So I’m super delighted to share an extract from a fabulous book that I had the pleasure of working on, hence no review as I’d be super biased but Kate Kerrigan’s IT WAS ONLY EVER YOU is a gorgeous book, perfect for your next summer read so do scroll down, enjoy this small taster and then go order it!!! <3
Set in late 1950s Ireland and New York, the story of three women and the charismatic man with whom their lives are interwoven.
Set, like Maeve Binchy’s early bestsellers, in late 1950s Ireland and New York, this is the story of three women and the charismatic man with whom their lives are interwoven.
Patrick Murphy has charm to burn and a singing voice to die for. Many people will recognise his talent. Many women will love him. Rose, the sweetheart he leaves behind in Ireland, can never forget him and will move heaven and earth to find him again, long after he has married another woman. Ava, the heiress with no self-confidence except on the dance floor, falls under his spell. And tough Sheila Klein, orphaned by the Holocaust and hungry for success as a music manager, she will be ruthless in her determination to unlock his extraordinary star quality.
But in the end, Patrick Murphy’s heart belongs to only one of them. Which one will it be?
‘STOP!’ Sybil said, and then dramatically added, ‘Now – what have we got for you here, Ava?’
Her assistant was holding up a tweed suit. It had a straight, slim skirt and a fitted jacket, nipped in tight and flaring into a waved pelmet at the waist, all pulled smartly together by eight mother-of-pearl buttons at the front. But by far the most unusual thing about the suit was its colour: an exquisite shade of pink.
‘It’s the colour of a rose,’ Ava said.
‘Well yes,’ Sybil said. ‘How charming of you to notice. As a matter of fact this tweed was commissioned by me from the wonderful nuns in Foxford Woollen Mills on the west coast of Ireland. It is a match for the wild roses of Mayo, the most delicate flowers you will ever see.’
While her assistant held the skirt open for Ava to step into, Sybil herself pulled the jacket over her bare shoulders and buttoned it up the front with confident speed, pinching the fabric with her strong manicured fingers.
As Sybil stepped back and Ava saw herself in the mirror in the rose suit, she could not quite believe her eyes.
Encased in the structure of this skirt and jacket, her tall gangly limbs looked statuesque, almost royal. She lifted her chin and noticed how the V of the neckline seemed to elongate her neck and make her look slimmer. Holding her own gaze in the mirror, Ava turned to one side and, arching her back slightly, checked her profile. She had miraculously acquired curves. The rose colour of the tweed was unmistakably feminine and yet it did not look ridiculously out of place on her broad shoulders. It was a wonderful outfit. More importantly, she was wonderful in it.
‘I look so different,’ she said. She smiled nervously at herself in the mirror.
‘You look beautiful,’ Nessa said.
‘What she looks,’ Miss Connolly added, ‘is stylish. A sense of style will carry a woman much further than beauty, if she knows how to use it.’
Nessa looked at the designer, wondering if she was being negative about her daughter’s appearance, but she seemed not to be. Although she was, indeed, a very stylish woman, Miss Connolly was no great beauty herself.
‘Beauty fades with age, Mrs Brogan. Style matures. If a woman has the right clothes with the perfect fit, she will never be without confidence and grace.’
All Ava knew was that, for the first time in her life, she felt beautiful. She had never wanted anything as much in her life.
‘We really were hoping for a dress,’ Nessa said. ‘It’s for a wedding, you see. My husband’s colleague—’
‘I prefer the suit, Mother – please?’ Ava pleaded.
‘A suit is perfectly acceptable for day wear at a wedding,’ Sybil asserted, pulling out a lace blouse from her rack. ‘And this will dress it up for evening wear – I assume you have pearls?’
‘Of course she has pearls,’ Nessa said, anxious to reassert her status, and resigning herself to lending her daughter her own pearls in the interests of fulfilling her husband-finding potential.
Ava was barely listening.
She could not take her eyes off her own reflection. She did not think she was beautiful. Indeed, that would never be the case. But in this suit there was no denying she had something. Style, Miss Connolly had called it, but it was more than that. When Ava Brogan looked at herself in the mirror she saw somebody she recognized. Neither the gawky girl of her childhood, nor the gangly tomboy of her young adulthood – but the person she was always meant to be.
For the first time in her life, Ava looked and felt like a woman.