I’m delighted to welcome Rosie Travers to my blog this week. Rosie’s latest novel kept me very entertained on a recent long journey, so having her on Thursday Themes is a huge treat for me.
Over to you, Rosie…
Thank you Jo for inviting me onto your blog to talk about the underlying themes in my latest novel, Your Secret’s Safe With Me.
Pearl, Becca and Freddy are a tight-knit family trio, but what really holds them together?
Becca and her mother Pearl have a professional working partnership but their personal relationship has suffered as a result. Following an earlier heartbreak Becca has channelled her energies into managing Pearl’s career as a romantic novelist. She has strived to create a financial security and a stable home for younger brother Freddy. When Pearl returns from an eight week cruise and announces her engagement to a man she has only just met, Becca’s is horrified. It is as if her life’s work has come undone.
She is determined to stop the wedding. She claims she is being protective of her mother – Pearl’s previous marriage was a disaster – but Becca is also protecting her own vested interests. As Pearl delivers more earth shattering news — her intention to relocate to new fiancé Jack’s waterside home and quit writing — Becca realises she is no longer in control and totally out of her comfort zone.
Family bonds are irrevocable, but family dynamics can change. Becca’s professional role had led her to adopt the role of head of the family. She assumed Pearl and Freddy were reliant on her and realises to her dismay that she was the one relying on them – not just for her own career fulfilment but emotional attachment.
When a new job opportunity arises, Becca knows the sensible route would be to grab it, to break free from the cycle of co-dependency and carve out a new life for herself, but she faces a huge dilemma. Can she risk leaving Pearl and Freddy to fend for themselves, or does she stay on hand to avert a looming crisis and the possible exposure of long hidden secrets? And this is where the next theme creeps in:
All families have taboos, the subjects no-one talks about, the skeletons in closets. Becca has her own secrets to protect and when a face from her past intrudes into the family’s new life in the country, she has to take evasive action.
Becca is not the only person with secrets in this novel. It seems as if everyone in the sleepy village of Kerridge something to hide – from the multi-millionaire who takes Freddy under to his wing, to Jack, Pearl’s new fiancé. The consequences of keeping secrets has far reaching implications – why do we do it? To protect ourselves, or those we love, and how do we know the secrets we keep are the ‘right’ secrets, the ones that should be kept?
And then there is Nick – working undercover, but who exactly is he working for, and why does he want Becca to trust him again now, when he has let her down before?
And that leads us nicely into the final theme:
Would you trust the man who left you standing at the altar? That’s the dilemma Becca faces. Can she bring herself to forgive Nick, and why should she believe his grim warning that Pearl and Freddy are in danger? Trust has to be earned, and integrity proven. Nick has his work cut out.
Career girl Becca Gates’ organised life is thrown into chaos when her mother, romantic novelist Pearl, announces her surprise engagement to Jack, a man she has only just met.
Worse news follows when Pearl tells Becca she intends to leave London, quit writing, and retire to her new fiancé’s idyllic waterside home on the south coast. Becca is determined to prevent Pearl from making a disastrous mistake, but when she arrives at Rivermede, more shocks await when she stumbles upon a familiar yet unwelcome face from her past.
As Pearl embraces her new life amongst the local sailing fraternity, Becca receives a grim warning that all is not as calm as it seems at picturesque Rivermede, and if she wants to keep her family safe, she should keep them away.
But when should Becca trust the man who has betrayed her before, the man who broke her heart, the man who thinks he knows all her secrets?
Universal buying link: mybook.to/yoursecretssafewithme
Rosie Travers Bio
Rosie lives on the south coast of England and tales inspiration from her local landscape for her writing. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and her debut novel The Theatre of Dreams, was published by Crooked Cat Books in August 2018.