My huge thanks to my very earliest readers: my mother, my husband and my friend Claire Lusher – and the ones who followed thereafter: Alice Baldock, Kathy Weston, Anna Jachymek, Claire Heppenstall, Donna Malone, Angie Starn, Gail Walker, Alli Campbell, Dave Sheehan, Val Young, Nicola Young, Nicole Johnschwager, Garry Boorman, Claire Smith, Mary Bishop, Colin Sutherland, Chrissy Paech, Joanne Doran, Sandie Kirk, Dave Martin, Helen Say and Annabelle Randles for your encouragement, support and most importantly candid feedback. A special thanks to my friends Tracy Morrell, Bex Davies and Catherine Burkin for all your practical help as well as unwavering belief in me. My just as great thanks to Kavita Bhanot and Becky Swift at The Literary Consultancy, who I really couldn’t have done this without, and to Arabella Weir for pointing me in their direction. To my darling son Liam and to shuck for the very first and very last cover designs. To the professionals who helped me begin to have a clue what I was doing: Heather O’Connell, Stephen Bass, Jeff Taylor and Kristina Radke, and to Matthew Bates, Gary Rosenthal, Susan Kirby and Laila Hegarty for your help in putting me out there. To the agents and especially Penny Faith and Deborah Wright who gave me such insightful feedback. To Lyndsey Kilifin and Angie Greenwood for you and your book groups’ support. To Jacky Lord for giving me my love of the English language all those years ago, and to Clare Johnson, Harriet Lane and the people I wrote with on Thursday afternoons in Highgate for reigniting it. To Monique Totte, we both know why. To my mother-in-law Karen Seskis who showed me what can be done if you try hard enough. To my dad John Harrison, my brother Stuart Harrison, my sister-in-law Angeles Borrego Martin, my dear neighbour Connie Bennet, and the rest of my family who have pulled together over the past few years, I love you. And to all of you who’ve helped me along the way: everyone who has supported me on Facebook and to my new band of readers and cheerleaders – thank you thank you thank you.