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Tainted Tree
 
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Tainted Tree [Kindle Edition]

Jacquelynn Luben
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

Print List Price: 9.99
Kindle Price: 1.79 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: 8.20 (82%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

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Product Description

Product Description

A surprise bequest from an unknown benefactor leads American adoptee, Addie Russell, to Surrey on a journey to discover more about her mysterious English family. She does not know that her search will uncover secrets that will both shock and thrill her. Nor can she imagine the emotions and events which await her.

Some comments from readers:

We have just returned from holiday where I read this book. I must say that I really enjoyed it, and in parts I could not put it down.
Lynne, Ilford, Essex

I find Tainted Tree very interesting and readable. The way the plot is developed is very good, the reader can't put it down.
Barbara, Haslemere, Surrey

Great read - I really enjoyed it - genuinely interesting, compulsive reading and so relevant to what is happening today.
Susan, Pirbright, Surrey

I couldn’t put it down - it was a really interesting saga, beautifully written (a real ‘tear-jerker’ at times!) and I loved the characters, especially Addie.
Joyce, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex

I finished Tainted Tree and LOVED IT!
Elizabeth, Illinois, USA

Thoroughly enjoyed the book - I couldn't put it down and loved the ending.
Celia, Pirbright, Surrey

I have read Tainted Tree, despite meaning to save it for my holiday in August. I couldn't resist and read it straight away in great big chunks and really enjoyed it and the twists and turns and highs and lows of Addie's search.
Maggie, Bisley, Surrey

I’m just coming to the end of this book and I love it.
Natasha, Zurich, Switzerland

I’ve got to say - beautifully written - absolutely superb - I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Mike, Pirbright, Surrey

I thought the book was splendid. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Beryl, Hindringham, Norfolk

I really loved it. I was absolutely riveted.
Maggie, Woking, Surrey

The book was excellent; made me cry near the end. Would have liked another chapter or two. Didn’t want to put it down.
Theresa, Woking, Surrey

I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Sonia, Coulsdon, Surrey

I’ve just come back from my holiday and I have been reading this book. It was very interesting and it made my holiday very enjoyable.
Gillian, North London

As to Tainted Tree I would absolutely recommend it. I found it a really interesting read, and after a few chapters couldn't put it down. It is an excellent study in human relationships in all their many forms, with a great feel for history, time and place.
Barbara, Thames Ditton, Surrey

Having just been on holiday, I took this book with me to read and I really enjoyed it. It was very good - a page turner.
Beverley, Godalming, Surrey

an excellent plot line … the author has spaced out her revelations to keep the interest going and the mystery developing. I wanted to know what would happen next - the pace was good, the writer’s ear for dialogue, excellent.
Colin, Guildford, Surrey

From the Publisher

Everyone, it seems is seeking to find their identity through websites devoted to genealogy and TV programmes such as Who do you think you are? In addition, the search for a lost parent or child by adopted children, or the parents who gave them up, is of such great human interest that it is also often the focus of radio and television programmes.

Jacquelynn Luben's novel, Tainted Tree, tells the story of a similar quest and combines these themes, when Addie Russell, an adopted American girl, tries to find out about her English family.

About the Author

Originally from London, Jacquelynn Luben lives with her husband in a Surrey village, her children having fled the nest. Tainted Tree, her fourth book, is her second work of fiction and follows her novella, A Bottle of Plonk. She has also written many articles and short stories. When not writing, she has studied, first with Open University and subsequently at Surrey University, where she gained a degree in 2002, with a dissertation on the Harry Potter series, and she also helps her husband in his business. Tainted Tree won Second Prize at the Winchester Writers' Conference.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Addie saw the child's photograph on the hall table as soon as she walked through the door. The schoolgirl in the picture was around ten or eleven, with blue eyes, uneven teeth and fair hair in braids. Addie felt a momentary sense of shock, followed by elation. The resemblance to herself was strong - the same oval shaped face and wide mouth - but the girl's bright blue eyes bore no resemblance to her own green ones and her hair was much fairer than Addie's. Even so, there could be no doubt they were related.

