Thursday 5 October 2017

The Snow Globe Blog Tour

As Christmas 1926 approaches, the Forbes family are preparing to host a celebration at Eden Hall. Eighteen-year-old Daisy is preoccupied by a sense of change in the air. Overnight, her relationship with Stephen Jessop, the housekeeper’s son, has shifted and every encounter seems fraught with tension. Before the festivities are over, Daisy has received a declaration of love, a proposal and a kiss – from three different men. Unable to bear the confusion she flees to London and stays with her elder sister. By the following summer, Daisy has bowed to the persistence of the man who proposed to her the previous year. When the family reunite for a party at Eden Hall and Stephen is once more in her life, it is clear to Daisy she is committing to the wrong person. Yet she also believes that family secrets mean she has no choice but to follow her head instead of her heart. Will love conquer all, or is Daisy’s fate already written?

Judith Kinghorn is the author of four novels: The Echo of Twilight, The Snow Globe, The Memory of Lost Senses and The Last Summer. She was born in Northumberland, educated in the Lake District, and is a graduate in English and History of Art. She lives in Hampshire, England, with her husband and two children.

Twitter: @judithkinghorn

Sneak Peak
Chapter Four
It was five days before Christmas and Mrs. Christie’s story had slipped from front-page news to a small insert on page eleven, offering her fans an update on her well-being. Now the newspapers were predicting a white Christmas, and Mrs. Jessop was being difficult.
Mabel had gone to the kitchen with a conciliatory approach, an open mind—she hoped. But when Mrs. Jessop stared back at her across the kitchen table, her arms folded, Mabel quickly realized they had reached an impasse.
‘Really… I think Lang is an English name,’ said Mabel again.
Mrs. Jessop said nothing.
Ever suspicious of foreigners—or anyone new to the area; outsiders, she called them—Mrs. Jessop had said her piece and vowed that she could not buy any meat from the new butcher. She had told Mabel in no uncertain terms that she would prefer to take the number 18 to Farnham than ‘experiment’ with a man she had no knowledge of, and who had—if she could be plain, and after all, that’s what she was, a plain-speaking, plain cook—what she believed could be the trace of a German accent.
‘There is no need, no need whatsoever for you to take the bus to Farnham, Mrs. Jessop,’ Mabel went on, knowing that reason was hopeless. She had gone there to plead one last time, but the woman was intransigent. ‘We don’t have an account at any butchers at Farnham, and I’m not sure they’ll make deliveries this far,’ Mabel added.
Mrs. Jessop blinked.
‘Well, if you feel you must…’
The antipathy toward Germany ran deep in some and was understandable, Mabel reminded herself as she left the kitchen. But the suspicion of foreigners that had begun during the war had left a lingering xenophobia. People still spoke about spies and about the likelihood of another war, particularly Mrs. Jessop and Nancy, whose imaginations seemed to know no bounds, Mabel thought, breathing in deeply as she walked toward the hallway.
There was the familiar aroma of lavender and logs; the scent of a house filled with flowers each summer and fires each winter; the smell of candles and dogs, and mud and the country; the fading sweet scent of fruit, and the warm, earthy smells of old leather and beeswax: the lingering fragrance of a quarter of a century.
The tree was newly festooned with baubles and illuminated by fruit-shaped frosted-glass lights: pale violet pears and yellow apples. Mesmerized for a moment, Mabel remembered other Christmases, before the war, before people had gone and everything changed, when the children had been small and the place filled with chaos and laughter—and her mouth curved up at one side.
Clambering on all fours—pretending to be a lion, a wolf, a wildly roaring but forgiving beast that only he and his children understood—Howard had chased his squealing girls around the tree and up the stairs for bath time and then, later, carrying Daisy in his arms, brought them back down, sweet smelling and pink.
The grandfather clock in the hallway struck five.
‘I’ve unpacked my snow globe,’ said Daisy, standing in the drawing room doorway clutching it in her hand. ‘I’m listening to Beethoven,’ she added, turning away, humming.
Mabel followed her. She watched Daisy place the glass orb on a table by the oriel window, next to the Victorian taxidermy diorama. Mabel hated the stuffed birds, encased in glass, their tiny feet pinned, their lifeless eyes staring out. She wished her mother had sent the thing to the auction house with the others, but Noonie had made a gift of it to Mabel, along with various ornaments and china and once fashionable objets d’art: the term Noonie used for anything of no apparent use or beauty, but perhaps of some value.

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