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By: Adrienne Nash

The Mouse Wife

Pages: 302 Ratings:
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In 1939, when Elizabeth, the daughter of a wealthy cotton mill owner, meets the dashing honourable James, she is overwhelmed by a handsome young man who is the opposite of her retiring, shy nature. Elizabeth has been schooled in etiquette at a Swiss finishing school but suffered slights from other girls from the ‘best’ families in Europe, titled and arrogant. Her father has no love of the aristocracy, wasters and scoundrels, he calls them, but for his daughter to be a future countess of Cumberland, that is something to contemplate. They marry but Elizabeth soon tires of the London scene. On the estate, Castle Hemgarth in the county of Cumberland, Elizabeth feels safe. World War 2 intercedes and takes James away, leaving Elizabeth to nurse her dying father-in-law and the estate. What Elizabeth and James want so badly is an heir but when James, an officer rising rank by rank, is away, what chance is there of that? Elizabeth finds courage and finds her feet as Countess of Cumberland and James has a wandering eye and a life away from Hemgarth.

Adrienne was born five days after the outbreak of WW2, September 1939. She suffered a difficult childhood, brought up in a village on the North Downs, the chalk uplands that form a line of hills from Dover to Farnham in Surrey. Her village lay due south of the City of London at around 166 metres elevation, not high by any standard but high enough to be cool in summer and cold in winter. It was high enough too, for German bombers to fly over at low elevation, and high enough for the later V2 “Doodle-bug” to cross at perhaps just a couple of hundred feet. One passed by her bedroom window to obliterate a house converted to flats a mile away. Another blew up in the field opposite breaking the house windows. Even so it was not the War that made life difficult but general
inner unhappiness.


She attended boarding school in Cambridge and then in puberty lost her way. At eighteen, she joined a bank, a subsidiary of Lloyds Bank and volunteered to work in West Africa. She did five years’ service in Sierra Leone as a bank manager, suffering dengue fever, septicaemia and a witch doctor’s curse, her adventures there contained in “A Strange Fish Swimming in a Foreign Sea”, to be published in 2023.


Thereafter she first worked for an American food company and then the Civil Service. In 2002, she cowrote a book, Wide Skies, a history of the Norfolk and Norwich Art Circle, to which Sir John Arnesby Brown, Sir Alfred Munnings and Edward Seago belonged.


At seventy years old, she began writing in earnest, at first publishing on Amazon having received several rejections from agents and publishers. She is 83 years old and still tapping the keys.


Novels by Adrienne Nash:


The Quartet. Trudi; ~ Trudi in Paris; ~ Trudi and Simon; ~ Trudi without Simon.

Breakdown

Long Journey into Light

Castle Murkie

The Trials of Sienna Chambers

The Cellar; ~ and sequel, ~ A Time to be Brave

Elizabeth

A Strange Life (Autobiography of the Author)

Tina G

To Love and Love Not

Coming Out

From the Ashes

Suddenly this Summer

the sequel Prejudice and Sensitivities

Holly

Lost in the Snow

Owning Lili

Loyalty

The Passing of Little Tough Guy

Deliverance

Sasha

The House of Lies and Secrets

Wide Skies by Adrienne May and Brian Watts.



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