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Louise Walters was born in Oxfordshire and now lives in Northamptonshire with her husband and five children. She graduated from the Open University in 2010. This is her first novel.
Author photo © Ian Walters
One of our Books of the Year 2014. March 2014 Debut of the Month. This is a delightful debut novel which takes a forgotten letter found in the pages of an old battered book as the start of a rich and enjoyable discovery of war time family secrets. Both Roberta, in the present day, and Dorothea, the letter’s author in the 1940s, are wonderful heroines and the point at which the stories meet when Roberta visits Dorothea in her nursing home is truly poignant. This facet of the story – how we think about our parents and grandparents and how their lives have turned out gives a wonderful resonance to the story and makes it so much more than just a tale of a forgotten wartime romance. Lovereading View:- An achingly moving and thought-provoking tale of secrets; told with extreme humanity and compassion. Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase holds a lifetime of memories, lost and found love is carefully folded away while a crucial decision hides in the corner.Two main stories are disclosed in different time frames, the author cleverly separating the two eras; the first, in the present, is narrated by Roberta herself and the second, from the past is told on behalf of Dorothy. Both women appear outwardly strong, however one harbours a tortuous secret which has been her constant companion, while the other searches for answers from the past. Walters does not sanction or encourage provocative thoughts of judgement but as echoes of sadness travel across the years, you are left with thought provoking questions about the necessity of secrets and the choices we make. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'Packed full of secrets and deceptions. I wept my way through this deeply moving story of loss and soul searching.' – Janet Lambert. Scroll down to read more reviews. A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... Dear Reader I’m Louise Walters’ editor, and my remit is to publish novels that are perfect for reading groups. That could be quite a broad definition, because of course members of reading groups can read any book they choose to, but there seem to be certain key elements that make a book particularly suited for that kind of discussion. I have long been searching for the mythical Perfect Reading Group Novel, and as soon as I read Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase I knew I had found it. A young woman working in a bookshop – great, book-lovers like to read about books. A second strand set in wartime, featuring her grandmother – fantastic, the smaller personal tragedies of war can make for a really compelling plot. A Captain Corelli-esque ‘will they, won’t they?’ love story – tick. And a dark family secret just waiting to be uncovered – what’s not to like?But alongside all these elements, Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase has that elusive magic ingredient – readability. It’s beautifully written, and the characters are so human, so flawed but likeable, that you will be rooting for them every step of the way. I’m not going to apologise for this, but I should warn you – you will cry. I cried every time I read it, and as the editor I had to read it a lot! You will also fall in love with Jan, and I won’t apologise for that either.We are all very excited about this book, and were delighted when the US rights were bought by the editor who discovered The Help. I think this book has all the elements that made The Help such a success, and I very much hope you agree.Suzie Suzie DooréEditorial Director, Hodder and Stoughton
Tina Thornton's twin sister Meg died in a childhood accident, but for almost forty years Tina has secretly blamed herself for her sister's death. During a visit to her aging Uncle Edward and his sister Lucia, who both harbour dark secrets of their own, Tina makes a discovery that forces her to finally question her memories of the day her sister died. Who, if anyone, did kill Meg? As Tina finds the courage to face the past, she unravels the tangled family mysteries of her estranged parents, her beautiful French Aunt Simone, the fading, compassionate Uncle Edward, and above all, the cold, bitter Aunt Lucia, whose spectral presence casts a long shadow over them all. A Life Between Us is a beautifully evocative story of a family torn apart at the seams, which will appeal to readers who enjoy family sagas and modern-day mysteries.
Tina Thornton's twin sister Meg died in a childhood accident, but for almost forty years Tina has secretly blamed herself for her sister's death. During a visit to her Uncle Edward and his sister Lucia, who both harbour dark secrets of their own, Tina makes a discovery that forces her to finally question her memories of the day her sister died.
