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Leave of absence

‘How did you get leave of absence from the bank?’

‘Mr Merton granted it. I asked for it in lieu of the holiday I was to have later in the summer. He readily agreed – you know how indulgent he is.’

She said quickly: ‘You did not tell him that you were alarmed on my account?’

‘I did not speak of you at all. I spoke of an aunt at Southampton who was ill, and needed me.’

the-storm-or-the-shipwreck (hot sand) cropped

On the hot sand

She slept and woke, hearing her own voice crying weakly for Peter. The storm raged, but less fiercely. She tried to get to her feet, but the drag of wet clothes and the oilskin were...


The island of Herm

Hilary Ford recalls the island of Herm: Herm, three miles from St Peter Port, is the tiny jewel of the Channel Islands….  Before the first ferry arrives in the morning, and after the last goes...

The weather is breaking (Renoir-Moulin Huet)

The weather is breaking

She felt more at peace than she could ever remember. Over eighteen hours had passed since she last took the drug, and her mind felt clear, though languid. There was the enormous relief of freedom,...

‘I am your doctor’

They were trying to make out she was mad, but a doctor could not be deceived. She clutched his arm, weeping and shaking, and implored him to get her away, to take her to a...

Guernsey – a land of deep conflicts

May 9th 1945 saw the end of  five years of occupation of the island of Guernsey, when British forces arrived in St Peter Port, greeted by crowds of joyous but malnourished islanders. Here Hilary Ford reflects...

One bad one is enough

A fresh storm arose in the night, with the sound of distant thunder and the wind howling up from the sea. She thought at first it was the wind which had awakened her, and lay...

The Book of Lies

The Book of Lies

The spirited Sarnia is by no means the only literary heroine to tread the cliff paths of Guernsey. Wind the clock forward a hundred and twenty years to the 1980s and, in Mary Horlock’s The...

An emotion utterly strange

Sarnia turned to Edmund, expecting him to help her remount her horse. He did not move, but stared at her. She was conscious of the intensity of his regard, and also of their isolation. She...

The crack of the whip

The crack of the whip

Edmund forced a way for them up the Assembly Rooms steps, from where they could see over the heads of the crowd. She looked where he indicated. She saw the cage first, a square wooden...