When the going gets tough...
In the Irish town of Carrickwell, with its lush, endlessly rolling hills and authentic country tranquility, three women's lives are anything but calm. There's Mel, a compulsively ambitious mother/publicity manager at a high-powered PR firm -- living proof that balancing motherhood and a full-time job is no walk in the park. The hot-headed, indomitable Cleo, just out of college with a degree in hotel management, would like nothing better than to modernize and revive her family's dwindling hotel -- but faces a constant battle with her old-fashioned parents. And finally, there's the stylish, sweet-tempered Daisy, a self-consciously curvy fashion buyer for an upscale clothing boutique, who has been struggling -- and longing -- to have a baby with her absolutely perfect boyfriend. Although unconnected, these three women have one thing in common: they all need a break from their stressful lives.
...these tough gals hit the nearest spa!
So each one sets out for a little R & R at the new Clouds Hill spa, built by an American woman with her own secret turmoil. It is there that Mel, Cleo, and Daisy meet -- their worlds and troubles colliding -- forming an intimate bond that helps them to realize what matters most in life, always and forever.
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January 01, 2007
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Excerpt from Always and Forever by Cathy Kelly
The woman stood as still as the mountains around her, taking in the view from Mount Carraig House -- the windswept, overgrown gardens and the ragged path leading down to the small lake. Behind her towered Mount Carraig itself. Rob, the estate agent, had told her that Carraig meant "rock" in Irish, and that's exactly what Mount Carraig was: a spectacular rock dominating a smaller range of mountains known as the Four Sisters, which swelled to the southwest.
Spread out before her was Carrickwell, the bustling market town that took its name from the mountain. It was bisected by the silver line of the River Tullow, and from here, high up, she could make out the gently winding main street, the sprawl of houses, shops, parks and schools, and the medieval cathedral at the center.
A quarter of a century before, Carrickwell had been a sleepy backwater, within reach of Dublin but still very much a rural community. Time and the price of houses in the city had turned it into a busier town, but the air of tranquility had remained.
Some said this was because of the ancient lea lines that crossed it. Druids, early Christians, religious refugees -- all in their turn had come to Carrickwell and set up home in the benevolent shadow of Mount Carraig where they could seek refuge and thrive on the pure mountain spring water.