`My mother,' she breathed.

The last few days waiting for information, the sleepless nights and then the flight from Boston - they had all been worth it for this moment. She felt tears start in her eyes.
If anyone had told her a month ago that she would inherit a house in England, she would never have believed it. To take it even further into fantasyland, it was one of those mock Tudor places that showed up in English detective thrillers, with black painted timbers and leaded lights. She'd fallen in love with it as soon as she saw the name, Tamar, carved on to a timber signboard, and seen the sun's reflection twinkling on the latticed windows. But all that paled into insignificance - it was just a property after all. Just bricks and mortar. Finding out about her mother, Adrienne Heron - that was the important thing. That was all important.

Addie hadn't known the late owner of this house, James Buckley. He'd willed Tamar to her mother, but she'd died 26 years ago - when Addie was born. Addie kept asking herself why he didn't know her mother was dead, and what could be the connection between them. If only she'd known about him earlier. Now he was dead too, and couldn't answer her questions, but surely, coming here was going to give her the chance to find out. About himself, about Adrienne - and all the other family that must exist.

The young lawyer from Palfrey, Willow and Amery, the firm administering James Buckley's estate, had followed her into the hall. He closed the door behind him and put his briefcase on the woodblock floor. She turned her gaze away from the picture, and, trying to look unmoved, walked into the living room. The lawyer trailed after her. Did he think she was going to steal something? It belonged to her now anyway. Irritated, she turned. `Would you mind? I'd like to be alone for a moment.'

He looked surprised, but retreated to the hall.

The sun was shining through the window, giving a warm glow to the elegantly furnished room, and outside, she could see the summer colours of an unexplored garden. She couldn't believe her good fortune. There would be so much to see and discover. But above all, finding out about her English mother was something she had dreamt of for many years. She turned and walked back through the doorway to look again at the photograph. She still couldn't resist gazing at it, even though she had returned over and over again, in the last few days, to the blurry newspaper replica, which had been responsible for her coming from Boston in the first place.

The lawyer had been standing quietly waiting. Now he gave a polite cough, no doubt to remind her of his presence.
Trying to stop her voice from shaking, Addie said, `You don't know what coming to his house means to me. And to see my mother's photo here.'

`Well, perhaps you'd like to go upstairs and look around on your own. I'll wait down here for you.'

She liked the sound of his voice and the English accent, and she could see he was trying to be kind, but he looked as though his mind were elsewhere - to judge by his unsmiling face, somewhere rather unpleasant. What was wrong with him? He seemed irritated or angry about something. Still, that was not her concern today. Her interest was here, in the house - in Tamar.

She walked up the stairs, trailing her fingers lightly along the highly polished banister rails. Someone loved and cared for this house or for its late occupant, James Buckley. And he - James, who only on his death had entered her life - he had lived here for twenty years or more; his hand had brushed this banister; his feet, too, had climbed these stairs. Her discovery of him had brought in its wake another unsolved mystery.

Upstairs, Addie found two large bedrooms and a smaller one, all with pink floral covers on the beds and matching curtains. They didn't fit in at all with her mental picture of James. But the fourth bedroom had been converted into a study, the walls adorned with prints of ships at sea. Somehow, here, she knew she had found the essence of the man. It was filled with sober masculinity. She could see James in her mind's eye. A formal man; a very English man, like the pilots and naval men in old black and white war movies.

A large mahogany desk took pride of place, the scars and scratches of years imprinted into the wood. For a moment, she could almost imagine James sitting there, his back straight, writing his letters with an old-fashioned fountain pen and a bottle of ink. But now the desk had been tidied up and was bare, with the exception of one or two ornaments. A faint scent of furniture polish lingered in the air, and there was none of the mustiness associated with an empty house. She wondered who it was that looked so carefully after the home of a dead man.

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