Summer reading ideas you’ll love
DAY 6: Each day of January we are publishing an extract by an Australian author. Today’s offering is from bestselling and award-winning author Tricia Springer who lives in the Copper Coast region in South Australia. In this book she delivers a thought-provoking look at how a legacy of lies can poison all it touches and how the truth can set everyone free.
Felicity Lewis paused a minute to take it all in.
It was a balmy night in Adelaide; the temperature had dropped
just enough after a hot March day for perfect outdoor entertaining. At number seventeen Herbert Street, West Beach, two streets
back from the ocean, a party was in progress. Behind Felicity the
carefully selected mood music resonated from the curved teak
speaker, enough to be heard but not so loud people couldn’t hear
themselves speak. It had been a birthday gift from Ian and Greta,
not a total surprise, not any kind of surprise. She’d dropped several hints, which included leaving shop brochures lying around
opened to pages with the desired gift circled.
The speaker sat on the polished shelf below their wall-mounted
television in the big open-plan family room that stretched almost
the full width of the back of the house. The glass doors to the
deck were all thrown open. Around her milled friends and family
enjoying the food she’d cooked and the drinks she’d selected.
Light spilled across the freshly oiled deck and out onto the back
lawn where strands of festoon lights, hung in precise loops across
the garden, added their glow to the glorious spectacle of a million
stars twinkling overhead. It was a perfect autumn evening.
An arm slipped around her waist. “Everything looks fabulous,
“As do you.” Felicity beamed at her daughter.
“I’ve taken lots of photos of the guests.” Greta lifted her phone
and leaned her head against Felicity’s. “Selfie.”
Felicity blinked at the flash. “I haven’t had a chance to tell you
how good you look in that outfit.” She adjusted the soft bow pulling Greta’s drapey pants in.
Greta batted her hand away and readjusted the bow. “I don’t
know that cream is a good colour for me.”
“It’s perfect against your tan.”
“I was thinking more that I’m likely to spill something down
it.” She glanced around. “Where’s Suzie? I haven’t seen her yet.”
“I told you Paul took her to America for her birthday.”
“No you didn’t.” Greta frowned.
“They’ll be gone for two months.”
“How will you manage not seeing her for that long?”
“Dad should have taken you away, instead of you doing all this
“I’ve enjoyed it—”
“Oh look, there’re the Gilberts. Thank goodness there’s someone more my age. I’ll get a photo of them too.” Greta dashed
Once more Felicity stood alone. She’d organised this special
night to the last detail, a combined celebration for her fiftieth
birthday and the completion of the renovations. She’d been
planning, styling, cooking for weeks. The only downside was her
best friend Suzie couldn’t be there.
Suzie and Paul had only been gone for two weeks and were
having the best time. Felicity had already seen the photos of their
Caribbean cruise and now they were driving themselves up the
coast to New York. Suzie had rung this morning via WhatsApp
to sing her happy birthday all the way from Jacksonville, Florida.
Her brilliant smile and animated words had filled the room.
Felicity had sat for a long time after the call had ended trying
to swallow her glum mood and lack of enthusiasm for a party
without her best friend. Suzie had provided all the energy for both
of them during the call.
“Happy birthday, Felicity.” Humphrey from next door drew
her into a bear hug and planted one of his sloppy kisses on her
She adjusted her new glasses firmly back in place as his wife
Melody also wrapped her in a hug.
“Perfect night for a party,” Melody said.
“Thanks for coming. What would you like to drink?” Felicity
waved over one of the young uni students Greta had organised to
act as waiters for the night.
“Feliciteee, I love what you’ve done with the house.” Pam, her
social tennis friend, air kissed her cheeks. “I haven’t seen it since
you did this back extension, and the deck is fabulous. I can picture
us having a few post tennis sessions here.” Pam clutched a glass
of champagne and as her arm swept out in a dramatic arc it connected with a man just stepping up onto the deck.
“Oh, I’m so sorry.” She dabbed at his wet sleeve.
The Family Inheritance (published by Harper Collins) is available in paperback and as an ebook. For details go here: https://www.harpercollins.com.au/9781489270825/the-family-inheritance/