What happens when a baby goes missing?
Twenty-two years ago, Erin and Vicky’s parents were killed in an explosion.
Now grown up, Erin and Vicky – who have been separated – are unaware they are siblings. But when Vicky is called to her great-aunt’s deathbed, she learns that she isn’t alone after all.
But where is Erin? Vicky’s search begins…
Elsewhere, Christine has problems of her own. In the first week of her new job, she makes a disturbing discovery and is struggling to come to terms with impending motherhood.
Vicky is almost ready to give up her search when an old foster mother calls with shocking news.
What links Vicky and Christine?
Will Vicky ever find her sister?
And can Christine’s baby escape the past that befell her mother?
When family lose touch
Sometimes, one small thing can enter your head and – wham!– you have an idea for a whole book. With Stolen Sister, itdidn’t happen quite like that; it was two things separated by agood couple of years that started the ghost of a plot stirring in my brain.
First of all came the TV programme Heir Hunters, which followed different teams of people as they tried to sort out the family trees of deceased persons to ensure the estate went to the rightful heirs. There were so many instances of families being separated for whatever reason, and people finding their unknown half-siblings/cousins/aunts/etc fifty-odd years down the line – wonderful in one way, but I often thought how sad it was that fate had cheated these people out of so many years of being family to each other.
It started me thinking – what must it be like, to find out you had a close relative you’d known nothing about? Imagine meeting for the first time, seeing, maybe, a family resemblance, and yet you know nothing of the person under the face. That must be really weird.
People do lose touch. When my grandmother was a child, they had neighbours who set out to emigrate to America – in the Titanic. Granny always thought they’d perished, as nothing was heard from them again, and it wasn’t until the Titanic passenger list was made public, years after Granny’s death, that I saw this little family had survived. Maybe they’d written and the letter got lost, maybe not. I’ll never know.
Then something happened in my own family here in Switzerland. I’m not going into detail about it, but we found out very suddenly that the family tree was a whole branch larger than we’d thought. Relations by marriage for me, but blood relations for the others.
And a book began to grow in my head… two sisters, except neither knew they had a sister because they were separated when one was a baby and the other too young to remember. What happened to tear them apart? I mused over this for a while, but it was always going to be an accident of some kind. And the biggest question of all – why did nobody realise?
I began to plot, and organised the accident. The learning, years later, that a lost sister existed. The search and the coming together, after twenty-two years, of two young women. It wasn’t quite as straightforward as that; I went down a long detour at the very start when the accident only appeared to bean accident, but once I’d realised that wasn’t going to work I was soon back on track again.
And then I had some choices. Would the sisters fall into each other’s arms and cry, or – not? Would they really be family, or would they just look as if they were? Would they know what to do about those who had separated them? And – would they live happily ever after, or…
You can do what you like when it’s fiction. After months of creating a character, living and breathing with them, hoping their hopes and shedding tears for them when things go wrong – you want them to be happy. You want the ending to be sunshine and flowers and champagne. But life isn’t like that, and I think, I know, that twenty-two years spent apart will never be made as if it had never happened… Life would have been so very different for my girls, had they grown up together.
On the other hand, twenty-two years is only a small portion of a life nowadays, when people can expect to live until well into their eighties, if they’re lucky. So maybe a twenty-two–year separation is only the start for the sisters. I hope they reach their eighties still together, but again – I’ll never know!
Linda grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle. Not to mention several years spent as a full-time mum to two boys, a rescue dog, and a large collection of goldfish and guinea pigs.
Her writing career began in the nineties, when she had over fifty feel-good short stories published in women’s magazines. Several years later, she discovered the love of her writing life – psychological suspense fiction. Her first novel was published in 2013, and was followed by eight others. Under her feel-good pen name Melinda Huber, she has also published a charity collection of romantic short stories and a series of feel-good novellas.
After spending large chunks of the current decade moving house, Linda has now settled in a beautiful flat on the banks of Lake Constance in north-east Switzerland, and is working on another suspense novel.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Linda-Huber/e/B00CN7BB0Q/
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