How would you like to inherit a large house in the English countryside? That's what happened to Samantha Langley, however, she wasn't prepared for what she would find there.
When Samantha inherits Hawsley Manor from Great Uncle Harry, she knows that this is her opportunity for a new life. Sam is no stranger to the house and countryside and already has friends in the neighbourhood, but to husband Mike the attractions of Somerset as opposed to London are not immediately obvious.
Still recovering from her latest miscarriage, Sam finds unexpected solace in the comfortable old house but fears that Mike may be finding solace of an altogether different kind back in London where his attractive young secretary has her eye on him. But Sam is reluctant to leave what she sees as her new responsibilities to return to London and sort things out, a decision which she risks regretting.
Not only is the strength of Sam and Mike’s relationship tested during these months but Sam finds she has to deal with further loss before her new life can truly begin.
Set in the present day and 1915 when the First World War was into its second year, The Spirit of Hawsley Manor explores a special relationship which has no restrictions in time.
Sam made her way up the steep, narrow back stairs to the second floor which held a multitude of smaller rooms. She stopped outside the nursery hoping the rocking horse would still be there. Opening the door, she spotted Horatio where he had always been, covered by a dust sheet. She sighed with relief as she walked over to him and absently set him moving on his rockers, feeling his coarse mane through the white cotton. She had forgotten about good old Horatio once Rachel had introduced her to real horses, but she sensed the importance of him still being in residence. He creaked slightly, although his motion was smooth and she gazed out of the window overlooking the cedar tree.
Her heart stopped and she held her breath. Under the tree, a little boy of about eight was being chased by a young woman in a long black dress and bibbed apron. The little boy was dressed in a sailor suit, his blond curls escaping from beneath his blue beret. His face creased in joy as she caught him around the waist and whirled him about in an arc. Sam was distracted from the scene by tyres crunching on the gravel and quickly turned her head to see Mike driving to the front of the house. When she turned back to the cedar tree, the people had gone.