This Is Us Read Online Helen McGinn

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors:
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Total pages in book: 84
Estimated words: 78592 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 393(@200wpm)___ 314(@250wpm)___ 262(@300wpm)
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A story about friends, sisters, motherhood and starting again – one day at a time…

Stella fell in love with Simon hard and fast. He was everything she wanted in a husband, and he seemed to feel the same way about her. More than a decade of marriage later, life is sweet. They have three much-wanted children, a successful business, and a comfortable London home. What more could Stella possibly want?
But then, out of the blue, Simon is gone. Vanished. No one knows where he’s gone or why.
Now Stella, with the help of her friends and family, has to pick up the pieces of her and her children’s life, all the while wondering what she missed. Was her husband who he said he was, and can she trust her own memories of their life together?

FULL BOOK START HERE:

PROLOGUE

Stella powered her way along the length of the pool, her arms and legs moving rhythmically, her focus on taking a breath between strokes. The sound of water whooshed past her ears, temporarily shutting out the noise of the rest of the world.

Yet as much as she tried to swim away from the thoughts in her head, she couldn’t escape them.

The way he had looked at her that awful night as they’d stood in the kitchen, facing each other across the marble island. Not with love, as he’d done for the last decade. This was different. In fact, it was indifference. He’d looked at her like he simply didn’t care.

She barely recognised the woman in the scene playing in her mind, begging him to explain what was happening.

He’d just shrugged his shoulders, his eyes giving nothing away. ‘I don’t know. I just don’t feel like I used to.’ He’d paused. ‘About you.’

The words had hit her with force, leaving her gasping for breath. She’d tried to speak, her voice a whisper. ‘I… I don’t… understand.’

‘That’s the problem.’ His words had felt like daggers, each one breaking her skin. He’d sighed, picked up his bag from the floor and slung it over his shoulder. ‘I have to go. I’m staying elsewhere tonight. I’ll call you tomorrow.’

Stella was so stunned, she couldn’t speak. She had heard the front door shut and looked around the room as if searching for clues. Her gaze had rested on the table, set for breakfast the next day. The silence was deafening.

Stella swam on, her broken heart pounding in her chest.

1

‘Are you back in time to eat this evening?’ Stella called out to her husband as she ushered the children towards the door.

‘I’ll cook tonight.’

Stella looked up to see Simon standing at the top of the stairs, tying his tie. ‘Are you sure?’ She pulled an oversized hoodie over her head before gathering her chestnut hair back from her face and tying it loosely with a hairband from her wrist.

‘I’m out for lunch, remember. The one you’ve managed to wriggle out of.’

‘I didn’t wriggle out of it, it’s just you’re so much better with them than me and, to be honest, I find them so, well…’

‘Boring? I know, but without investors like Annabel Collins and her insufferable husband, we won’t have a business, so we don’t have a choice, I’m afraid. Well, one of us doesn’t.’ He dropped down to tie a shoelace, smiling at her.

‘I know, thank you. I owe you.’ She blew him a kiss. Those kind of business lunches were not her thing. ‘See you later, darling. Right, Max, have you got your lunch box?’

‘Check.’ Her son held his lunch box aloft, grinning.

Stella turned from her son to the twins, their matching blonde curls both defying the hairbands she’d hastily tried to tie them back with. ‘How about you two?’

Millie stuffed books into her bag, while Isla stood impatiently by the door, holding hers.

‘I’ve got mine,’ said Isla. ‘Come on, Millie, you’re going to make us late. Again.’ Isla rolled her eyes at her oblivious sister.

‘Get a wriggle on, Millie.’ Stella prodded Millie gently. ‘I’ll be in the car.’

‘Shotgun,’ Max cried, as he made his way out of the door.

‘I don’t know why you even bother saying that when you go in the front every morning,’ said Millie as she tried to close her rucksack.

‘Whatever, loser,’ Max retorted.

‘And why do you always get to go in the front anyway?’ cried Isla.

‘Because I’m the eldest, duh. Double figures.’ Max held his hands up towards her showing all ten fingers and thumbs, smiling sarcastically at her.

‘Still a moron, though,’ Isla shot back.

‘That’s enough, you two. Come on please, I can’t be late this morning.’

They walked down the path and out of the freshly painted white side gate onto the quiet London street. The house stood on a corner, a handsome three-storey Victorian building overlooking a large common already busy with runners, dog walkers and parents and children on the school run. The morning was crisp, the air cool on Stella’s face. A February sun hung in the cloudless sky.


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