Oh rest thee, my darling,
Thy mother will come,
With a voice like a starling;
-I wish she was dumb!
--a line from a Nineteenth-Century
Punch & Judy script
This week, Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square concluded after four hundred chapters. Throughout the novel, Punch and his beloved Robert battled foes both old and new, discovered a half-sister, Lennie, about whom he never knew and he and Robert adopted a troubled young girl named Fern. Meanwhile, downstairs in the handsome Belgravia townhouse, Gerard and Gamilla were engaged, and, then married. We fell in love with Mrs. Pepper, Ethel, Georgie and Maudie, while Charles and Violet flirted with the idea of romance, and, we mourned the loss of beloved kitchen-maid, Jenny.
On Monday, October 28, we'll follow our friends on a new journey in A Recipe for Punch. This new online novel will focus on Punch's return to Fallbridge Hall in Yorkshire. Always magnanimous, our Mr. Punch has volunteered to take his newly-found sister to Fallbridge Hall so she might learn a bit about her heritage and so that Colin can see his future inheritance.
Their plans are quite simple. Lennie is to be schooled in Fallbridge history and become acquainted with the legacy, both good and bad, of her mother, the late Pauline, Duchess of Fallbridge. The trip will also give Lennie a chance to spend some time with her fiance, Matthew, Earl of Cleaversworth, before they set a date for their wedding. Meanwhile, Robert will be working on his book about other like Punch who live with more than one "personality." The visit to the country is meant to be relaxing and educational--a time for Colin to grow and explore, a time for the staff to have a break from the city and for pregnant Gamilla to enjoy some clean air.
However, beneath it all, our Mr. Punch will be faced with the very demons which created him within Julian, the Duke of Fallbridge.
The sprawling stately home holds more than just the Fallbridge Family treasures. It harbors secrets both new and old, and on the outskirts of the estate lurk many dangers which will not only challenge Punch's "sanity," but also the lives of Lennie, Colin and Robert.
Furthermore, the staff will face new challenges as Mrs. Pepper realizes that she doesn't have as much say at Fallbridge Hall as she did in Belgrave Square. Georgie is tempted by some new voices and Ethel and Maudie discover that they must come together to protect the boy they both love. While Charles and Violet grow closer, Charles' genetics get the better of him. And, Gamilla's pregnancy reveals some inner powers which she never knew she had.
You'll meet some new characters and learn more about those who have figured prominently in Punch's Cousin. We'll explore racism, homophobia and changing ideas about mental health, as Gamilla, Robert and Punch realize that though they've made a peaceful world for themselves, others may not share their ideals. Furthermore, we'll test the notions of genetics as Charles and Lennie, and even our Mr. Punch, worry that the sins of their ancestors will ultimately be their own.
It's going to be a touching, frightening, and wild visit to majestic Fallbridge Hall. I hope you'll join me as we assemble an intriguing puzzle in A Recipe for Punch.