Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone by Phaedra Patrick
English | 2017 | Contemporary Fiction | ePUB | 3.8 MB
Phaedra Patrick’s debut novel, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, was hailed as “poignant” and “utterly endearing.” Now she returns with Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone, a gem of a novel about family, forgiveness and one man’s second chance at happiness.
Moonstone for empathy. Azurite for memories. Lapis lazuli for truth… In the quiet village of Noon Sun, Benedict Stone has settled into a complacent and predictable routine. Business at his jewelry shop has dried up; his marriage is on the rocks. His life is in desperate need of a jump start…
And then a surprise arrives at his door.
Gemma is Benedict’s audacious teenage niece—the daughter of his estranged brother, Charlie. The two Stone brothers had a falling out and haven’t spoken in almost two decades, since Charlie left for America. Reckless and stubborn, Gemma invites herself into Benedict’s world and turns his orderly life upside down. But she might just be exactly what he needs to get his life back on track…
Filled with colorful characters and irresistible charm, Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone is a luminous reminder of the unbreakable bonds of family, and shows that having someone to embrace life with is always better than standing on your own.
AS BENEDICT STONE huffed his way to work, the sweet smell of the cherry scones in Bake My Day made him forget for a moment that his wife, Estelle, had packed her purple suitcase and moved out of their home.
His mouth watered and he stopped, sniffed and needed something weighty in his stomach to help sugarcoat his sorrows. He curled his fingers into his palms and tried to resist, but it was like an ultrastrong magnet pulled him inside the baker’s shop.
A fella like you needs more than just a slice of toast, a sausage roll, bought by a schoolboy, said.
You need something sweet, too, a chocolate cookie, on display in the glass counter, chipped in.
Benedict tried his best to ignore them, but the lure of a succulent bacon sandwich and an oozy jam doughnut was too strong. He bought both and devoured them before he reached the front door of his shop, Stone Jewelry, just a few meters away.
When he unlocked the door, his stomach dropped as he glanced at the 25% Off Sale sticker he’d taped into his window three months ago.
He switched on the light and took off his jacket. Gray-aluminum-and-glass cabinets lined the walls of the two-man-deep and two-and-a-half-man-wide space. The walls were all painted dolphin gray, and the floor was gray, too. Benedict thought that the color scheme was calm and elegant, though his assistant, Cecil, claimed it needed more vavoom.
A black door behind the counter led through to Benedict’s workshop. The small, square room housing his workbench was his sanctuary. When he shut himself away in there, he could block out the outside world and almost convince himself that all was still fine with his wife.
He went inside and straightened up a file on his bench. He liked his tweezers, pliers, scissors and soldering iron laid out in lines like a surgeon’s instruments. If Cecil moved his mallet by as little as a centimeter, Benedict could tell. Even with few entries in his appointment book, he felt driven to work. He crafted silver bangle after silver bangle, which he stacked like miniature tires on the shelf.
Benedict slumped into his chair and placed his hands on his rounded stomach. He imagined the food dancing in there, laughing at him. Ha-ha. Benedict Stone is a big guy but he has no self-control.
Shaking his head with remorse, he picked up a brooch he’d been working on. He switched on his gooseneck lamp and his face reflected in the black shiny metal.