Lily Z.


Dear Mary,
I have been re-reading the Westcott series while waiting (ehm, counting down the days, actually) for the next one to come out and it struck me again how talented you are at writing secondary characters. Such a name is inappropriate to describe the ones in your books, in fact. They never feel like they are in the background, mere shadows moving about behind the scenes while the real action takes places between the two main characters on the stage. They are a tangible presence, enriching each page and making the romance more vivid. I love that chapter in “Someone to Care” when all the Westcotts and various in-laws get their invitations to Lady Estelle’s party and everyone sends their acceptance. I can almost hear their voices reading the letters and debating whether or not to go, all the while knowing perfectly well that they won’t be able to keep away. All those people, all those names… and you write them beautifully. It truly is a gift.
The downside is, of course, that the avarage reader (that would be me, for one) cannot help but becoming very invested in said “secondary” characters, and hoping that they will somehow find their way into a book or a novella of their own. There are no words to say how happy I was to find out that you’re planning a book about Matilda: I’ve had a soft spot for her ever since she encouraged Elizabeth to follow her heart. At the same time, I wonder about the Lamarr twins. Bertrand is pure hero material… What a delight it would be to read his story! His troubled childhood, his strict upbringing, the high standards of honour to which he holds himself – all that could fill a book and fulfill some lady’s dreams of happiness, I have no doubts. Estelle was such a pleasure to read, this little bird spreading her wings for the first time and taking flight. I wonder where she could fly to, how her life would change with a whole new family and perhaps, in the future, someone special to love. I even wonder about Araminta Scott, Elizabeth’s friend who made the most fleeting of appearances in “Someone to Trust”: what would she do with her freedom, and would she even think of her situation as such, given that she lost a beloved parent?
My thoughts are running away with me. I guess what I really want to say is that this is the reason why I read, and why I read your books. It’s never just the one story. It’s thousands of other stories you can read or fantasize about, and they are all in a book, all in those pages, if you find the time to read them, and read beyond them.
Thank you.

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