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A Child from the Wishing Well [Kindle Edition]

Raymond Nickford
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Gerard's wish is to break out of paranoia, discover daughter Rosie's love. Is the eerie music tutor Ruth's foul-smelling well a place where wishes happen?

Ashamed he cannot relate to his daughter, Rosie, Gerard accompanies and stays with her for violin lessons at the home of tutor, Ruth Stein.

Ruth, fascinating him for her musical sensitivity, becomes a confidante. Against his better judgement and his wife's reservations - the paranoid, Gerard, can only cling to believing the tutor can bring him closer to Rosie.

Soon, he must wrestle with his suspicions again, for Ruth mothers Rosie, almost smothers...

Reaching out to a broken doll, propped in the darkness at the bottom of Ruth's garden well, Gerard wants to believe that what he touches and smells is just the decay of sacks enfolding a doll; the closest to a child that the lonely old spinster could cling. Investigating, Gerard's fears for Rosie’s safety begin to mount.

Rosie draws closer to her father, notices his new concern but, if she is in danger, can he save her and can Gerard still triumph over the emotional void of paranoia; feel, accept, he and Rosie could share the love of which others speak?

( Set in the Malvern hills and German occupied Prague.)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Raymond Nickford  has a degree in Psychology and Philosophy from the University College of North Wales. The outsider, the lonely, any driven to extremity, have been his inspiration:

"Aristo's Family," a literary suspense set on the island of Cyprus.
"Mister Kreasey's Demon," a teacher haunted by his students, loved by one.
"Twists in the Tale," eerie, atmospheric tales of the unexpected.
Winner of the Harper Collins Gold Star award May 2010 -
The author's latest book
"CUPBOARD OF SKELETONS" is FREE as Amazon Prime.


FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/raymond.nickford25 


REVIEWS:

Candace Bowen Early - author of A Knight of Silence

Growing up in a suburb of Chicago, the first scary movie I remember seeing was the 1965 Bette Davis movie, The Nanny. To this day, that movie has always stuck with me as one of the great psychological thrillers of all time. For me, A Child from the Wishing Well, is reminiscent of that movie.

Raven Clark - author of The Shadowsword Saga

Raymond Nickford has a writing voice that has to be one of the most unique and intriguing I have come across. The story is both enjoyable and oddly chilling, all the more so for its apparent warmth.
The pleasantness of Ruth and her liveliness should seem gentle, grandmotherly and appealing, a sweet old lady one could adore, but reading the pitch, what seems kindly suddenly turns sinister, her upbeat excitability oddly macabre.
Each time she says lines like "Our Rosie," and speaks so excitedly, rather than hearing a pleasant old lady, I think of a bird screeching. Fingers down a blackboard.

Stephen Valentine - author of Nobody Rides for Free

The author gives great voice to his characters, describing well their idiosyncrasies. A good story must either go deep or wide, and with Nickford's background in psychology he goes deep within the human condition. For some adults, the ability to relate to a child does not come naturally, and requires enormous if not awkward effort. This is an often overlooked subject worth exploring.

Burgio - author of A Grain of Salt

This is an intriguing story: is Gerald being overly possessive toward his daughter or is Miss Stein really a threat?
Every parent is aware today that he or she needs to supervise their child's friends. But a violin teacher?
I liked Gerald because of his predicament. This should have a wide appeal because it touches parents so personally. Good read.

A. R. Taylor - author of Sex, Rain, and Cold Fusion

Full of dark shadings and menace. I like the tenderness of the father's feelings.

TAGS:
Paranoid father and daughter, poignant, violin tutor, eerie, German occupied Prague, tense, psychological suspense, literary


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 773 KB
  • Print Length: 286 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Haunted Books - family life, noir, tense (12 Sept. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005NWRKCQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #236,061 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Raymond Nickford has a degree in Psychology and Philosophy from the University College of North Wales and has been a college lecturer in English Literature, both driving him to searching character studies, atmospheric mystery and suspense, with underlying romance and family/relationships.

Author interview:
www.susansbooks37.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/meet-the-author-raymond-nickford/

Troubled souls; the outsider, the lonely, any driven to extremity, have been indispensable for his novels, on Amazon KINDLE and comprising:

"Aristo's Family,"
"Mister Kreasey's Demon,"
"Twists in the Tale,"
"A Child from the Wishing Well"
and his latest book
"CUPBOARD OF SKELETONS"

Of his novel based in Cyprus, "Aristo's Family", Barbara Erskine, best selling author of River of Destiny, has commented on the "beautifully observed characters, intriguing and atmospheric scenes and, above all, the suspense which made me want to read on".

Raymond's favourite film producer is Alfred Hitchcock, and he has been influenced by authors Patricia Highsmith, Ian McEwan, Ruth Rendell, D H Lawrence and - particularly - Daphne du Maurier whose mastery of mystery and suspense first sparked his interest in fiction with her "Rebecca".

He believes his teaching of English in colleges and as a private tutor has informed his new suspense A CHILD FROM THE WISHING WELL.

