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Adrienne has been an avid reader and writer all her life. In 2007, she published The Home Decorator’s Colour and Texture Sourcebook, which is available for you to purchase on Amazon. Additionally, she has written regularly for design magazines and online blogs. Most recently, she contributed as the interior design columnist for Period Ideas magazine.
In 2011, she attended the Faber Academy’s noted ‘How to Write a Novel’ course where she embarked on writing her first novel, The Moroccan Lover, which will be published by Avon Books UK in 2019.
Below is an excerpt from The Moroccan Lover :
The Moroccan Lover (Work in Progress)
The Moroccan Lover (Work in Progress)
She is swimming in a green sea. The sea dissolves into a photograph of a face swathed in blue cloth. A man in a blue turban. The man’s features waver and float until they suddenly align. She cries out and reaches for him, but she is drowning. He looks at her and shakes his head sadly. “I’m sorry, Addy,” her father says as his face dissolves into the sea.
She flails in the stormy green waves. Philippa appears in the heavy sky holding a Tarot card of a crumbling tower. A lightning bolt strikes the tower. A couple fall from its windows towards jagged rocks below. They turn to gaze at Addy as they fall. She feels herself scream, but the sound locks inside her throat. It’s her. And Omar.
There are voices, muffled by the rising storm. Someone lifts her up and lays her on a bed of red roses. Something cool touches her face. Like the soft, cool rain of Vancouver Island. A woman’s voice sings as Addy swims up through the striped hues of a rainbow. A rooster crows somewhere far away.
Someone has opened the shutters. Bright sunlight reflects off the whitewashed walls. Addy squints at sharp light stabbing into the room. Her heart jumps. Omar’s grandmother sits on the foot of the bed, her hands resting on her stick, staring at Addy with her one good eye.
There are sounds of movement in the kitchen. Addy opens her mouth to call out, but her throat is dry, and nothing emerges except a cough. A hijab-covered head peeks around the bedroom door. “Adi? Bonjour! Sbah lkhir!” Fatima breaks into a broad smile. “Tu vas bien?” Addy’s stomach rumbles and Fatima runs across to the room to her side. She holds up the wastebasket and rubs Addy’s back as she retches up what little remains in her stomach. “Poor Adi,” she says in French. “Someone gave you the bad eye.”
Addy wipes her mouth with her hand. “No, I think it’s the water from the shower. I should be more careful.”
Fatima dips a cloth into a bowl of water on the nightstand and wrings it out. Jedda shuffles across the floor, her stick stabbing the concrete like a hobbled donkey. She pokes Addy’s shoulder with her bony finger, her heavy silver ring digging into Addy’s skin, and says something to Fatima in Tamazight. Fatima wipes Addy’s face and holds the cloth to her forehead.
“What did she say?”
“She say it’s the bad eye. Many ladies are jealous that Omar looks only at you. You are beautiful like the Queen of Morocco. For sure it’s the bad eye. But my mother have a very good medicine for that. In one day you will feel better. Jedda insists for it.”
Addy grunts. She’s been sick like this before. Usually a takeaway curry from one of the cheap Indian cafes in Tooting. She reaches over to Jedda and gently squeezes the old woman’s gnarled hand. The crosses and X’s on Jedda’s ring dig into Addy’s palm. She smiles weakly at Fatima.
Fatima leans over and kisses Addy on the cheek. “You are my sister. It is my pleasure.”
Where is Omar?
Omar’s mother Aicha sits on the foot of Addy’s bed holding a white, chalky lump. She raises Addy’s right hand and circles it with the white lump three times. Then she repeats the process with Addy’s left hand. Finally she leans over and circles Addy’s head three times. When she is done she beams at her with her bright, false-toothed smile. She pats Addy’s shoulder and leaves the room.
“C’est tout?” That’s it?
“You will see. You will feel better tomorrow.” Fatima tucks the sheet snugly around Addy’s feet. “I will come in the morning with the breakfast.”
"No, no breakfast.”
Fatima clucks her tongue. “You will see. You will be hungry tomorrow. My mother did a strong magic for the evil eye.” She kisses Addy on both cheeks and places her hand over her heart. “Adi is like the baby of Fatima.”
“You will be a good mother one day, Fatima.”
“Enshallah.” If God is willing.