to right were impossible to resist. It could determine too whether the stories she had heard from Elena were true or just the imagination of a rambling nice old lady. Harriet was on a mission!
The story dips in and out of the past as Harriet delves dangerously in to Elena’s former family and friends. I must admit that I became fascinated with the fictional characters of the story being interwoven with historical facts. It makes for compelling and tragic reading. There are some things that you just can’t run away from.
Although the story has numerous characters both in the UK and when Harriet ventures abroad, the ones that really matter soon became firmly planted in my mind, the good and the bad. This is a slow burn story with an array of colourful characters that cross Harriet’s path making it an entertaining story that grows on you really quickly. Harriet is one gutsy lady I liked her tremendously.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Later as a magazine editor and while bringing up Tom and Amy, my now grown up children I launched and edited New Woman and Top Sante before switching to writing the first of my novels. My short stories have been published in a variety of magazines, including You, (Mail on Sunday) Women’s Own, Home and Life, Image (Ireland), Redbook (US) The Lady and Woman’s Weekly.
More recently I was asked to adapt two of my novels, A Kept Woman and A Better Life into screenplays. All my novels have reached the top twenty on Amazon which is the best feeling ever for any writer, but this year two of them, A Kept Woman and The Italian Lesson, both went to Number One in Australia for which I was thrilled and grateful to all those lovely people who bought them.
I am currently working on a new novel – well, I say working on it, what I mean is I’ve got a title for it, A Short Break – and the name of the heroine so all I need now is to try not to lose the plot.