1924. The English Shires after the Great War – all crumbling country houses, and no men.
When her jazzing flapper of an aunt dies, Gerardina Mary Chiledexter inherits some silver-topped scent bottles, a wardrobe of love-affair clothes, and astonishingly, a half-share in a million-acre ranch in south-west Texas.
Haunted by a psychic cat and the ghost voice of her aunt, Leonie, Gerry feels driven to travel thousands of miles to see the ranch for herself.
Against a background of big sky, cattle barons and oil wells, she is soon engaged in a game of power and pride with the Texan who owns the other half.
“With a fresh and original plot she takes her readers on a journey from a quiet English village to the wide plains of Texas. Her descriptions are so vivid that I could almost taste the dust.”
“The evocation of the 20’s era, the rain-soaked English countryside contrasting with sun-baked Texas, is spot on. The 20’s Girl, the ghost, and all that jazz is a love story beautifully told.”
“One to savour if you can sneak away.”
CIR: What gave you the inspiration for this book?
KEARNS: Partly, it was stories of women in England after the First World War, who because of the lack of men, stood very little chance of finding a husband. Something in the air, too? About the 20’s – the style, clothes and music of that time.
CIR: What would you compare this book to?
KEARNS: Someone on Twitter kindly compared the Texas part to Giant, a book by Edna Ferber, that was made into a film in the 1950’s, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. (Sigh.)
CIR: What is the main character like?
KEARNS: Gerardina Mary Chiledexter, was born in India to a mother who felt herself far too glamorous to be saddled with the responsibility of a child. Shipped off to England to be passed round the relatives, she ends up in the care of Leonie, her wild and totally wonderful aunt.
CIR: Are any of the characters like you or someone you know?
KEARNS: I’m certainly very familiar with Igor – the cat character in the book. All his fictional antics are based on fact!
Learn more about June Kearns and her writing at www.junekearns.com