" 'Dear,' she said, and as she drew the boy forward with a gentle hand on his arm, Sandy got the impression that she had rehearsed this meeting many times. 'Dear, this is Thomas. Thomas this is himself, my husband. I think you've been told a lot more about him than he's been told about you.' " Mairi and Sandy live on a lonely Hebridean island, content with each other, despite their lack of children. When Mairi brings home Thomas, a child from the orphanage, Sandy is jealous of Mairi's affection for him and disappointed in the boy's stammer and fragility. With time, Thomas grows in confidence and draws nearer to his foster mother, but still Sandy keeps an emotional distance -- until tragedy results in a new understanding. 'Told with a confident dignity ...direct, unpretentious and datelessly charming' Daily Telegraph
Lillian Comber wrote fiction and non-fiction for both adults and children under the pseudonym Lillian Beckwith. She is best known for her series of comic novels based on her time living on a croft in the Scottish Hebrides. Beckwith was born in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, in 1916, where her father ran a grocery shop. The shop provided the background for her memoir About My Father's Business, a child's eye view of a 1920s family. She moved to the Isle of Skye with her husband in 1942, and began writing fiction after moving to the Isle of Man with her family twenty years later. She also completed a cookery book, Secrets from a Crofter's Kitchen (Arrow, 1976). Since her death, Beckwith's novel A Shine of Rainbows has been made into a film starring Aidan Quinn and Connie Nielsen, which in 2009 won 'Best Feature' awards at the Heartland and Chicago Children's Film Festivals.
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