Ellon Castle Garden in 2000
The Gardener’s Wife begins where the fairy-tale romance ends. Susan Kirke has married the gardener she loves, John Dean. As a result she has been disowned by her family and the young couple are cast upon their own resources, made more difficult by the fact that Dean has been blacklisted by his father-in-law and cannot find work on an estate. They try to make ends meet in London, but they have 4 children in the first five years.
Then, through the favour of a friend, Dean finds a job at Ellon Castle working for the Earl of Aberdeen. A deeply religious Presbyterian, Dean is shocked to discover upon his arrival that his employer is actually the Earl’s mistress. Having moved his family hundreds of miles by coach to a new country, he has little choice but to stay.
Against his wishes, Susan becomes fast friends with the Earl’s mistress, a young Englishwoman named Penelope Dering. They have babies near the same age, and their young children play together, making life in the remote village of Ellon more endurable.
It is only a matter of time before events occur that convince even Susan that they must leave the castle of “the wicked Earl”, and so the family of 8 set sail for Ireland.
The Gardener’s Wife is available as an e-book at nook and kobo and at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/168768
and in paperback