An Exclusive Extract From Nadine Dorries' New Book

  

An Exclusive Extract From Nadine Dorries' New Book

We are so excited to be publishing Nadine Dorries’ newest book Shadows in Heaven
 
Nadine's wonderful new novel is rooted in one of the places dearest to her heart – the west coast of Ireland. 
 
In post-war Tarabeg, two women are waiting for ambitious Michael Malone to return home. Rosie is the local schoolteacher and most people think she is promised to him. Just a few have guessed that he has secretly begun to woo Sarah, whose brutal fisherman father would kill her if he knew. 
 
Both Rosie and Sarah love Michael, both hope to become his wife and their lives will interweave in a tale of tangled secrets, old promises and new feuds. Michael Malone's choice will have fateful consequences for everyone – especially, in due course, for his young daughter. 
 
This is the first in a new sequence of novels with a brilliant new cast of characters and a story that will lead to Liverpool in Mary Kate and back to Ireland in The Seven Acres.
 
Shadows in Heaven is out in hardback on 12 July 18. Read on below for an extract. 
 

Shona Maughan lived in a caravan with her grandson Jay and, from time to time, a stolen child. They roamed the backroads and villages of Mayo and beyond, camping where they could, rarely welcome to stay very long. With her wild long white hair, no one knew how old she was and even the storyteller, at the Tarabeg harvests, fairs and dances, could not recall a time or even a story that Shona had not been a part of. She was the force of darkness in Tarabeg and every villager was terrified of being crossed by her. Every villager except Bridget McAndrew, Tarabeg’s seer, a woman who lived by her visons of the future and her conversations with the dead, and Michael’s grandfather, Daedio. 
 
Daedio had crossed Shona many years since and had safely made old bones, but he knew the scheming witch had something in store for him. He’d half expected she would take her revenge when his favourite grandson went off to war, and for five long years he’d feared that Michael might not return. Shona would use her powers to wound where it had the most impact – this Daedio was certain of. And hurting the family he loved would hurt him more. The worry had taken the use of his legs away from him shortly after Michael had left for the war. But he had Annie, his dead wife and former closest friend of Bridget McAndrew, to keep them safe. 
 
‘Something is occurring, Daedio,’ Bridget confided in him when she called up to the farm for butter. 
 
Nola, Daedio’s daughter-in-law, was the best butter-maker in the village. No one called round just to buy butter. Everyone stopped, took tea and sat on Daedio’s truckle bed in front of the fire to bring him up to date with the village gossip. 
 
‘I have plenty, Bridget,’ Nola said as she took the dish to fill from Bridget. 
 
‘I have not the time to be making butter as well as potions,’ said Bridget. ‘I’m happy to pay for it, Nola.’ She made herself comfortable on the end of Daedio’s bed, which creaked in objection to the extra weight. 
 
‘You will do no such thing,’ Nola replied as she headed out to the dairy, ‘but if you have a bottle for the rheumatism for me and one to keep Daedio’s appetite up, that would be grand.’ She paused at the door. ‘Now, don’t mind me, I’ve to be getting on with the chores before Seamus gets home from the village. Did you see him at all Bridget? It’s that wet out today, I’m behind with everything.’ Nola hadn’t waited for an answer and for that, Bridget was grateful. The door banged behind her as she headed for the dairy. 
 
‘’Tis on the wind, Daedio. I can feel it,’ Bridget whispered to Daedio. She laid a herb-stained hand on top of his, which were bent and disfigured from years of tilling the land. ‘Shona, she is up to something.’ 
 
Daedio’s eyes lit up. He had news of his own. ‘Bridget, my dreams are strong, so they are. I wake up troubled and not knowing why.’ He shuffled himself further up his bed as Bridget nursed the cup of tea Nola had placed in her hands. He was glad she’d called; she was the only one who understood. 
 
‘That’s not dreams, Daedio, ’tis Annie.’ She stared into the flames of the fire. ‘Coming back to let you know she’s there for when you need her. ’Tis my guessing that she’s trying to make you see her more often, to tell you something, but you either don’t want to see it, or you can’t. They have their own way to let you know, gently like, often in a dream. She is only in the next room, but the walls of that room, well, sometimes she can see through them and you can see her back. She will pass across and draw a little closer to ye if she can, and knowing Annie Malone, she will, because never was there a more determined woman. She will protect her family in death, as she did in life. She is still here, Daedio. I can see her – she’s just here, now, stood by the fire. I’ve been looking at her, trying to make out what she’s saying to me.’ 
 
A tear sprang into Daedio’s eye. ‘I can’t see her.’ His throat was thick and his voice croaked. 
 
‘I know. ’Tis harder for men, but you can feel her, can’t you?’ 
 
Daedio could, he could feel her so strong. Despite the heat of the fire, the air had cooled between them. ‘I can, and I feel she is trying to warn me of something because sometimes I feel uneasy, like when Nola and Seamus have had a fight and have gone to their room to blast it out and I’m left sat here – it’s that feeling.’ He propped himself up against the pillow. ‘As for Shona Maughan, Bridget – she has no trouble getting into my dreams. She’s been so often now, and she scares me. She’s never forgotten, you know.’ 
 
‘She’s a woman who lives for revenge, Daedio. She’s never going to forgive you for driving her out of the village and off the seven acres, sure she is not. She cursed you that day, and we both know it. But you have me and Annie to protect you, so stop your worrying. I can take on any mischief Shona Maughan or anyone else sends our way.’ 
 
Daedio smiled with relief as Bridget gulped down her tea. 
 
What Bridget didn’t say was that she’d called into the farm today because Annie had paid a visit to her own dreams and had pulled her to Daedio
 
With her apothecary skills and gift of the sight, Bridget had worked hard up to now to keep Shona’s misdeeds at bay, but of the two of them, Shona, a tinker seer, was the stronger. Bridget’s greatest test was yet to come, of that she was sure, and she knew in her heart that at the root of it was the banishing of the Maughans from the land Daedio had bought, which had rendered them homeless. It had happened years ago, back even before Seamus was born, but the Maughans had long memories.