Roses in December is a saga about three mansions and about the families who live in each of them. The story of each house is narrated by Ted Dawson who has just been told that his beautiful wife Eileen, the author of many books and plays, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. His wife's condition and her inability to recognise him has caused him great distress. He recalls memories of the time when they first met and of years of love, friendship, passion, pleasure and companionship she had given him, and ...
Roses in December is a saga about three mansions and about the families who live in each of them. The story of each house is narrated by Ted Dawson who has just been told that his beautiful wife Eileen, the author of many books and plays, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. His wife's condition and her inability to recognise him has caused him great distress. He recalls memories of the time when they first met and of years of love, friendship, passion, pleasure and companionship she had given him, and also the tragedy and sadness they had endured together..
His memories take him back to his childhood and to the wonderful days he had shared with with his dad at 'Riverdene' until his unrimely death when Ted was only fourteen years old. The generosity of the Squire of Tinnerton Hall who had employed his dad and who had taken Ted to live at the Hall with him and his son Johnny who accepted him like a brother/ He recalls the happy and carefree days he had spent with Johnny which were some of the happiest days of his life.
There is a story within a story, when Stanley who is Eileen's biological father arrives from South Africa to find her. Eileen had been brought up to believe that Matthew, Stanlwy's half brother was her father. Stanley explains how Matthew betrayed him and had deceived her mother Annette forcing her to marry him although he knew she was pregnant with Stanley's child.
When Eileen hears Stanley's story she accepts him as her true father. Stanley sets out to find out why Annette had agreed to marry Matthew, who she claimed to dislike so much. Stanley's story is one of evil, jealousy, hatred and betrayal which Stanley isable to prove when he visits Matthew's second wife Glady's, widowed when Matthew died suddenly from a heart attack. She gave Stanley a journal written by Matthew which she had found amongst his papers, also a bundle of letters written to Annette by Stanley that had been intercepted by Matthew before Annette could see them. Although Eileen is sad that her mother had been denied Stanley's love and had been living a life of misery with Matthew. She is glad that the truth has been told and she need no longer feel guilty about not being able to love Matthew who she thought was her father.
After Ted and Eileen marry Stanley takes them to his home in Camps Bay, Cape, South Africa where they spend two glorious months enjoying the sunshine, taking in the beauty of the mountains, the beaches, the flora and fauna and the culture of the places they visit. They visit Rhodesia and Stanley's uncle's farm which had been rebuilt after being burnt to the ground by terrorists and his uncle and aunt and all the servants killed. During their stay they were to learn more about the history of Rhodesia and the ideology of apartheid in South Africa and became more aware of the political situation.
As a prosecuting lawyer Ted recalls cases of murder fraud paedophilia and other cases he has been involved in. The story is one of family love and loyalty and the interaction of each family with the other in times of love happiness, betrayal, targedy and deep despair. Ted recalls both as he struggles to accept the living bereavement of Eileen's illness remembering Eileen's belief that happy memories are like Roses in December.
Born in Whifflet, a mining town in Coatbridge Mary Goodlet Clyde nee Ashwood was brought up in Belfast Northern Ireland by her father's sister, when she was abandoned by her father on the death of her mother who died shortly after her birth. She travelled extensively after her marriage to Victor Clyde and lived in Canada, New Zealand, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and South Africa, before returning to Banbridge where her husband died six days after his return to his birthplace. She wrote several courses at Open University, before deciding to write a novel to overcome the boredom of living alone and mostly for therapeutic reasons. Mrs. Goodlet-Clyde is the mother of four children and eight grandchildren.