. . . an Iris Bromige title
No 213 (1966)
She was forced into a new life - away from an old love
No 5 (1973)
A pleasant home; a warm, loving relationship with her father; a busy social life. The world seemed a good and happy place to Carol Rivers. Even her affection for Simon Rawley, her father's business partner, was deepening into a mature and lasting love. And then, like a bolt form the blue, the happy world splintered into pieces and Carol found herself alone, friendless, and with a bitter battle on her hands. Her father married again; his bride, Brenda Howard, had been his secretary for years - a woman who professed friendship for Carol but was secretly obsessed by jealousy of all the links with her husband's former marriage. And Carol was the strongest link - the one she was most determined to break. Carol had to set about making a new life - one that excluded Simon. For the man to whom she had given her trust and love now seemed to be the second Mrs Rivers's closest friend and ally.
Brenda spent many years working for the distinguished Charles Rivers - loving him from afar and hating the family that held him. She watched his elegant wife and his pretty daughter Carol - his only daughter - a naive, outrageously spoiled girl who never worked a day in her life, nor had to.
Brenda had had to support herself since she was a teenager, and she was wise in the ways of the world - very wise, and very sure of herself ... Brenda had planned long and carefully. She was going to be the second Mrs Rivers, and now that Charles' wife was dead Carol was the last obstacle ...
Carol's father was remarrying, and the bottom had dropped out of Carol's world.
She was doing her best to be civilised about the whole position, much as she distrusted her new stepmother; but even Simon, whom she had thought of as loyal and whom she loved, called her "selfish".
"It's not altogether your fault," he said. "We're all fond of you and we've indulged you. But someone's got to knock sense into you, to make you realise that you're not a child any longer, that other people have rights to be considered."
And I have a heart to be considered, thought Carol, but he had made it plain that he was not concerned with that.
Dear Miss W-,
Thank you for your interesting letter about my book, "The Second Mrs. Rivers."
I am sorry that you were disappointed in the last installment, and can quite understand your wish to see Brenda Rivers brought to book for her conduct, but I am afraid that the Brendas of this world usually do get away with it, up to a point. Remember that she would never feel so certain of her victory again, now that Simon held a weapon he could use against her, and the power of the possessive love which she wielded over Charles Rivers would tend to wane with the years.
The hard fact was that Carol's father had made a new life for himself in which there was no part for his daughter to play, and she realised this. It would have been out of character for her to try to damage her father's new life for the sake of revenge, and the fact that she had a new life of her own to make with Simon was consolation enough. I am afraid it was outside the scope of this book to go beyond the point at which Simon and Carol found happiness together, as this was primarily their story, and it would need another book to relate the history of Brenda and Charles Rivers and the relationship between them and Carol as the wife of Simon Rawley.
Grandfather Rivers, who found it only too easy to quarrel with his son, was, on the occasion you mention (1) undoubtedly waging war on Carol's behalf again. With regard to Carol's wedding, (2) I think in the circumstances Carol and Simon would undoubtedly choose to have a quiet wedding in London with only the Rawleys, Aunt Stella and Grandfather Rivers present.
As the book was completed before the serial, although it will not be published until the spring, I am afraid the ending is the same in both cases. However, I think you will find my next book (3) ending more satisfactorily from the point of view of justice being done all round, and hope you will enjoy it.
|1960||Hodder and Stoughton||hardback|
|1966||Fleetway Publications Ltd||paperback||Woman's Weekly Library (No 213)|
|1973||IPC Magazines||paperback||Woman's Weekly Author of the Month (No 5)|