To the Edge of Shadows: A psychological, thrilling and heart-warming read
184 pages
English

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184 pages
English

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Description

'Beautifully written, poetic and haunting... Joanne Graham is a great talent.' --Louise Douglas

'A clever, twisty, taut thriller...' --If These Books Could Talk

Sarah Phillips longs for the simple life - a job to fill her days, a home to return to and a small amount of steps to count between the two. Seriously injured in a car crash when she was thirteen, Sarah has no memory of her childhood or the family she lost.

Ellie Wilson remembers her own past only too well, the cruelty she suffered at the hands of a mother that abused her and a father who couldn't protect her. She finds Sarah fascinating, a mirror to the life she never had.

But as curiosity spills over into obsession, and as Sarah's world begins to unravel, Ellie moves ever closer.

Prize-winning poignant novel about love and loss. Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, Katie Fforde and Jill Mansell


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Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 31 octobre 2014
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781910162859
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0000€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

Legend Press Ltd, The Old Fire Station,
140 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4SD
info@legend-paperbooks.co.uk | www.legendtimesgroup.com
Contents Joanne Graham 2014
The right of the above author to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data available.
Print ISBN 978-1-9101628-4-2
Ebook ISBN 978-1-9101628-5-9
Set in Times. Printed by Clays Ltd.
Cover design by Gudrun Jobst www.yotedesign.com
All characters, other than those clearly in the public domain, and place names, other than those well-established such as towns and cities, are fictitious and any resemblance is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher. Any person who commits any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.
Joanne Graham lives in rural Devon, UK, with her two children and too many cats. Being the youngest of five children, her love of the written word began when she would escape the busyness of her childhood home by diving into a good book. She has been writing since the tender age of eleven when her mother bought her a typewriter for her birthday.
Joanne was the winner of the 2012 Luke Bitmead Bursary and her first novel, Lacey s House, was published by Legend Press in 2013.
Visit Joanne at
joannegrahamblog.wordpress.com
Follow her @YarrowH
For my Mother With love always
Chapter One
This is what I was. I was nothing; I was lost in the darkness. For a long time I was only the sharp bloom of agony, the rush of adrenalin, the light tingling of someone else s movement against my skin. There was silence where I drifted and the quiet became vast in the shadows, it was bigger than me, bigger than everything. I was invisible against it, a fragment of black on black. And time passed. I felt it flowing past me like oil and had no way to measure its depth, its length. Until suddenly there was something more and I didn t know where this other began or where the silence ended. I recognised its absence, yet did not see it leaving.
Into that moment moved a shadowed hand in vague focus, a staccato beep, a sharp sigh of murmured platitude that shrunk the silence to something softer, more tangible. What I heard and what I saw, they were noise and shape, yet still unknown with their blurred edges. And abruptly it seemed that there were monsters of a kind in the darkness, roaring monsters with gaping mouths at the edges of a vision that seemed new and tenuous. I felt fingers grasp at my wrists and sharp teeth sink into my skin, I felt them pull at me, dragging me with them deeper and deeper into the billowing darkness. I was lost.
There was pain and confusion where I drifted in the emptiness. Words were familiar inside my head; they made sense to me there where no-one could see them but they lost their way in my mouth, drifted against the edges of my teeth and stuck there, sour and worthless. My lips would not open and in my head I was screaming and screaming, willing my teeth apart, my tongue to move, my voice to sound a klaxon into the stagnant uncertainty.
Should I talk to her?
My mouth didn t move, these were not my words, I could not claim them. They were soft and small and there were tears in them, they swam in the air around my head and I tried to follow them, recognise them but they were chased away by a reply, a deeper voice.
Of course, if you would like to. She may be able to hear you.
And the words in my mouth drifted deeper, higher as I tried to say that I could hear them; that I was in there and they could not see me in the dark.
There was warmth in the palm of my hand, soft and small. It clenched lightly, curving around fingers that felt weak and could not squeeze back. Somebody s hand in mine, a small fingertip tracing the bones in my wrist. The hand touched only the places where I did not ache, the tiny spaces where there was no pain and in its gentleness there was a kind of loss, an urging to respond, a resignation.
