Sarah Vernon


Family history. I dedicate it to my late mother, Benedicta Hoskyns.

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Sarah Vernon


Darling One,

Do you remember when I said that I would never forgive you if you went across the sea without telling me? I’m sorry now that I said that. I realise it was not what you wanted to hear, that the last thing you needed was to feel pressure to do what your family wanted instead of the freedom to do what was best for you. Please forgive me, my dearest brother.

I miss you so. I miss your cheeky, lopsided smile that used to steal across your face when you were joshing me about something I’d said. Or when Dodo pulled you to her to give you a bear hug, while Barbara looked on impatiently because she wanted us to continue our game of Whist. Do you remember?

With Mother gone, you were almost like a son to me and I was so proud when you joined up to defend our country. At the same time I was fretful beyond imagining. I knew you could take care of yourself, no matter that you were so young, but I know now that all the sense or strength in the world is not enough to protect one from death. I know now that war is senseless, that it can never achieve anything except destruction.

You would have loved the man I married but, of course, you know him now. I was the only one of us three to marry. Dodo looked after Papa until he joined you. All gone now. Except for me.

I did not write any more novels after The Flapper. I should have done. Perhaps it would have helped me to have taken up my pen again after my beloved Chan was struck down in 1940. Perhaps not.

I’m old now. I have always found myself unable to talk of you to my children or grandchildren. They have only photographs by which to know their uncle.

I will join you soon and all of us will be together again. I long for the day.

Ever yours,


Take care and keep laughing!

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