This features an eerie music tutor, her young pupil Rosie and Rosie's paranoid and inept father, Gerard, who nevertheless yearns to mean more to his daughter.

Can Gerard fight his mental illness to grow closer to his daughter, Rosie?

The book was selected for the Harper Collins Gold Star Award, May 2010.

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/raymond.nickford25


REVIEWS

"Growing up in a suburb of Chicago, the first scary movie I remember seeing was the 1965 Bette Davis movie, The Nanny. To this day, that movie has always stuck with me as one of the great psychological thrillers of all time. For me, A Child from the Wishing Well, is reminiscent of that movie."


CANDACE BOWEN EARLY - author of A Knight of Silence

"The story is both enjoyable and oddly chilling, all the more so for its apparent warmth.
The pleasantness of Ruth and her liveliness should seem gentle, grandmotherly and appealing, a sweet old lady one could adore, what seems kindly suddenly turns sinister, her upbeat excitability oddly macabre, her voice... a bird screeching... fingers down a blackboard.
Will Gerard realize what he feels is not just a symptom of his disease? And if not, will his wife Heather uncover the truth and save little Rosie?"

RAVEN CLARK - author of The Shadowsword Saga


"The author gives great voice to his characters, describing well their idiosyncrasies. A good story must either go deep or wide, and with Nickford's background in psychology he goes deep within the human condition. For some adults, the ability to relate to a child does not come naturally, and requires enormous if not awkward effort.
This is an often overlooked subject worth exploring" -

STEPHEN VALENTINE - author of Nobody Rides for Free

"A beautifully constructed scenario emerged.
The attic scene vividly describes the significance of the doll in the depth of the well. All the mystery and menace of the story coalesces here.
I was taken back years to the 1960s when I read a story by Saki entitled The Lumber Room. Mystery and menace are purely distilled in a distinctive writing style."

TONY BRADY - author of Scenes from an Examined Life

"Full of dark shadings and menace. I like the tenderness of the father's feelings."

A. R. TAYLOR - author of Sex, Rain, and Cold Fusion

A Child from the Wishing Well and all other titles are currently available as ebooks on all readers for free sample or purchase complete online.

[samples on your PC are free when you download Amazon's free reader KindleForPC] - first click on "See all tags" below to find the list of titles. These include:

"TWISTS IN THE TALE" - a collection of mystery and suspense, ghosts stories and a novella romance.

"ARISTO'S FAMILY" - an eerie and poignant story about a child's need to belong while his archaeologist father is too preoccupied with his obsession to search for a family who, Aristo was told, had all been burnt beyond recognition in the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

"MISTER KREASEY'S DEMON" - Can the paranoid teacher, Mr Kreasey, stop himself from destroying his student, Amy, who might have been the only person who could show him what love could be?

Raymond confesses to a passion for plump, docile tabbies and says he is moved by the music and life of the composer Edward Elgar, his interest leading him each year to a cottage in the Malvern Hills and to the Three Choirs Festival.

The author is currently working on another mystery and suspense, Prey to Her Madonna. Here, all he will say is that the intrigue moves between Madeira, an eerie French shrine, an English village and London.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strange and fascinating story 7 Mar. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Raymond Nickford reminds me of Ruth Rendell in his ability to probe the minds of disturbed and eccentric people. And he certainly has some unusual characters in this story. Gerald Botolph is a troubled depressive, brought up in a strait laced manner by generations of Botolphs who have encouraged the `stiff upper lip, work and nothing but work' ethic. He strives to break from this and find himself through bonding with his only daughter, little seven year old Rosie. He yearns to be a natural, easy going father but seems incapable of it and this confuses the child even more, leaving her uncertain and distanced from him.

So what does he do? He takes this bright young daughter for piano lessons with an old Jewish lady in a dark, Gothic Victorian house, which is creepy enough. But this music teacher is very weird indeed. However, old Ruth Stein has a childlike, unself-conscious way about her which appeals to children. She knows how to play, how to have fun, how to make lessons and `work' enjoyment and pleasure for her pupils. Gerald is also caught in her web and makes her his confidante and friend. His wife, who seems the only sane and rational person in the story, harbours suspicions about Ruth. She senses that Ruth has some strange hold over her daughter and is naturally troubled by it. When Ruth dies, Gerald encounters her sister Salome and slowly but surely discovers the old ladies' strange and tragic past, caught up in escape from Nazi Germany and the horror of the concentration camps.

