I fell in love with Kat French’s writing at the first page of ‘The Bed and Breakfast on the beach’. Her newest book, ‘A Summer Scandal’ is an amazing book to read by the pool or on the beach!
Bathed and fed, Violet climbed into bed surrounded by the paperwork from her father’s solicitor. Her parents hadn’t been at all keen on the idea of her running the pier as a business, it felt far too much like a permanent plan, but nonetheless her dad had made sure that she was properly insured, because that was just the kind of man he was. In some ways he was a lot like Simon, super-reliable and steady as a rock, qualities Violet had a new appreciation for now that her life was so all over the place.
Around the bedroom, mermaids watched as she shuffled the papers in search of her pen. They looked suitably unimpressed with her choice of bedroom activity, so much so that she rolled her eyes at the nearest one.
‘Have you stolen my pen to save me from having to do this?’ she said, looking at the impassive face of the bare-breasted mermaid perched on her rock. Leaning over the edge of the bed in search of it, Violet peered underneath and couldn’t see anything.
‘Bugger,’ she muttered, sliding the bedside drawer open, even though she knew it would be pointless, because any pen in there would be forty years old and dried up anyway. Feeling tentatively inside, Violet found nothing of practical use, although lots of interest. Aside from the living room sideboard, she’d tried not to mooch too much in the cupboards and drawers because it somehow felt intrusive – which was ridiculous because it was all hers now and she needed to find out how to make a home of it. She still thought of it very much as her grandmother’s place. Oddly, never really as her grandfather’s – she thought of it only as Monica’s, probably because her grandmother’s heart was stamped in every painted wall or quirky furniture choice.
So this time, she let herself look through the bedside drawer. Horn-rimmed reading glasses lay on top of a yellowing paperback, something sci-fi by the looks of it. Violet set them on top of the bedside table and looked at what lay beneath it. A hair comb, silver with paste jewels in cornflower blue and peridot green. Scattered bobby pins. A slim silver tube of moisturiser, long since empty. Nothing of monetary value, but precious to Violet because it was like looking through a window into the past. She’d wait for a special day and wear the hair comb somewhere nice; maybe she’d ask Barty to take her to one of his tea dances at Swallow Beach ballroom. And, at the back, a pretty silk headscarf printed with cherries. She lifted it out, delighted, and found that it had been used as a makeshift wrapper around a book. Or rather, around a small, sky-blue leather diary, year stamped in gold as 1978.