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An epic tale of unrequieted love and a quest for revenge
A tale of forbidden love and a quest for revenge against a backdrop of social change. When London teenager Lou O’Connell comes to the Sussex village of Summerset after World War II, her life changes forever. As the daughter of the local publican, she becomes the belle of the village, pursued by most of the local young men. Her heart, however, belongs to Andrew McDonald, the husband of Briggy Sheridan, daughter of the much hated brewing family who not only own the pub, but most of the village. Lou and Andrew’s passion spans decades, kept secret from everyone around them. Lou becomes a successful writer and rich in her own right, but when she makes a shocking discovery about her own heritage, she becomes hell-bent on seeking revenge and claiming what is rightfully hers
It was St George’s Day and in an act of bold rebellion, Mick had draped the Republican flag across the bar, and had Irish music playing in the background. The pub was full, the air smoky and thick with the sound of chatter. That was until someone spotted Sorcha and a hush descended upon the room. All eyes fell upon the statuesque girl who stood in the centre of the room, her hands upon her hips. The only sound to fill the air being that of the fiddle music coming from the gramophone. Lou, Mick and Barbara remained rooted behind the counter. Barbara began to shake visibly, sensing that this stranger had brought trouble with her.
Sorcha strode to the bar, pointing a leather gloved finger at the flag.
“What’s that?” she screamed.
Mick didn’t reply, merely held his noble head high in defiance of this tiresome girl who he took to be the youngest of the Sheridan clan.
“How dare you drape that filth over my bar!” Sorcha fumed. “Summerset is a protestant town, you Catholic filth.”
In a swift action, Sorcha grasped the flag and ripped it from the bar, sending pints of Sheridans and bowls of peanuts scattering everywhere. With the grace of an athlete, Lou came flying across the counter, floral dress and black hair flailing all over the place. She landed upon Sorcha, knocking her to the ground. The girls began screaming and clawing at each other like banshees, tearing at hair and dresses. An eager and excited crowd gathered around them. Mick followed his daughter over the bar and started pulling her away. Both Andrew and Briggy were too mortified by the violence to find the strength to help Sorcha out, and all the locals pretended to turn a blind eye, all secretly glad to see her getting what she’d had coming for years. The mad girl staggered to her feet herself. She had never looked more demented, her hair had rolled itself back into its original ringlets, and they fell about with wild abandon, looking like golden snakes....Medusa. The sleeve was torn from her dress and large, red scratches trailed down her arms.
Lou stood struggling against her father’s body, her face red, her talons stretching out, longing to claw at her enemy. As Sorcha looked demented, but Lou looked wonderful - like Andrew’s Republican fantasy come true.
“You bitch!” screamed Sorcha. “You dirty bitch, riding my horse.”
“Stuck up cow!” shouted Lou. “You wait, I’ll fucking have you.”
Sorcha took this as bait, and launched herself at Lou once more. Andrew finally found the ability to move and pulled his sister in law off, dragging her kicking and screaming out of the pub. She continued to twist and turn her body, looking back at Lou and Mick.
“That’s it!” she hissed like a woman possessed. “You’re out, you filthy Catholic scum. I’ll see to it my father makes sure you’re sent back to the sewer where you came from.”
Andrew levered her out and threw her onto the back seat of the car. He climbed into the driver’s seat and as soon as Briggy was beside him, started the engine and drove off at speed, preventing Sorcha from throwing herself from the vehicle and running back to the pub.
She sat in the back of the car, spitting fire. Andrew kept glancing at her in the rear-view mirror and he could not get the thought out of his mind of how much she resembled Lou. They had exactly the same round face, perfect nose and generous mouth. The only difference being that behind Sorcha’s eyes hid the soul of the Devil, whereas Lou’s eyes only radiated kindness. Otherwise they were so similar, they could have been twins. Why had no one ever noticed it before?
“They’ve had it now,” Sorcha snarled. “I’m telling mummy and daddy to withdraw his licence. No-one’s going to attack me like that again.”
A cold shiver ran down Andrew’s spine. He knew Patrick and Colleen would go along with whatever Sorcha demanded, and they would not appreciate the daughter of one of their landlords attacking her. Mick would be fired immediately. Andrew couldn’t bear the thought of Lou going back to London, never seeing her again. All that talent and potential and beauty banished to some squalid flat in the East End. Andrew’s palms went clammy and his heart beat fast with dread. The more he thought about it, the more terrifying it became.
“Why don’t you forget it Sorcha?” he pleaded. “There’s room for you and Lou in Summerset. Besides, you’ll be marrying next year. You won’t even be living here.”
“She’s an ugly tramp!” Sorcha pouted. “She looks like a Gypsy. You don’t think I’m worried about her looks do you? It’s the sheer cheek of it, having that flag in the bar and attacking me!” she shook her head in disgust. “I want her and her father out of Summerset tomorrow.