Sneak Preview of The Summer Between

“West House
“Glen St. Mary, PEI
“May 17, 1938
“Dear Gwen,
“How are you? Are you in the throes in final examinations? Goodness, I can’t believe that you are seventeen, and that next September will mark the start of your final year of high school. Have you decided on a college yet, or even if you are going to go on for further schooling?
“You think your aunt is being awfully chatty, but really, I’m just trying to soften you up for the request I’m about to make.
“You heard, I’ve no doubt, that I had a little cold this spring. It wasn’t anything serious, so I thought, but apparently there have been some complications as a result and the long and the short of it is that your uncles have confined me to my bed or, at the most, the sofa, for the duration of my pregnancy.
“I have reluctantly agreed, because although I think they are being paranoid, I don’t want to do anything to endanger this lovely surprise baby! The only question now is, of course, how to manage for the next four months? Winnie is still a harum-scarum, and though Ruthie is a gem, she is only seven, and it is entirely out of the question for her to take care of the house, me, and your Uncle Bruce. Mother Meredith, Aunt Anne, Lynde, and even Mary Douglas have all offered to come help out, but they of course all have their own homes to attend, as well. Besides—
“Well, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I don’t really want any of them. All of them have their own way of doing things in a home, and I have my own way, and I can’t help but think that it’ll be far worse for my health for me to be upstairs in bed, fretting over having things done differently from how I want them. Bruce doesn’t agree, of course, but what do men know of these things?
“So I have resorted to shamelessly begging my favourite niece to come take pity on me. I know (because I taught you!) that you can cook, and any child raised by your mother can at least keep a house tidy, and the girls adore you. I could tell you exactly how I wanted something done, and I could trust you to do it. Lynde, I know, would do it her way regardless of what I said, because she is convinced her way is best (and it likely is, but it’s not my way); Mary wouldn’t even listen to me, and Mother Meredith and Aunt Anne would both try, but it would distress them terribly to try to change their ways now.
“Would you be willing to sacrifice your summer to help me out, Gwen? I know it’s a terrible thing to ask a young girl, but it wouldn’t be so bad; you’d still have plenty of time to go running down to the harbour as you loved to do two summers ago. Jack won’t be around, but Lynde is, and Oliver and the rest of your Owls, I know, have missed you dreadfully.
“If you’ve already made plans for the summer, or you’d rather not come out, please don’t hesitate to say so, and I will just make the best of what I have. If you do decide to come, though, the girls are already airing out the guest room for you.
“Write and let me know, and whichever way you decide, know that I’m always your loving,
“Aunt Ruth.”

“Kingsport, Nova Scotia
“May 21, 1938
“Dearest Aunt Ruth,
“My bags are packed! Tell the girls not to fuss too much about my room; that will be my job when I get there. My train comes in on June 2. If Uncle Bruce is busy, I’ll just make my own way to West House. I am so looking forward to ‘bossing’ you all about for an entire summer! Tell Uncle Bruce I expect him to toe the line.
“Give Winnie and Ruthie hugs for me, and a special pat to Baby. I will see you soon!
“Love always,
5 Responses
  1. Adrienne Says:

    I love it already. What an interesting premise for getting Gwen back to the Glen.

  2. I was put on bed rest myself, yesterday, for the next week or so, and I am so glad you posted, because now I have something to distract me!!!

    I love that there's a new baby for the Bruce Merediths. And I love Gwen is to be the one to care for Aunt Ruth. The bond between them really is a special and realistic one.

  3. Elouise82 Says:

    So sorry to hear that you are on bedrest, Connie! I am hoping to get the first chapter ready to post on SOON, so hopefully you will have it to read while you are stuck in bed! (And if there's anything else you want that you think I might have - books, movies, tv shows, old skating shows that only work in a traditional dvd player and not a computer, or are still on VHS - just let me know, and I'll get them mailed out to you. I can't imagine anything more awful than being stuck in bed with NOTHING to do.)

  4. Adrienne Says:

    I'm sorry you're on bedrest too. Don't do anything!

  5. Thank you guys! This is just a precaution from an overprotective doctor, and luckily I have plenty of work to do, but some more Gwen and some more prayers (just in case) would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!