Rhonda smoothed her palm over the knitted cashmere snood. It was luxuriously soft and in the muted shade of heather, it would be an excellent Christmas present for Alyssa.
‘That’s nice.’ Rhonda’s husband checked the price tag. ‘I like the price as well.’
Ignoring his comment, Rhonda said, ‘Alyssa will find it useful when she takes Sophia out in her pushchair on cold winter days.’
‘And it won’t be too expensive to post.’
‘Honestly, anyone would think you begrudge spending money on your daughter,’ Rhonda said with a chuckle.
Of course, the snood was only a token gift. Their daughter’s main present – a pair of crystal-glass vases – was already wrapped and stowed safely away at the bottom of the wardrobe.
Rhonda had spent hours trawling shops and had been looking forward to seeing the surprise on Alyssa’s face when she unwrapped them.
But, three weeks before Christmas, Alyssa phoned.
‘Dan’s sister in Canada has asked us to go there for Christmas,’ she’d said excitedly. ‘Dan hasn’t seen her for 10 years. I didn’t mention it until now because Dan wasn’t sure he could get the time off work. I’m sorry we won’t be able to see you before we leave.’ She’d paused before saying, ‘You don’t mind, do you, Mum?’
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Well-known for her heart-warming family tales, Sarah Morgan’s latest novel is packed full of love and laughter. Here, she reveals how she comes to craft her characters and she gave her new release that sprinkle of festive magic...
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It was a lovely idea, but surely there was no way the project would become a successful reality?
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The Group Portrait: Rockettes, Spectacular-less
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Why Iranians Continue to Seek Refuge in Australia
Shokoofeh Azar moved to Australia as a political refugee in 2010. Her novel The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree (see WLT, Spring 2020, 96), originally written in Farsi, was shortlisted for Australia’s 2018 Stella Prize for Fiction and the 2020 International Booker Prize. Here she recalls her refugee journey from Iran to Christmas Island and reveals why Iranians continue migrating to Australia, despite the absence of war.
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I’ve been asked how you can tell whether you have a Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving cactus.
The Jolie-Pitts Torn Apart At Christmas
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