Into that moment the music fell. Quiet at first, shy almost, I felt my ears strain to catch the sounds as they gathered momentum, becoming firmer, less shaky. Baby love, my baby love, I need you oh how I need you. I did not recognise the tune, the words were unfamiliar. It was sung with a sorrow that worked against the tempo and the voice hitched, faltered, started again. The softness in that voice was like texture on my skin, I felt it caress my cheek, touch at the corner of my mouth.
She smiled! the music left instantly as her voice called out with breathless urgency. There were squeaky footsteps, the sound of breathing. I m sure she did, only a little, but I saw it.
In that instant, light flooded into my eye, chasing agony beneath the hard curve of my skull. I tried to blink against the finger holding my eyelid open but I was frozen until the hand moved away and the darkness brought relief. I faded away into the nothing behind my eyes and I swam there for a time that had no measure.
The next time there was sound something had changed, it was less muted, more real, it could be grasped, held in my mind, examined. I opened my eyes to greet it and across the void I saw neat blonde hair. I looked into blue eyes that held tears and exhaustion. I did not recognise them and the person they belonged to stared back at me for long moments, a frown spreading across her forehead as she looked at me. Her eyes flicked to somewhere beyond my shoulder then back again. The clarity hurt my head and I winced against it as she gestured to someone I could not see and then footsteps approached.
Another woman bent over me, shone light in my aching eyes, watched for a reaction. She must have seen what she wanted to see because she nodded to herself and scattered words over her shoulder like salt at the waiting woman with the worried eyes.
I ll get the doctor, she said and I heard the other woman s breath catch.
Can you hear me, Sarah?
I wanted to reply but I was thinking, is that my name? Is she talking to me? Of course she must be, it s only the two of us here now . But the name was unfamiliar and I did not recognise the voice that spoke it.
I felt tiredness sweep over me and struggled against it, wanting to hold back that moment of return into the nothing. I fought to be free of it and it was a birth of sorts, a squeezing into life, a labouring. This was the moment I began, the moment of my first cohesive memory. I would feed it over the years until it grew with me, became more adult, more solid. This was the time of my becoming and I floundered helpless and weak as a newborn. But I was not new, I was older, grown, and later I would find out that my life began there, in the month of my fourteenth birthday.
Chapter Two
Where do words come from? Were they born in me, absorbed somehow from a mother I couldn t recall? Did they wait latent and calm for the starter s whistle when they would rush into my mouth and announce themselves? And if not, if they were painstakingly learned, patiently taught, then why were they there in my vacant mind, why did I still know them when everything else had gone?
The words filled the silent spaces; they were grasped from the air around me when the nurses thought I slept. I heard them talk about my emptiness, about being broken and all the things I could not do and, in their conversation, I saw that words were all that was left of the person I once was. Apart from the woman who watched me, who seemed to fit there in that space as much as I did, who became as familiar as the ever-closed blinds and the routines of checks, refreshments, lights out.
She had small features, large eyes, an air of sadness. I took in the gentle, youthful femininity of her and there was no-one in her face that I recognised, she belonged only in that room, a patch of bright, floral fabric against clinical white and beige. I did not know her at all and when I told her this, light, whispered words carried on weak breath, the pain of the knowledge rippled across her face.
You will, she said and her hand touched mine as if she sought to assure me of her reality, her presence, I m your Aunt Leah.
It seemed that she was ever-present. I did not know what the chair beneath her looked like, I had never seen it empty. I had not yet woken from sleep to find her gone. There was comfort in her presence, in her increasing familiarity; the room would not be complete without her. In the vague moments of waking, when I was not quite there, not quite anywhere, she was the anchor that drew my eyes and held me still.
The doctor came in as I drifted, talked to her in hushed tones. There were signs of improvement, of growing stronger. He referred to me as she as if he too had forgotten who I was and I wanted to tell him, shout out loud that I am me, I am here. But I didn t know where here was and even in my own mind I was Sarah, and that was all.
The chair creaked as she sat down and I realised that I didn t want to open my eyes while it was vacant. I did not want to question the solidity of the things I knew for certain: my name was Sarah, Leah always sat in the chair, the doctors always spoke in whispers.
There was a magazine open in her lap, her eyes skimmed across the surface, never stopping on any one thing long enough to take it in. She turned the page, the sound soft and appealing in the silent room, I felt the gentle breeze of its turning on the back of my han

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