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Stoney Beck
Author Houghton-Beatty, Jean
Published 2011

Stoney Beck

When Jenny Robinson's father dies of Huntington's disease, she tells her mother she will never marry out of fear that she might have inherited the disease.

Jenny’s mother, filled with grief over her husband’s death and guilt over secrets she never told her daughter, dies from an overdose of prescription pills. She leaves an unfinished note along with a snapshot of Jenny's biological father, a man she met in England's Lake District. This was a secret, tied to the name Charles Woodleigh, that neither Jenny nor anyone in her family could ever have suspected.

Jenny leaves North Carolina and travels to Stoney Beck in the Lakes to try to solve the puzzle of her past. She takes up residence in a cottage in the grounds of the Hare and Hounds Inn, the same cottage her mother occupied when Jenny was conceived. On her first day in Stoney Beck, she meets Biddy Biggerstaff who frightens Jenny by telling her she knows who she is, why she has come, and has even seen her photograph. Biddy threatens to drive Jenny away.

On a whim she asks the Hare and Hounds owner if he has ever heard of a man called Charles Woodleigh and is surprised when he tells her there is a priest in the next town with the same name. She rents a car from Andy Ferguson who owns the local garage and the next day drives to the priest's church. As she watches Father Woodleigh deliver the mass, Jenny realizes he is the same man as the one standing beside her mother in the snapshot she holds in her hand. Almost immediately Jenny feels a kinship with the priest, but at the same time is sure he has no idea of her existence.

She finds work in the village corner shop, filling in for Sarah, a young woman with Down syndrome and increasing ill health. Sarah has to live with the cruel and unstable Biddy, who became her legal guardian when her adoptive parents were killed.

It isn't until the doctor who delivered Jenny returns home to Stoney Beck and tells Jenny she is Sarah's fraternal twin sister, that Biddy's attempts to frighten her make sense. Biddy stands to share in Sarah’s large inheritance, but her plans for Sarah are to send her to an institution and take everything.

Jenny decides to fight for Sarah’s future welfare and for the developing relationship with her biological father. There’s also Andy, the man with whom she is falling in love. Jenny’s unraveling of the family’s mystery leads to violence that upends the formerly tranquil village of Stoney Beck.

BOSON BOOKS also offers Different Drummers by Jean Houghton-Beatty. For an author bio, photo and a sample read visit
This product is available in the following formats:
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