When a book looks as gorgeous as Tremarnock Summer by Emma Burstall, it’s so disappointing when I haven’t had chance to read it yet. However, I am lucky enough to have an extract from Tremarnock Summer to share with you today.
Tremarnock Summer was published by Head of Zeus in e-book in May and will be released in hardback in the autumn. Tremarnock Summer is available for purchase through the publisher links here.
Bramble Challoner has had a very normal upbringing. She lives in a semi in the suburbs of London with her parents and works at the call centre down the road. She still goes out with the boy she met at school. At weekends they stay in and watch films on the telly and sometimes hold hands. Bramble is dying for an adventure.
So when her very grand grandfather, Lord Penrose, dies, leaving his huge, rambling house in Cornwall to her, Bramble packs her bags immediately, dragging along her best friend Katie. The sleepy village of Tremarnock had better be ready for its newest residents…
An Extract from Tremarnock Summer
BACK IN LONDON, Cassie was standing in the bedroom doorway, clutching a pile of Bramble’s ironed clothes so tightly to her bosom that it looked as if they’d have to be wrenched away.
‘You can still change your mind, you know. You don’t have to go.’
Bramble herself was sitting on the end of the bed with a blue canvas holdall, half-full and open, beside her, while another, zipped up and bulging, was on the floor at her feet.
‘It’s something I need to do,’ she said gently, trying to ignore the tears pooling in the corners of her stepmother’s eyes. ‘You do understand, don’t you? I have to give it a try.’
Cassie let out a small sob and Bill, standing behind, put a protective arm around her shoulders.
‘Remember, you can always come back if you don’t like it. There’ll be no shame in it.’ His eyes, too, were suspiciously glassy and there was a wobble in his voice that he couldn’t disguise.
Bramble jumped up and flung her arms around both parents, so that they were huddled together like small animals clinging to each other for warmth and comfort.
‘It’s only Cornwall. It’s not that far,’ she said – uncertainly, for right now she felt as if she were emigrating to Australia. After all, she’d lived her whole life in Chessington and, bar the occasional week in Tenerife or Mallorca, had barely ventured outside the M25.
‘They do things different there,’ her father said ominously, knitting his unruly grey eyebrows. ‘Instead of buses and cars, you’ll see fields and sheep and…’ He paused and rubbed his chin. ‘…and half-wits.’
Bramble laughed; she couldn’t help it. ‘Half-wits? What on earth do you mean?’
Her father nodded wisely. ‘Inbreds. They go in for it; it’s a known fact. There’s not much choice, y’see.’
‘Da-ad, I can’t believe you said that.’
Bill shrugged. ‘You can think what you like, but it’s true. It’s not for nothing they’re described as wurzels with a piece of straw sticking out of their mouths. They’re not quite all there, most of ’em.’
Bramble pursed her lips. There was no point arguing. Her father had tried every tactic known to man to persuade her to stay, but to no avail. The inbreeding theory was but the latest in a long litany of excuses as to why she shouldn’t go. Chances were, he no more believed it than she did, but he was desperate.
‘When are you coming to visit?’ she said hopefully, but Bill only growled.
‘Said I’d never set foot in that man’s place, not after what he did, and I never will.’
‘Nor me,’ said Cassie, all choked up. ‘Never.’
‘But he’s dead,’ Bramble cried. ‘And it’s not his manor any more, it’s mine!’
About Emma Burstall
Emma Burstall studied English at Cambridge University before becoming a journalist for local and national newspapers and women’s magazines. She lives with my husband in South West London and has three children and two fat cats called Pablo and Dolly. As well as visiting Cornwall, Emma likes reading (a lot) and running in Richmond Park with her friends (slowly).
Emma’s books are all warm, heartfelt tales about women, love, life, relationships and families.