The Daughter in Law by Nina Manning #Extract




I am delighted to welcome you to a Boldwood Books Tour and to introduce an extract from The Daughter in Law by Nina Manning

No one is good enough for her son…

As a single mother, Annie has an especially close relationship with her son, Ben. They have always been together. Just the two of them. So, when Ben brings home his mysterious beautiful new wife, Daisy, immediately Annie doesn’t trust her. Who is this woman who has taken her son away from her? And what is she hiding?

She’ll protect him with her life…

When Ben disappears, suddenly Annie and Daisy are all the other one has. Alone in Annie’s big, remote house, just the two of them, the tension is rising. And like any protective mother, Annie will stop at nothing to expose her new daughter in law, and the secrets she is hiding…

A gripping, psychological page-turner, perfect for fans of Sally Hepworth's The Mother In Law, Lisa Jewell and K.L. Slater.


Extract
 
Annie 

  
    My  favourite  room  is  the  spare  bedroom  at  the  front  of  the  house.  It  gets  all  the  light  in    the  morning  and  looks  so  inviting. I’ve done  it  up like  a  picture  I  saw  in  a  lifestyle    magazine: a  checked  throw  across  the  end  of  the  bed,  floral  sheets  and  hooked  back  curtains, a  little wicker chair in  the  corner  with  a  few well-read  stacked  on  top of  it, and    a    white vase on the bedside table. It really is  the  most  comforting place to be. Of  course, no  one  ever uses it. I  like  to  keep  the  house  looking  nice.  But it  was only ever  going to be  me  and    my  son. 

    Getting out of  bed  was  particularly  hard  this  morning. It has been  every  morning    since  Ben  left.  I  keep  thinking, what  is the point?  I’ve  been feeling that that  empty hopelessness for  several  months  now. Since  Ben  deserted  me. 
 
     For  her. 

    I’d  heard  all  about   empty  nest  syndrome  but  I  never  imagined  for  a  moment  it  would  happen  to  me.  I  never  actually  thought  he  would  leave.  I  thought  we  would  just  keep  existing together.  Forever.    

     He  kept  so  much   of  his stuff  here  initially,  that  I  felt  sure  he  would  return  –  but  just  last  month,  he  came  and  took the  lot.

     It’s so  quiet   here  now  It was  quiet  anyway, that's  why I  took  the  house. It’s  the  house  I   grew up alone in  with  my  father,  but  fled   from  as  soon  as I  was  able  to  support  
 myself. 

    How  do  you   define  an   unhappy  childhood? In  those  days  it  was  unheard  of  to  make  an   allegation   about   your    relative. I   accepted  the  violence  –  it  was,  after    all,  part   of   him  and   all   I   had  ever   known  Throughout  my h motherless   upbringing, the  beach  house   provided   a   sanctuary  for  me  with  plenty  of  places  to  hide.  I  got  stealthier   as    I    grew  and  with    my  legs  pulled  up tightly into  my  chest  and  my  head   pressed  to   my    knees,  I  would  squeeze    myself   into  an   alcove,  the  airing  cupboard  or  the  shed  with  the  ringing  sound  of   my   father’s  threats in  my  ear.   Later  on, I  would  sneak  out  and  find  my way  back  to  my bedroom  past  my  father’s  drunken  snores.The  next   day  he  wouldn’t  remember  a  thing.  Had  I   not  been  able  to  escape  down  to  he  shore   to  skim  pebbles  or  poke  about  i rock  pools,  then  I  would   have   run   away  sooner The  sea   kept  me   safe. But  as soon  as  I   turned  sixteen  I  took   myself   hundreds   of  miles   away.   I    never   heard  a  whisper  from  my  father,  who   had   told    me   daily  I  reminded   him  too  much  of  my  brazen  excuse  of  a mother. Then he was dead and the beach house was mine. I left it sitting empty for a while, too scared to return, too busy trying to salvage my own marriage. Then Ben arrived and I knew it was time.

    When I returned here all those years later with my son, it was fairly run down and rotting in places I couldn’t get to, much like my father for all those years. The brown weather-worn cladding needed a sand down and varnish and the white framed windows were peeling, 

but overall the exterior wasn’t so bad. I did the best I could with it and I could overlook most of the natural decay when I scanned the vast horizon and breathed in the fresh sea air.

    It’s a remote spot, perched right on the edge of the peninsular before it slopes round into the sea. Standing in the garden or looking out of the window, you would be forgiven for
thinking there were no houses for miles, but there is one around along the shore and to the left and then they begin to scatter more frequently as they feed towards the village. People rarelywalk this far down as the shore is a little more rustic with huge pieces of driftwood and great mounds of seaweed washing up daily. Besides, the stretch of beach at the end of the garden and over the low battered wall essentially belongs to me. We are protected a little from the wind by a few surrounding trees, but it does get a little breezy here at times. But when it’s still and the sea looks like a flat piece of mirror you could walk across, that’s when I love it the most. Of course, I love the waves too, especially the ferocious ones that thrust themselves towards thewall. I like to watch those waves and  feel my own fury in them.


    A house on the seafront, much like a savannah plain, is the perfect spot to see when enemies are approaching. And anyone who tries to come between me and my son, I consider an
enemy.


    But despite the weather and the waves, I know the house is empty. And although I try to fill my days with mundane daily tasks, I too feel empty. I need to feel fulfilled again. I need my son back. Back where he belongs.


    There’s no one downstairs humming a tuneless song whilst they make their breakfast.


There are no dirty trainers in the hallway, or piles of washing in the laundry basket. There are no toast crumbs on the kitchen side, or butter streaks in the marmite. The house is so eerily quiet. I have never experienced this. Not since having Ben. I forced all the bad memories away from the time I lived here as a child and made it all about me and Ben. It’s our sanctuary; our hub. Our place away from the world.



    Now he’s gone. He hardly texts or rings. She has him wrapped around her little finger. Calling all the shots no doubt.


    It was a real shock when Ben told me he had met someone. It was more of a shock when he told me he had gone and gotten himself married. He had been spending a lot of time at her house, that I knew. But I had no idea things had evolved so quickly. And to have done it without telling me, his own mother, first. We used to be so close. I am not coping so well.


    I did the right thing, of course. I invited them over for something to eat – mostly because I needed to get a good look at the woman who thinks she has replaced me.


    But I know it’s only temporary. I can’t be replaced. My son can’t live without telling me,


 I hope you enjoyed that! If you did, you can order the book here!  

Amazon UK 

About the Author 


Nina Manning studied psychology and was a restaurant-owner and private chef (including to members of the royal family). She is the founder and co-host of Sniffing The Pages, a book review podcast. She lives in Dorset.


Nina Manning studied psychology and was a restaurant-owner and private chef (including to members of the royal family). She is the founder and co-host of Sniffing The Pages, a book review podcast. She lives in Dorset.

You can follow Nina here: Author Profile   |   Web  |  Twitter
                                          | Instagram   |  Facebook 

Thanks to Nina Manning and Megan of Boldwood Books for a place on the event.

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