As I predicted, the friendship between Lucy and Matilda is ruined when Lucy and Raoul get together behind her back. It is only when Raoul asks Lucy to marry him that Lucy’s father makes his daughter tell Matilda. Tara goes with her, and even though she first pretends to be pleased, she starts sobbing and crying. Then Tara learns that Matilda has left for London, and she is not seen again for years.
I think Lucy doesn’t behave well, because she should have been upfront with her friend, but instead she kept carrying on with Raoul while Matilda still thought he was interested in her. Poor Tara also has to suffer the consequences of her sister’s behaviour as Lady W-D fires her. Later we learn that Matilda didn’t act well. Lucy and Raoul get married, and it is a year later that Tara discovers something when she brings some books to Raoul. A note drops from one of the books, and Tara reads it. The note is from Matilda to Raoul, telling him that Lucy is barren and can’t have children, so he should think about it before marrying her. When Tara asks her sister and Raoul about it, Lucy explains everything.
Lucy and Tara had an accident while riding a bicycle after their mother died. That is the reason why Tara limps slightly, and now Lucy confesses that she bled profusely after the accident, but nothing after that. She never got her period in all the years that followed. Lucy thought that something was not right, so when she talked to Matilda about it, the girl suggested she could see a gynaecologist she knew. The doctor confirmed that she couldn’t have children as apparently her uterus shrank after the trauma of losing her mother.
After what happened with Raoul, Matilda wrote that note, trying to split them apart. Yet, Raoul remained loyal to Lucy. Tara notices later that there is some coldness between her sister and her husband, and I wonder if their love isn’t enough to keep their problems and demons at bay. Or maybe their marriage was a bit too rash, and now that after the first blush of love, things are not as perfect as they thought.
Then the village hears about Matilda. She is in an advertisement in a magazine as she now works for a magazine. Rumours spread about Matilda being rich and socialising with celebrities. After a while, Tara’s father gets a letter from Matilda, telling him that she is getting married to someone called Billy Laurier and wants him to marry her. Tara also gets a letter, and Matilda asks her to sing at her wedding. The whole family is invited, but Lucy refuses, especially when Raoul falls and breaks a leg, making him stay in hospital for six weeks.
At the wedding Tara’s solo is a success. Matilda looks beautiful, and her new husband, Billy, who Tara knows is the founder of a music company, is the most attractive man Tara has seen before. Tara also discovers that Matilda has changed a lot; she now smokes and drinks, and there is little of the demure young woman she used to be. Tara is surprised and in disbelief when Billy tells her that he is going to take her off to London to produce a record with her voice.
The night after the wedding Tara is woken by someone hurling stones to her window. It is Matilda, and when Tara lets her in, she is drunk and upset. Matilda tells her that she is six-months pregnant and very scared. Then she starts crying and saying that she is very sorry for what happened with Raoul and Lucy, and all she hoped is to have seen Lucy at the wedding and fix things. Then she makes Tara promise that she and Lucy will go to the house for dinner the next day.
Tara doesn’t know what her sister will say, but Lucy surprises her by agreeing to go to dinner with her and meet Matilda. When Matilda and Lucy meet, there is a frosty atmosphere between them, which is logical. Then when Bill appears, he and Matilda explain their propositions. Billy really wants Tara to go to London and be in a record, and as for Lucy, Matilda explains that there is a woman who wants to restore an old manor, and she has recommended Lucy who knows more about houses than anyone she knows. Lucy keeps making excuses, but Billy trumps them all, explaining he has already talked to the girls’ father and even Raoul, and they are ready to make do without them for a few weeks.
I am really enjoying the novel. The characters have already grown on me, and I really love Tara. I’m dying to know what will happen to her and Lucy and the rest of them.