Read The Ribbon Weaver Online

Authors: Rosie Goodwin

Tags: #Fiction, #Sagas, #Family Life

The Ribbon Weaver

BOOK: The Ribbon Weaver
12.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

 

 

The Ribbon Weaver
Rosie Goodwin
Hachette UK (2011)
Tags:
Sagas, Family Life, Fiction

Synopsis

A baby rescued from the snow. A wealthy family's tragic secret. A girl determined to make her mark. One winter's night, Molly Earnshaw rescues a newborn baby from the snow and changes two families for ever. The tiny girl grows into a beautiful and gifted young woman. Although devoted to Molly, Amy has far-reaching ambitions - encouraged by her neighbour's son, Toby, she longs to move beyond ribbon-weaving to designing the hats and clothes the ribbons adorn. Her talent is recognised by Samuel Forrester, the influential owner of famous hat factories and shops. But Samuel is a haunted man with secrets in his past that torture him and his family. His son's wife, Eugenie, is deeply troubled, and when Amy's flair leads her to London and then Paris, Eugenie is consumed with jealousy. Amy's dreams seem to be coming true, but as more secrets are revealed and Amy is caught between two worlds, she must choose where her heart truly belongs.

 

 

The Ribbon Weaver
Rosie Goodwin
Hachette UK (2011)
Tags:
Fiction, Sagas, Family Life

Synopsis

A baby rescued from the snow. A wealthy family's tragic secret. A girl determined to make her mark. One winter's night, Molly Earnshaw rescues a newborn baby from the snow and changes two families for ever. The tiny girl grows into a beautiful and gifted young woman. Although devoted to Molly, Amy has far-reaching ambitions - encouraged by her neighbour's son, Toby, she longs to move beyond ribbon-weaving to designing the hats and clothes the ribbons adorn. Her talent is recognised by Samuel Forrester, the influential owner of famous hat factories and shops. But Samuel is a haunted man with secrets in his past that torture him and his family. His son's wife, Eugenie, is deeply troubled, and when Amy's flair leads her to London and then Paris, Eugenie is consumed with jealousy. Amy's dreams seem to be coming true, but as more secrets are revealed and Amy is caught between two worlds, she must choose where her heart truly belongs.

THE RIBBON WEAVER

 

Rosie Goodwin

 

 

 

Copyright © 2010 Rosemarie Yates

The right of Rosemarie Yates to be identified as the Author of the Work has been
asserted by her in accordance with th Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Apart from any use permitted under UK copyright law, this publication may only be
reproduced, stored, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, with prior
permission in writing of the publishers or, in the case of reprographic production, in
accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency.

First published as an Ebook by Headline Publishing Group in 2011

All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons,
living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Cataloguing in Publication Data is available from the British Library

eISBN: 978 0 7553 8665 9

HEADLINE PUBLISHING GROUP

An Hachette UK Company

338 Euston Road

London, NW1 3BH

www.headline.co.uk

www.hachette.co.uk

Contents

 

Title Page

 

Copyright Page

 

Dedication

 

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Four

Chapter Thirty-Five

Chapter Thirty-Six

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Epilogue

This book is for Jack Aaron Yates, a beautiful, much wanted and long awaited baby brother for Charlotte. Welcome to the family, little man. You are a gift after a time of great sadness, especially as you were born on Mum’s birthday!

Also for my Nikki, 18!!!!!!! A proper little lady now,
and for Dan, who looked so very handsome and grown up
on the night of his prom.

I’m so proud of you all and I love you millions xxxxxxx

Prologue

 

Nuneaton 1830

‘Come on, Molly gel, let’s be havin’ yer. It is Christmas Eve, yer know, an’ some of us have homes to go to.’

Molly grinned as Amos Bennett’s good-natured face poked through the opening into the great attic where she was working.

‘I’m just finishin’ now, pet, I’ll be down in two shakes of a lamb’s tail,’ she promised, barely taking her eyes from the intricate length of fine gauze ribbon she was weaving. Nodding, Amos disappeared back the way he had come.

Slowly, Molly stopped treadling and after placing down the shuttle she skilfully steadied the weight that hung beneath the loom. As the machine came to a creaking halt, she stretched stiffly and glanced up at the skylights that ran the length of the attic. The snow that had been threatening to fall all day was now coming down with a vengeance, and all she could see was a thick white coating of it that covered the glass and cast an eerie glow into the room. She shivered. Apart from herself the huge attic was deserted, the looms silent. The women who worked them had long since scurried away to begin their Christmas preparations with their families. However, it suited Molly to work late. Since losing her husband Wilf almost three years before, she had no one to rush home to, and for her, apart from the loneliness, Christmas Day was much like any other.

She was never short of invitations admittedly, but Molly Ernshaw was known for keeping herself to herself, just as she had when her Wilf was alive. Back then, she had considered she needed no one else but him and now, at the age of forty-five, she felt it was a bit late in the day to teach an old dog new tricks.

Standing, she slowly straightened her back; it was aching from the long hours bent across the loom.