The story is macabre, it has shades of Hitchcock's `Pyscho'. One has to have a strong stomach for some of the scenes in this book. But for those who relish and enjoy the macabre and dramatic, this is the book for them. It's beautifully written, atmospheric, haunted and altogether satisfyingly scary!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark v light 3 Nov. 2012
By Steve
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A disturbing but sensitive exploration of the troubled relationship between a dad suffering from paranoia and the consequent loneliness of his daughter.
Gerard has to struggle with his ineptness as a father, while his wife Heather is aloof, which leaves their seven-year old, Rosie, needing to turn to her old music tutor for affection.
I sense that even if Gerard had wanted to stop Rosie's violin lessons, Rosie would have protested to the point where he would give in to her demands in order to make up for his clumsiness as her dad, and despite Heather's misgivings about the eerie old Ruth.
Until the end, it was never certain whether Gerard's paranoia and creeping suspicion of Ruth were simply getting the better of him, or whether the bony old music tutor really was deranged enough to want to 'possess' his daughter, Rosie, and her other 'little disciples' - I mean, forever, in the bottom of her garden "wishing" well.
I wondered whether the spinster's almost childlike playfulness and fantasising with Rosie in her garden hinted of her own mental illness and I couldn't help thinking of pupils/little disciples which the childless Ruth just may have murdered in order to keep a surrogate child 'close' to her. Perhaps she once had a little girl by her lover, Gustav, who died many years back in occupied Prague during WW2 and that child, brought to the relative safety of England, was after her death buried by Ruth in the garden well or beneath the grass somewhere? That question and, perhaps more,the sense that there could be light at the end of both of their tunnels, before tragedy struck for the girl, made the book a steal for the £0.99.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling behind the mask of sweetness 8 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The visual detail gave this book the feel of a film. I felt I was witnessing the places where the paranoid father, Gerard, struggles to relate to his lonely seven year old daughter, Rosie. Rosie, herself, is confused by her Dad's remoteness from her and his clumsy attempts to act more like a normal Dad that her friend's enjoy. Ruth, the creepy old violin tutor to Rosie is almost too nice to Gerard's daughter. It's as if she wants to make Rosie her own, a closeness which goes beyond lessons until it begins to cling, then choke, like ivy moving in on a tender plant.

The question which had me on board was whether Ruth's garden wishing well was only the vehicle of the dreams of a childless old spinster who had too late craved a daughter of her own, or whether it was a much darker place, one that might harbour discoveries to justify Gerard's growing feeling of unease about Rosie's unaccountable closeness to her tutor and the closeness to others of her pupils who came - and seemed to disappear - from trace.

At times I thought Ruth just eccentric, then scatty, but then as sinister as the wrinkle-faced and faded actress, Jane in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane". Tutor Ruth Stein is truly chilling under her outward sweetness. Whenever I think back to the trio: Ruth, the lonely Rosie, her paranoid father, I can't help but get the heebie-jeebies. Yet what made the story linger for me was the hollow between father and daughter which I wanted to become again the love between Dad and daughter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Zany musician, paranoid father, lonely daughter 24 Jun. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This book haunts me. It's like someone's watching someone but being watched. The weave-in of detail for character and scene give it the feel of a film script. It's easy to picture one of the great old actresses of past film relishing the acting part of the flesh-crawly and eerie music tutor, Ruth.

Gerard is a meticulous study of paranoia, his seven year old Rosie, a precocious but lonely daughter, confused by her father's apparent remoteness from her and his awkward attempts to be 'more normal', and closer to her.

But the character I couldn't get out of my hair is Ruth Stein, the musically brilliant and zany music tutor to Gerard's young daughter, who "mothers... almost smothers" the girl - as perhaps she's done with many another little pupil.

The main plot theme is the question: Is the tutor's garden wishing well really the innocent dream of a childless old spinster or is it something of which Gerard's growing fears about his daughter could be tragically justified?

I thought at times Ruth seemed zany, almost off the rails but at the end I couldn't quite get her out of my mind... fingernails screeching down a blackboard from a vein-ridden hand.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This author is consistently good.
Published 3 months ago by Redsgang
5.0 out of 5 stars Expertly Crafted
Even the opening chapters of the book are significantly atmospheric. The skillful choice of Nickford's descriptive words mean presence is captured and conveyed accurately in the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Rosali Webb
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Psychological Tale
Gerard Botolph takes his seven-year-old daughter, Rosie, for violin and piano lessons with octogenarian private music tutor Ruth Stein, in order to share time with his daughter,... Read more
Published 7 months ago by The Bub
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful written, sensitive and wonderfully dark
"A Child From The Wishing Well", Raymond Nickford;
I am so thrilled to have started reading this captivating and intriguing novel last night, and if it hadn't been for... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jane Morris
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Ok read
Published 9 months ago by Nancy Hatenboer
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric Thriller
This is different! In an intriguing , tension building and what ever is going to happen next way... I wasn't sure I was going to get into it at first but then by the end of the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Demonica
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply excellent
This story has a wonderful soothing pace about it as you start to read. It’s comfortable and not threatening. The author allows it to flow over you so you can melt and enjoy it. Read more
Published 11 months ago by C. R. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lovely Bones
It has all the haunting, lingering effects of The Lovely Bones.
The pitch was so compelling I had to get the book. The writing is lovely. Read more
Published 13 months ago by barbara silkstone
5.0 out of 5 stars This is quality
I consider this high-quality literary fiction. It sets its own pace, which it expects the reader to match, even to the extent of having a few sentences which require a second read. Read more
Published 13 months ago by SAStirling
4.0 out of 5 stars A Relationship Unfolds
This Raymond Nickford novel focuses beautifully yet intensely on the relationship between Gerard and his daughter Rosie. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Sonja Lewis
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