I’m thrilled to be able to tell you about Elizabeth Forbes latest book SHAME which was published on 30th May 2021 and take part in the blog tour arranged by Anne Cater of Random Things Tours.
About the book:
George and Martha have things they’d rather keep hidden from each other: private thoughts, desires and secrets which, if discovered, could cause untold shame. But to an outsider they appear to have a happy, contented and conventional family life.
At their twins’ Fred and Delilah’s twenty-first birthday party events conspire to uncover disturbing emotional connections, and threaten to reveal a past that has long been concealed.
Soon after, a holiday designed to repair the damage exposes further rifts that could spread beyond the family and possibly change their futures forever.
As a GP, Martha is used to helping her patients mend physically and mentally, but can she do the same for her husband and children, or will the ensuing damage leave wounds that will never heal?
Below is an extract:
P R O L O G U E
1996 LEYTON PARK,
George knocks twice and and listens for his father’s summons.
‘Come!’ he hears, and he twists the brass latch upwards, and pushes the heavy oak-panelled door open. He feels nauseous with anxiety, suspecting that the shape of his future is about to be altered irrevocably. Although it’s mid-morning, his father’s study is gloomy as always, given that it is situated on the north side of the house, and the heavy drapes at the windows further impede the daylight. A partner’s desk acts as a barrier between George and his father, who sits engulfed by a large leather swivel chair on the opposite side.
‘Sit!’ his father barks.
George obeys, feeling as though he is once more eight years old, rather than having just turned twenty-one. ‘Sir,’ he hears himself say in a small dry voice. There have been few times in George’s life when he has addressed his father so, but today it seems the only appropriate form.
‘I do not wish to discuss your conduct, George. Suffice it to say that words cannot express my deep disappointment in you. I have been considering the future of the estate and your place in that future for some time now and I have reached my decision.’
‘Sir?’ George repeats, grateful that he is sitting down, otherwise he wouldn’t trust his legs to support him.
‘Your brother has shown me, through his accomplishments and comportment, that he is far more suited to take it all on. The fact that Tom chose to study land management instead of taking himself off, as you did, to play at painting and fritter away both your time and my money, and with the other things… well it’s clear to me which of the pair of you should be entrusted with the future of Leyton Park. I had hoped that you would have settled down to this life. I fully expected that you would be announcing your engagement to Sophie, something both our families fully supported, but you’ve ruined any hope of that.The girl deserves better, George. Shame on you!’
‘I’m sure Tom will make a brilliant job of it,’ George hears himself say. ‘And as for Sophie, well if last night was anything to go by, perhaps Tom will be the one to unite the families.’ He feels dizzy.The book spines in the bookcases swim in and out of focus. He has the hideous feeling he is about to cry. He stands up, willing some strength into his legs. ‘Will that be all, Father?’
‘Yes. And don’t think I’m going to be supporting you anymore. I suggest it’s preferable for both of us if you return to London, or Florence, or wherever it is you’re headed for, as soon as possible.’
Although he obviously doesn’t know it, George looks at his father for the very last time. ‘Goodbye, Father.’ And with almost surgical precision, he is excised – just like that – from a life he would have loathed