Blog Tour - The Watcher
Today I'm pleased to take part in the blog tour for the new book by Monika Jephcott Thomas entitled - The Watcher
It’s 1949 when Netta’s father Max is released from a Siberian POW camp and returns to his home in occupied Germany. But he is not the man the little girl is expecting – the brave, handsome doctor her mother Erika told her stories of.
Erika too struggles to reconcile this withdrawn, volatile figure with the husband she knew and loved before, and, as she strives to break through the wall Max has built around himself. Netta is both frightened and jealous of this interloper in the previously cosy household she shared with her mother and doting grandparents.
Now, if family life isn't tough enough, it is about to get even tougher, when a murder sparks a police investigation, which begins to unearth dark secrets they all hoped had been forgotten.
About the author:
Monika Jephcott Thomas grew up in Dortmund Mengede, north-west Germany. She moved to the UK in 1966, enjoying a thirty year career in education before retraining as a therapist.
Along with her partner Jeff she established the Academy of Play & Child Psychotherapy in order to support the twenty per cent of children who have emotional, behavioural, social and mental health problems by using play and the creative Arts.
A founder member of Play Therapy UK, Jephcott Thomas was elected President of Play Therapy International in 2002. In 2016 her first book Fifteen Words was published.
Website - http://monika-jephcott-thomas.com/
I have a brief excerpt to whet your appetite:
In this extract we see the messy adult world through the simple eyes of a child, as Netta’s mother Erika bumps into Rodrick, the man she had an affair with while her husband was a POW. Erika is attempting to push her bicycle up a steep hill with Netta sitting in the basket at the front.
‘Let me help you with that,’ he said.
‘We’re just fine, thanks. We don’t need your help.’ Netta thought her mama sounded almost rude and she turned to see who deserved such a response.
It was Rodrick, the man who built her mama’s examination table in the surgery. He was an enormous man with arms like the branches of an oak tree. She remembered thinking that, the first time she saw him when he hauled the heavy table through the front door and into the doctor’s room, which her Opa had made by putting up a new wall in the middle of their living room. Opa had tried to help bring in the table, but Rodrick didn’t need any help. He could do it all by himself. He was very strong. Netta quite admired this mountain of a man then, but at the same time she never liked the way her mother smiled at him, or the way she put her hand on those branches of his. However, after that first time, he only came to the house on two more occasions and on the last time he looked really unhappy as Netta peeked through the window to see her Oma turning him away at the front door.
‘What are you doing here anyway,’ her mama was saying. ‘Following me?’
‘Don’t be like that. I live just down the road.’ He flicked his fingers towards the village. ‘Or have you forgotten that so soon.’ He cleared his throat. ‘I was coming out of the pharmacy there and could see you needed assistance, so I came to help. That’s all.’
Netta looked from the carpenter to her mama. They both had the same look on their faces. The look Netta herself had worn on the autumn afternoon her Opa had caught her standing on tip-toe trying to sink her teeth into one of the pears dangling tantalisingly from the tree in the middle of the garden. There was no way she could deny her crime. Her little teeth marks were there in the pear for all to see, so she got a huge telling off and had to stand under the pear tree for hours and hours in tears.
Netta watched Rodrick grasp the frame of the bike in his huge knobbly fingers. She watched her mama reluctantly let go of it.
‘And how are you, little princess?’ Netta was surprised to find the adult was talking to her as he began to push the bike up the hill, a lot faster than her mother had been.
‘I’m… I’m a bird,’ Netta said and turned herself back to face the front and enjoy the flight to the top of the hill.
‘A bird indeed!’ the carpenter chuckled.
Netta flapped her wings and the adults were silent for a while. Until Rodrick said:
‘And what about you, Erika? How are you these days?’
‘Everything is fine. My husband is back.’
‘Oh, I know that, but what I—’
‘How do you know that?’
‘Well, here we are. I think you’ll be all right from here. Nice and flat now. And I’m going that way. So, I’ll see you around, no doubt.’
‘I think you know as well as I do it would be better if you didn’t.’
‘Goodbye, little bird!’
‘Bye.’ Netta turned to see a rather jubilant Rodrick wave and plod off towards the village, and her mama’s eyes darting around the street as if the only place they were not allowed to rest was on the receding back of the big tree man.
If that's made you want to read more you can order the book now on Amazon UK
Please visit the authors website too.