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.

The Family Inheritance by Tricia Stringer.
The Family Inheritance by Tricia Stringer.

Felicity

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,

Mum.”

“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?”

“Technology.”

“Dad should have taken you away, instead of you doing all this

work.”

“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

away.

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

cheek.

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.

“No problem.”

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/


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