On a wet summer morning in the historical township of Port Brandon, South Eastern Australia, talented artist and psychic Beth Montgomery reluctantly agrees to carry out a psychic assessment of Carrington House. She soon becomes frightened by a string of nightmares that could be warning her not to tamper with the metaphysical. Despite her fears, she braces herself for what is to come and continues to unearth the secrets of the past.
Their eyes met, and she nodded but did not speak.
“There is not a nook or cranny that I have not pried into.”
He spoke as if he were sharing a secret with her, and Mary felt she had known him forever. “I have a feeling you would have enjoyed that.”
“I did.” Long seconds ticked by before he spoke again. “Forgive me. I have not introduced myself. My name is Samuel Methven.”
Mary was shocked, and it showed on her face.
He raised an eyebrow and grinned. “I am not what you were expecting, then?”
Mary blushed, half-believing he was aware of the picture she had painted of him earlier to Anne. She glanced at his thick, black hair. “I should have guessed who you were. You have the same colouring as your brother.” He wore his hair longer than the other men of his social standing, and his deep tan was not common among the people of their class. All at once, she realized they were studying each other, and she cleared her throat before speaking. “Uncle James said you spent most of your childhood here.”
“I did. And if my brother is your uncle, then we must be related?”
Mary shook her head. “My sisters and I have called your brother and his wife uncle and aunt ever since we were young. Anne does the same with my parents. Our families are very close.”
“So you have known her since you were small?”
“I was ten and she eleven when we met.”
“Ah, so that explains it. I was gone by then. I knew I would not have forgotten you.”
Mary felt a surge of blood rush into her cheeks and swallowed. She glanced around, feeling the need to say something. “I expect you are glad to be home after all this time?”
Samuel pursed his lips while he considered the question. “Yes . . . yes, I am.”
“You look surprised.”
“I am, in a way. I think you often forget how much you love something until you return to it.”
“I can imagine just how you feel. If I were a man exploring the world, I know I would be so taken with everything I saw that I would forget what I had left behind.”
“Until you saw it again.”
“Yes. Until I saw it again.”
They gazed at each other until the butler came out and coughed. Mary’s cheeks burned anew.
Beth opened her eyes and found herself gazing towards the house. She took a deep breath. Samuel had not been an old man. At most, he would have been in his midthirties. She, as Mary, had loved him on sight. Even then, at their first meeting, her heart had flown to his. But what kind of man was he? Judging by his looks and the way he spoke, she would have thought him a man of peace and integrity. But appearances could deceive. Beth had learnt that the hard way. Had Samuel deceived Mary?
Julie Filarski’s love of reading quickly progressed to a love of writing. While writing The Memory Healer, she studied Professional Writing and Editing at Chisholm Institute in Berwick, Australia. Much of the novel was written on the train while she travelled to and from work at the University of Melbourne.