Zahvatyvayushchij roman, povestvuyushchij o semejnyh tajnah, rodstvennyh dushah i upushchennyh vozmozhnostyah. Dve parallel'nye istorii, razdelennye pyat'yudesyat'yu godami, polnye tajn, samopozhertvovaniya, lzhi i lyubvi... Nashe vremya. Angliya. Roberta lyubit kollekcionirovat' pis'ma i otkrytki, kotorye popadayutsya ej v staryh knigah. Odnazhdy otec peredaet Roberte chemodan s knigami ee babushki, i v odnoj iz nih devushka obnaruzhivaet udivitel'noe i volnuyushchee pis'mo. Ono napisano ee dedom, kotorogo ona nikogda ne videla. Ej vsegda govorili, chto ded pogib na vojne. Odnako pis'mo napisano neskol'kimi mesyacami pozzhe daty ego predpolagaemoj smerti v boyu... Vtoraya mirovaya vojna. Brak s Al'bertom ne prinosit Doroti schast'ya. Sejchas ee muzh na vojne. V odin iz dnej na pole za ee domom razbivaetsya voennyj samolet. Tak Doroti znakomitsya s komandirom ehskadril'i YAnom Petrikovski. Oni vlyublyayutsya drug v druga. Doroti kazhetsya, chto teper' ona nashla svoe schast'e. No sud'ba rasporyadilas' po-inomu. V zhizni Doroti poyavlyaetsya tajna, otzvuki kotoroj i cherez ochen' mnogo let budut budorazhit' ee vnuchkuPotryasayushchee proizvedenie o dvuh mirah, odin iz kotoryh razrushen sekretami, a drugoj - pravdoj. Vpervye na russkom yazyke!
A heartbreaking and deeply compelling debut, Mrs. Sinclair's Suitcase is a compulsive page-turner about thwarted love, dashed hopes, and family secretsbook-club fiction at its best. Roberta, a lonely thirty-four-year-old bibliophile, works at The Old and New Bookshop in England. When she finds a letter inside her centenarian grandmother's battered old suitcase that hints at a dark secret, her understanding of her family's history is completely upturned. Running alongside Roberta's narrative is that of her grandmother, Dorothy, as a forty-year-old childless woman desperate for motherhood during the early years of World War II. After a chance encounter with a Polish war pilot, Dorothy believes she's finally found happiness, but must instead make an unthinkable decision whose consequences forever change the framework of her family. The parallel stories of Roberta and Dorothy unravel over the course of eighty years as they both make their own ways through secrets, lies, sacrifices, and love. Utterly absorbing, Mrs. Sinclair's Suitcase is a spellbinding tale of two worlds, one shattered by secrets and the other by the truth. From the Hardcover edition.
Forgive me, Dorothea, for I cannot forgive you. What you do, to this child, to this child's mother, it is wrong... Roberta likes to collect the letters and postcards she finds in second-hand books. When her father gives her some of her grandmother's belongings, she finds a baffling letter from the grandfather she never knew - dated after he supposedly died in the war. Dorothy is unhappily married to Albert, who is away at war. When an aeroplane crashes in the field behind her house she meets Squadron Leader Jan Pietrykowski, and as their bond deepens she dares to hope she might find happiness. But fate has other plans for them both, and soon she is hiding a secret so momentous that its shockwaves will touch her granddaughter many years later...
Forgive me, Dorothea, for I cannot forgive you. What you do, to this child, to this child's mother, it is wrong...Roberta likes to collect the letters and postcards she finds in second-hand books. When her father gives her some of her grandmother's belongings, she finds a baffling letter from the grandfather she never knew - dated after he supposedly died in the war. Dorothy is unhappily married to Albert, who is away at war. When an aeroplane crashes in the field behind her house she meets Squadron Leader Jan Pietrykowski, and as their bond deepens she dares to hope she might find happiness. But fate has other plans for them both, and soon she is hiding a secret so momentous that its shockwaves will touch her granddaughter many years later...