After Our House, my favourite of my own novels (that sounds very self-regarding, as if I re-read them in constant rotation, but let's go with it) is probably The Disappearance of Emily Marr. It’s the story of a scandal that erupts when a lonely young woman has an affair with a married neighbour and sets in motion a chain of tragic events she could never have anticipated. In despair, she leaves her life in London and heads to France – to atone, to grieve, to hide.
Having researched extensively the outcomes of missing persons enquiries, I decided that this was a novel that might bear an open ending. More often than not we don't get an answer in reality, so why must we have one in fiction? Boy, did I come to regret this! In my clever nod to authenticity, I forgot that readers like a proper ending. It doesn’t have to be a happy one (and rarely is with me), just the right one for the characters. Before long, I’d received thousands of emails asking me what happens next – and I duly supplied notes. Many readers enjoyed the game, but others most assuredly did not: ‘I am disgusted!!! 'I HATE this author!’
In cutting a long story short, I had, it seemed, Ruined Lives.
So now, with this reissued version, there is an ending. It was a joy to write, because, by now, I’ve needed the closure as much as the next person. There’s also a new cover, which I absolutely love. So, if you enjoyed Our House, let me introduce you to Emily Marr – and I promise you’ll find out exactly what becomes of her.