This chapter stemmed from numerous conversations with the present Mrs Bolton. As has always been the case, she is my greatest critic. Seriously – you should hear her She is also the staunchest supporter of my writing efforts, and has always been there to offer insight and direction that I could never hope to achieve by myself. From talking to her after she read the original draft, I decided to add an additional chapter earlier in the book to help develop the relationship between the two female leads, Evie and Emma. This chapter also gave me an opportunity to explore a little more of Aubern’s early history.
Sketches are something of a forgotten literary form, although they were popular in the days of writers such as Charles Dickens. Sketches were often unfinished and incomplete, and in many ways reflected the irregularity of real life better than a complete, finished novel. The idea of this chapter, therefore, is to present a short snapshot of Aubern life in Victorian times: a brief, seemingly incomplete interlude. By pure coincidence, of course, Evie and Emma just happen to become instrumental in event which will ultimately have great bearing on their future lives. Evie’s in particular.