Anne Baker © 2014 All Rights Reserved

Anne Baker  Sunday Times Best

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At the age of 27 Jill Ridley’s only childhood recollections are of lonliness and fear. So when, filled with apprehension, she returns to her family home in Merseyside to join her stepmother’s medical practice, she realises she must confront that fear and uncover the reason for such painful memories.

The discovery of a photograph of her stepmother with a mysterious baby prompts Jill to ask questions. But no-one seems willing to discuss the past. It is only when Jill’s stoical step-grandmother, Victoria, tells the harrowing tale of her own tragic life in a hospital base in Africa that the pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place.

As Jill comes to terms with the shocking revelations of the past, she must also face up to the future. The surgery’s prospects are uncertain; Jill’s father is buckling under work pressures; and Felix Kingsley, a young journalist, has started paying attention to Jill - but are his intentions honourable, or is he using Jill to probe for secrets that affect his own family…? Coping with these problems and the everyday challenges of being a Merseyside doctor, Jill learns the price of forgiveness and where her eventual happiness lies.