The English Wife by Adrienne Chinn #Excerpt #Promo #BlogTour

The English Wife

Two women, a world apart.

A secret waiting to be discovered…




VE Day 1945: As victory bells ring out across the country, war bride Ellie Burgess’ happiness is overshadowed by grief. Her charismatic Newfoundlander husband Thomas is still missing in action.

Until a letter arrives explaining Thomas is back at home on the other side of the Atlantic recovering from his injuries.

Travelling to a distant country to live with a man she barely knows is the bravest thing Ellie has ever had to do. But nothing can prepare her for the harsh realities of her new home…

September 11th 2001: Sophie Parry is on a plane to New York on the most tragic day in the city’s history. While the world watches the news in horror, Sophie’s flight is rerouted to a tiny town in Newfoundland and she is forced to seek refuge with her estranged aunt Ellie.

Determined to discover what it was that forced her family apart all those years ago, newfound secrets may change her life forever…

This is a timeless story of love, sacrifice and resilience perfect for fans of Lorna Cook and Gill Paul.


The English Wife by Adrienne Chinn

It’s July 1940 at the Samson and Hercules dance hall in Norwich. Twenty-year-old Ellie meets up with her friend Ruthie whom she finds chatting to a young Newfoundland soldier. Ellie’s fiancé George is nowhere to be seen. Then Newfoundlander, Private Thomas Parsons, arrives, and he and Ellie meet for the first time. It is not auspicious…



‘Ellie! Over here!’

Ellie cranes her neck over the heads of the dancers shuffling around the glossy wooden floor of the Samson and Hercules dance hall. She spies Ruthie waving at her from in front of the stage, where a band of men in white dinner jackets plays a seductive version of ‘Begin the Beguine’. A short, ginger-haired man in a khaki green uniform stands next to Ruthie, clutching a glass of beer in one hand and flapping the other around like a broken sail as he yells into Ruthie’s ear. Ellie dodges past the dancers’ thrusting elbows and squeezes through a bottleneck of sweaty bodies.

‘Hi, Ruthie. Crumbs, that’s a crush.’

Grabbing Ellie’s elbow, Ruthie shouts into her ear. ‘This is Charlie. He’s from the 57th Newfoundland Heavy Regiment.’ She smiles over at Charlie. ‘Did I get that right?’

‘That’s it exactly, duck.’ The young soldier thrusts out his hand. Ellie extends her hand and he pumps it like he’s jiggling a stubborn bottle of brown sauce. ‘Charlie Murphy from Ship Harbour, Newfoundland,’ he says, drawing out the last syllable. ‘Newf’nland like understand.’

Ellie raises her eyebrows as she rescues her hand. ‘I’m sorry?’

‘That’s how you pronounce it. Like “understand”. I tells you, it’s like chalk on a blackboard whenever I hears people say NewFOUNDland.’

Ellie grins at Ruthie. ‘That’s us told then.’

‘Oh, don’t you worry, duck,’ Charlie says, his green eyes twinkling under his ginger eyebrows. ‘I wasn’t havin’ a go at you. Ruthie’s told me all about you. Says you’re an artist.’

‘Just starting out, really.’ She smiles weakly and glances at Ruthie. ‘Have you seen George?’

Ruthie shakes her head. ‘Not yet. I’m sure he’ll be here soon.’ ‘

All right. I’ll go get some Cokes.’

‘Now, don’t you be doing that, maid,’ Charlie says. ‘Where’s my manners? My mudder’d give me some smack. Two Cokes is it? I’ll be right back. Least I can do for campin’ out in your backyard.’ Gulping down the rest of his beer, he heads into the crowd.

‘You’ve got yourself a live one, there, Ruthie.’

‘I think he’s a doll. He looks like Mickey Rooney.’

Looking towards the crowded entrance, Ellie frowns. ‘I wonder what’s taking George so long?’

‘Oh, Ellie. I wouldn’t worry. The sirens haven’t gone off.’

‘They didn’t go off last week when they dropped the bombs on Heartsease Lane.’

‘That was just one aeroplane. The pilot was probably lost and thought he’d take a pot shot at poor old Norwich on his way home.’

Ellie sighs. ‘I don’t know why I’m so wound up. It’s probably all Dottie’s talk about guardian angels tonight. It made me think of Mummy. How people can just …’ Ellie’s voice catches.

Ruthie slides her arm around Ellie and gives her a squeeze. ‘Accidents happen, Ellie. That’s not to say George’s been in an accident … Oh, Ellie, you know what I mean. George is probably drinking tea and playing cards with the other Home Guard chaps over by the castle. I hear they’ve all gone mad for Whist.’

Ellie presses her lips together and nods. ‘I suppose you’re right. I’m just being silly. I’m all nerves about starting at Dame Edith’s studio on Monday. I wasn’t able to sleep a wink last night. I must look a wreck.’

‘You look fine. You could wear my grandfather’s pyjamas and you’d look amazing. If I wore my grandfather’s pyjamas I’d look like my grandfather.’

Ellie laughs. ‘That’s absolute rubbish, Ruthie, and you know it.’

‘Here we go, duckies.’ Charlie holds out two tall glasses of Coke.

‘Thanks, Charlie,’ Ruthie says as she takes the warm glass. ‘What about your beer?’

‘I’s got that all sorted out. There he is now.’ Charlie waves at a tall, slender soldier in the same khaki green uniform holding two glasses of beer aloft as he weaves through the dancers towards them. ‘Tom, b’y! Over here!’

The soldier breaks through the crowd. ‘There you goes, Charlie,’ he says, handing Charlie a beer. He smiles at the two young women, his pale grey eyes lighting up. ‘Looks like you found us the best spot in the house.’ He extends a hand to Ruthie. ‘Thomas Parsons. Call me Tom. Everyone does but my mam.’

Charlie takes a swig of beer. ‘I’d say the sun’s shinin’ on us tonight, wouldn’t you, Tommy?’

Ruthie’s cheeks dimple and she holds out her hand. ‘Ruth Huggins. Call me Ruthie.’

Charlie taps Thomas on the shoulder. ‘This here is Ruthie’s friend, Milly.’

Thomas spins around, his hand outstretched for a handshake. Ellie’s glass goes flying, Coke splashing a brown deluge over her blue dress.

Ruthie gasps. ‘Oh, Ellie, your dress! It’s your favourite!’

‘Oh, Jaysus, Mary and Joseph,’ Charlie swears. ‘What has you done, b’y?’

Thomas tugs a white handkerchief out of his trouser pocket and offers it to Ellie. ‘I’m so sorry, Milly.’

Glaring at the abashed soldier, she takes the handkerchief and rubs at the spreading stain. ‘It’s Ellie. Not Milly. Ellie.’

A hand presses onto her shoulder. ‘Sorry I’m late, Ellie. Good grief, what happened to you?’

Ellie nods at the tall Newfoundlander, whose long, handsome face is drawn into an expression of deep remorse. ‘George, this is Thomas Parsons. Thomas, this is my fiancé, George Parry. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to powder my nose.’

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Author Bio –

Adrienne Chinn was born in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, grew up in Quebec, and eventually made her way to London, England after a career as a journalist. In England she worked as a TV and film researcher before embarking on a career as an interior designer, lecturer, and writer. When not up a ladder or at the computer, she can usually be found rummaging through flea markets or haggling in the Marrakech souk. Her second novel, The English Wife — a timeslip story set in World War II England and contemporary Newfoundland — is published in June 2020. Her debut novel, The Lost Letter from Morocco, was published by Avon Books UK in 2019. She is currently writing her third novel, The Photographer’s Daughters, the first of a 3-book series, to be published in 2021.

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