If Only They Could Talk by Ian Walker
English | 2020 | Mystery/Thriller| ePUB | 2.9 MB
Miles Goodyear’s whole life has been planned out for him. Born into a wealthy brewing family in Chesterfield between the wars, he knows he will go to the local grammar school, followed by St John’s College, Oxford. After graduating, he will then follow his older brother into the family business where he will remain until the next generation eventually takes over when he retires. But life – and a series of bad decisions – go against him and, as a result, things turn out very differently from what was originally planned.
If Only They Could Talk is the story of one man’s reflection on his life, his failed relationships, his regrets and his dashed hopes. It’s about someone born with so much, who loses everything as he struggles to cope with a changing world. Or at least that’s what his relatives are led to believe as they clear out his house following his death. Gradually, the house reveals its secrets, but nothing his relatives find there can prepare them for the final twist to Miles’s story.
Nigel and Molly had been married for 35 years and although their interests didn’t overlap, they always made sure they supported each other’s pastimes. Molly attended classic car rallies and Nigel helped his wife at the monthly artisan market in Bakewell.
The two of them may have retired, leaving them free to pursue other interests, but the same was not true for Nigel’s sister and her husband. Emma was four years younger than her brother and was employed as a school secretary at a large comprehensive in Guildford. She was married to Ralph, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon working at the Royal Surrey County Hospital. He had just turned sixty and was considering retiring himself in two to three years time. But in the meantime his work kept him busier than ever.
Neither Emma nor Ralph had made any plans for their retirement. Work and children had taken up all their time for the past thirty years. But with the children now having fled the nest and retirement looming large for both of them, they knew they had to make some decisions pretty soon. Perhaps they’d travel. After all neither of them had taken a gap year when they were younger. They could always buy a campervan, just disappear and spend months travelling around Europe. Or if they were really adventurous they could go even further afield.
But all that was for the future. Today was about family.
In truth the turnout at the crematorium was pitiful. If they had known it was going to be so poor, Emma and Nigel would have insisted that their children attend in order to make up the numbers. But the fact was that their kids barely knew their great-uncle. They hadn’t seen him since the funeral of their grandmother back in 2006.
Also Emma’s three all lived in London, Nigel’s son Jacob was in Devon and his daughter Flo in New Zealand. As a result it was always going to be difficult to persuade any of them to attend.
Miles’s death had brought to an end a long family connection with Chesterfield. Emma and Nigel’s parents had also lived there until their deaths – their father from dementia in 2002, and their mother from cancer in 2006. Whilst they were alive, there was always a reason for the two of them to visit the town, and sometimes they would pop in to see their uncle. He was not the easiest of men to talk to. In fact both of them remember their mother referring to him as old misery guts.