About the book
Is your house as safe as you think?
Natalie spent most of her childhood feeling afraid. So when she moved into her
cosy little flat in St Ives and met her three friendly neighbours, she knew at once it
was somewhere she’d feel safe.
Before long, Natalie’s neighbours have become the family she never had. Kind,
motherly Morwenna, serious, reliable Nigel, and sweet, anxious Daniel. They collect
each other’s mail, water each other’s plants, and share each others lives.
But as Natalie knows all too well, the people who are closest to you can also be the
most dangerous. And this house is not as safe as she thinks…
Here is snippet:
The thing is, it wasn’t until this silly thought of moving out, however fleeting it was, probably not even for an entire second, that I appreciated how fond I’ve become of my neighbours. What with me and Mo having the two top-floor flats and Nigel and Daniel occupying the ground-floor flats, we’ve become quite the little family. Admittedly, a quirky, odd – okay, peculiar – type of family, but then aren’t all families like this? By far, Mo and I have the best flats with far-reaching views over the bay of St Ives, the old Victorian fishing harbour and its golden sands. I can even see the block stone wall of Smeatons Pier from this rear window, especially so in my heels. In between the house and the sea are many interlocked, cosy cottages and adorable terraces lining the coiling cobblestoned steps down to the centre of town. Most of which are whitewashed with pretty leaded-window eyes and vibrantly painted door lips. The others, scattered amongst, simply blend and connect the more fancy with the more conservative homes with flurries of greys and creams of traditional Cornish slate. Either side of the wide lingering steps are trails of pots, pans, artefacts and wellington boots, crammed with seasonal vegetation. It’s all so beautifully perfect, why would I choose to leave?
Of all my neighbours, I guess I’m closest of all to Mo. She’s become a good friend, if not my best, despite our age difference. With a deliciously dry sense of humour and, though I wouldn’t tell her this, with her silly thing about age, she’s also the mum I sadly lost and still desperately long for. After Mo, there’s sweet, sweet Daniel, who’s one of these people the entire town and their dogs know and love. I can’t imagine anyone ever disliking him. He’s everyone’s buddy. Some people are friends and others are buddies; Daniel is definitely a buddy. Why is this? His lovable puppy-dog eyes? His immediate acceptance and incapability of seeing bad in anyone? Maybe this is why I feel slightly protective over him. I mean, despite his obvious higher level of intelligence – he went to Cambridge, for God’s sake – there’s also something so vulnerable and childlike about him. An air of someone who is so incredibly, creatively intelligent they completely lack any form of structured logic.
Which leads me on to Tommy, who is employed by Daniel’s father to keep an eye on his son. Tommy once told me, Daniel has been through bad times and this has damaged his perspective and judgment. Whatever you want to take from that. Personally, I think it’s more that Daniel’s father lacks faith in his son or he’s too full of his own self-importance to care, so makes excuses for his own shortcomings. If you listen to Daniel he’ll tell you, he failed his father, especially when he was forced to forgo his graduate studies in Cambridge. I’ve not pressed Daniel about the Cambridge stuff as he’s obviously still upset about it all, and anyway, as I see it bad shit happens to us all. And if he wants to keep his bad shit to himself, so be it. Look at me, I can talk. Aren’t I the queen of dark horses? Mover of bad shit?
Then, there’s Nigel. Now, he’s a funny one but also completely harmless. All upright, straight-faced and bound up by his own rules and guidelines. He also reeks of intelligence, in the best kind of way, and is a partner in his own practice of solicitors. Likes to keep himself to himself. Tucks his trouser legs into Pringle plaid socks as he cycles to the railway station the other side of town each weekday. Refuses to have Sky television and only ever really watches the BBC and listens to BBC Radio 3, not at the same time, obviously. But, for all his idiosyncrasies, I know any one of us could knock on his door in times of need, which is what matters, isn’t it? As for his age, he’s in his forties but considers himself in his sixties. When I think of it, from time to time, he’s quite attractive in a moody, orthodox kind of way. If you’re into that kind of thing.
So its Mo the mother figure, Daniel the puppy dog and Nigel the upright solicitor. I wonder what they think of me? Natalie, the worrywart, the closed-door enigma, or so I’ve been called. And for this I have my reasons, as does everyone. Don’t they?
About the author
Sarah Simpson has a first-class honours degree in Psychology and has experienced
working at a Brain Rehabilitation Hospital. She has spent time as a family consultant
for Warwickshire and Oxfordshire solicitors and gained knowledge of the Family
Court System. She now lives in Cornwall with her husband, three children and
Twitter: @sarahrsimpsonPre-order links:
Instagram: @ariafictionSarah Simpson- I Know You’re There