by Ellen Farrell
On her arrival at the Abbey Surgery, a general practice in rural Lincolnshire , Arabella Smith, a young GP, meets Clayton Richards, a partner. Although he appears antagonistic, there is between them, an instant attraction which neither acknowledges to the other. She is unaware of any reason for his unfriendliness and determines to merit his approval, and in this, because of a series of mishaps, she feels she is only partially successful.
Arabella, extremely efficient and straightforward, is privately warm, gentle and un-pushy. Earlier, jilted but still pursued by the man who had rejected her, she had gone to work abroad rather than allow herself to be put in a situation where her presence might endanger his marriage. On her return the situation appeared unchanged and in consequence rather than take up a post near her father house, she has chosen a contract which binds her into working alongside Clayton.
The practice finds her a tremendous asset because she is unselfconsciously helpful, and for her nothing is too much. Clayton’s disapproval is unnerving but she is warmly approved of by Helen, the senior partner, Kay, the practice manager, and Jeremy, the GP trainee. Her relationship with Clayton intensifies with each social event and shared case, only to freeze over once more as it appears that she might be in contact with her former fiancé.
Clayton appears so analytically critical that Arabella fears that he is deeply suspicious of her intentions, for she sees that his trust, when obtained, is absolute, and that he is a loyal friend, and she appreciates that at work he is a perfectionist, and that while his academic and administrative load is enormous, it does not seem so to him. He gives his support instantly when her father is taken ill and where her patients are concerned, in particular the young family of Meribel Williams, he is spontaneously helpful.
But she is never sure of herself where he is concerned and when she discovers his connection with the wife of the man she has being avoiding she is deeply hurt and quite misreads his point of view, while he assumes that she isn’t interested in him and so distances himself.
It is she who is making the first move when in the stables of his house a near catastrophe pushes all the misunderstandings out of the way as they recognise that what is important is that they should be together forever.
About Author :
Of Irish descent (she has three Irish grandparents) Ellen loves to travel and her stories come in part from this experience. A voracious reader, she devours biography, novels, poetry and criticism, and when not writing she enjoys watching films, listening to music, spending time with her family and, of course, talking to friends.
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