Sheer Abandon: A Novel
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A number-one bestseller from one of Britain’s most popular novelists, Sheer Abandon is an all-consuming story revolving around the consequences of a desperate act . . .
Martha, Clio, and Jocasta meet by chance at Heathrow airport in 1985 as they are starting off on separate backpacking adventures, and they decide to spend the first few days of their trips together in Thailand. When they go their separate ways, they vow to get together in London the following year. But many years pass before the three cross paths again, and the once-capricious, carefree girls now all have thriving careers. One of them, however, harbors a terrible secret: On her return from her pre-college excursion, she abandoned her just-born daughter at Heathrow.
Clio has fulfilled her ambition of becoming a doctor, only to find herself trapped in a marriage to an arrogant surgeon who belittles her and her professional achievements. Martha is a highly paid corporate lawyer, just embarking on a political career. Dedicated to her job, she has had little time for personal relationships and lives a busy, but lonely life. Jocasta, a tabloid newspaper reporter with an infallible instinct for the big story, is in love with a charming colleague who can’t make the permanent commitment she longs for. The infant abandoned at Heathrow has grown up under the loving care of her adoptive family. Now a beautiful teenager named Kate, she sets out to find her birth mother—a quest that unexpectedly brings the women together and exposes the secret buried so many years before.
Impossible to put down, Sheer Abandon is top-notch women’s fiction.
over to the table. “Clio, this is Joy. Joy Mattingly. She and I are old workmates, aren’t we, darling?” “We certainly are,” she said, smiling at him, and then up at Clio. “The fun we’ve had, Fergus, eh?” Her voice was rather deep, with just a touch of an Irish accent; she picked a sugar lump out of the bowl, dipped it in Fergus’s coffee, and licked at it slowly. Clio watched her, transfixed. “Well, I must go,” Joy said, standing up slowly; she was incredibly tall. “See you around, Fergus
parents and tell them where they were, checked the poste restante desk where a horde of backpackers queued to pick up letters from home, messages from friends arranging meetings; they water-taxied through the stinking canals, shocked at the poverty of the hovels where the river people lived, wondered at the gilded and bejewelled palace and temples, and visited the shopping centre, packed with Gucci and Chanel—“This is mostly for rich men’s mistresses apparently, and you can get real tea, not the
by how few people she knew. Jack Kirkland waved at her, but he was deeply embroiled in conversation with a BBC dignitary, and a couple of people from the ad agency said hello and moved swiftly on. She was trying to look busy, sipping her glass of champagne, when she heard a familiar voice. “Martha. Hi. Nice to see you. You look great.” It was Nick Marshall. She had met him a couple of times now, but had never talked to him for more than a minute or so—like her, he was terminally in a hurry. But
said Kate. She looked exhausted, Clio thought. Her wild hair was straggling round her white tear-stained face, her eyes were dark and heavy, and she also looked rather grubby. “How is your grandmother? And where is she?” “In something called HDU,” said Kate and burst into tears. “Oh no! Look, I’ll go and find out—Oh, hello. You must be Kate’s mother.” “That’s right. It’s very good of you to come, Dr. Scott.” Helen looked and sounded tired. “We need some help. My mother’s just been rushed off
it was just walked away, disappeared.” “Well, I expect she did,” said Martha. “If her name wasn’t Martha.” Of course it had been Martha. Jocasta knew in that moment as certainly as she knew anything. And Martha knew she knew. So why was she lying about it? Chapter 19 Kate couldn’t ever remember being so angry. How could they do this to her, how dare they? The most important thing in her whole life and they were wrecking it for her. “I just don’t believe this,” she kept saying, “I just don’t