Gazing around the silent ribbon factory, she shuddered. Now that she had stopped working, Molly was suddenly cold and tired. If she had allowed herself, she would also have admitted to being more than a little sad at the prospect of the lonely Christmas before her.

Still, she consoled herself, there were a lot of folks much worse off than she was, and on that thought she pulled her thick woollen shawl more closely about her. Taking up an old tweed coat that was draped across the back of her chair, she pulled that on too. Then, after lifting her bag, she made her way painfully down the crude wooden staircase to the floor below. Amos was hurrying about, turning off the gas lamps and making sure that all the doors were securely bolted.

It was almost like descending into a rainbow. Everywhere she looked stood boxes and spools of ribbons of every shade and hue, all ready to be transported to the hat factories in Coventry, where the majority of them would be used to adorn headgear for the ladies of fashion. There were silk ribbons, satin ribbons, pearl-edged ribbons, finely worked gauze ribbons, and tartan ribbons, all of various widths and colours, and Molly never tired of seeing them. She herself was one of the best silk weavers in the whole factory and proud of it. Her Wilf had taught her all she knew. His old loom now stood silent in the attic of her little cottage, and she could quite easily have worked from there as many of the local people did, but she preferred to work here in the factory for company.

As she picked her way amongst the boxes, Amos hastened across to open the door for her.

‘A Merry Christmas to yer then, Molly.’ He beamed, and she wearily smiled back.

‘And the very same to you and yours,’ she returned, then stepped past him into the almost deserted street. The bitter cold took her breath away. ‘By God above, it’s enough to freeze the hairs on a brass monkey out here,’ she muttered to herself as she pulled her old coat more tightly about her. Head bent, she then began to pick her way across the slippery cobblestones.

The snow was falling in great white flakes, and the few people that dotted the streets passed her as if she was invisible as they scurried along with their heads bent, keen to get back to their firesides and out of the biting cold.

By the time Molly had turned out of Abbey Street and towards the empty stalls of the cattle-market, she was breathless and cursing. ‘Bloody weather,’ she said irritably, intent on trying not to slip on the treacherous cobbles. ‘Why couldn’t the snow have waited till I was safely home?’

All she could think of was her cosy fireside and a good strong brew of tea, and the thought made her press on. The snow seemed to be falling faster and thicker by the minute, and by the time she had left the town centre behind her, it was falling so densely that she could barely see a hand in front of her. She was lost in a silent white world, the only sound being the putt, putt, putt of the gas lamps as she hurried past them. The snow had now risen above her old leather boots, and her feet and the hem of her coarse calico skirt were sodden. Street lamps cast an eerie glow on the thick white carpet, making it sparkle as if it had been sprinkled with diamonds, but tonight, Molly could find no pleasure in the sight. All she wanted was the comfort of her little cottage and her feet immersed in a tin bowl full of nice hot water.

As she approached the Parish Church she decided to cut through the churchyard. There were those that feared the graveyard at night, but the dead held no fear for Molly. It was the living she worried about! There were some that would cut your throat for sixpence in these hard times, as she well knew. Besides, this short-cut could save at least five minutes from her journey and she regularly took it.

The gravestones leaned drunkenly towards her as she hurried as best she could along the pathway, and soon the gas lamps and the little light they cast faded away as the great yew trees that bordered the church surrounded her. It was hard to keep to the path here, and occasionally Molly stumbled on a rock buried beneath the snow, but she ploughed on.

When she finally reached the dark doorway to the church, she paused to catch her breath, leaning against the cold stone wall inside. The wind had picked up now and the yew trees swayed beneath their heavy weight of snow. Here and there, the scarlet berries on the holly bushes shone through, and it was as Molly stood watching them that a noise from the deeply recessed doorway came to her. It sounded almost like a moan, and suddenly nervous, she held her breath for what seemed like an eternity in case the sound should come again. After some time, Molly dared to breathe, chiding herself, ‘You’re goin’ soft in the head, gel, hearin’ noises as ain’t there. Why, you’ll be scared o’ yer own shadow next if you ain’t careful.’

Still unsettled despite her brave talk, she pushed herself from the wall and was just about to set off again when the noise came once more. Molly knew now that she hadn’t imagined it, and her heart began to thump painfully against her ribs. Her eyes sought about for someone to help her, but there was no one – nothing but the snow and the swaying yew trees that stood as silent witnesses to her distress. Even as she stood there, uncertain what to do, she heard the noise again, louder this time … much louder. Someone was in the doorway with her and, if Molly judged rightly, that someone was in great pain.

BOOK: The Ribbon Weaver
12.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Fantails by Leonora Starr
The Doctor Takes a Wife by Elizabeth Seifert
Sparrow's Release by Darke, Shiloh
Jeffrey Siger_Andreas Kaldis 02 by Assassins of Athens
The Soldier who Said No by Chris Marnewick
Chimera by Celina Grace
Unbridled and Unbranded by Elle Saint James
Rough Justice by KyAnn Waters