The Chance of a Lifetime by Kendra Smith
About the author
Kendra Smith has been a journalist, wife, mother, aerobics teacher, qualified diver and very bad cake baker. She started her career in Sydney selling advertising space but quickly made the leap to editorial - and went on to work on several women’s magazines in both Sydney and London. With dual Australian-British nationality, she currently lives in Surrey with her husband and three children.
About the book
A new life down under? It's not as perfect as you'd think.
Katie and Tom's marriage is in trouble. As is their bank account. So, when Tom tells Katie
that they need to talk, she knows it must be about one of two things, and neither are good.
But when he blind-sides her saying that his boss is sending him to Australia – permanently –
Katie realises it might just be what they need to save their marriage.
Trouble is, she doesn't like the heat, can't swim and hates spiders. Not to mention the bouts of
homesickness – and Tom's endless business trips. Katie is finding the hope of saving their
marriage slowly slipping through her fingers. But Katie is determined to take the bull by the
horns – and her Speedos by the strap – and tackles her new life.
When all is said and done which side of the globe will she decide to call home?
'An entertaining, fast-moving, page-turner for anyone dreaming of a new life' Jane Corry,
best-selling author of Her Dead Ex.
Previously published as Jacaranda Wife.
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2F5d3xe
Heavens, how, at this precise moment, can Tom look so pleased? She stared into his eager, saucer-wide eyes. She wasn’t sure if it was the plane’s turbulence or because she was travelling to a country 10,000 miles away that was constantly making her feel like throwing up. She screwed up her eyes and forced a smile.
Tom’s hand slipped into hers. ‘Two years will be ok, to get the banks off our back, clear some repayments, make headway?’
She nodded mutely, brushed invisible crumbs from her skirt. Then she turned away, looked out the window and watched as the lights of Singapore airport disappeared below. The runway looked like a giant had thrown a luminous necklace onto the tarmac; bright, jewel-coloured beads were scattered everywhere amongst the inky darkness.
As the plane juddered higher into the sky, she remembered the cab drive yesterday. She’d nearly screamed ‘Stop the taxi!’ but instead took a deep breath and stared out the window. Her dewy gaze had fallen over the verdant South Downs dotted with tiny lambs. English Tourism had pulled out all the stops. The only thing missing had been a band playing Jerusalem.
She was jolted out of her thoughts by Tom handing her a menu. ‘Shall we eat?’
Tom leaned over the seat’s armrest and squeezed her hand. ‘Darling?’
Let’s see. I am flying to the other side of the world with two small children. We are hugely in debt, this is the only job Tom thinks he can take and I really, really can’t cope with heat. No, can’t eat a thing.
‘Starving,’ she lied. ‘But you choose,’ her mouth ached from forcing herself to smile.
Tom frowned and looked at her. ‘How you feeling?’ He traced the outline of her cheek with his fingers. There are no words. She stared at her husband of eight years, gazing at his long legs encased in toffee coloured chinos sticking out into the aisle. She considered what they’d built together as a couple: their two gorgeous boys; their beautiful ‘Homes and Garden’ featured house, their circle of close friends.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, we’re cruising at an altitude of 39,000 feet,’ the captain cut through her thoughts. ‘The outside air temperature is currently minus 50 degrees celsius. Please fasten your seatbelts as there is going to be a bit of turbulence ahead.’
‘Daddy, where’s turbulence?’ Andy was yanking at the blind, peering out of the window. ‘Is it a bird? I can’t see it. WANT to see turbulence!’
As Tom released the catch for their impatient four year old, she flicked through the radio channels to distract herself. No good. A Joss Stone song took her skidding right back to last month … to the party, to how it all happened.
It was somewhere around the boys’ bath time and just before she had started making canapés that her world had spun on its axis - in more ways than one. They had been hosting a summer garden party, she’d spent several hundred on food and wine and some lovely champagne – had even hired a few girls to help serve.
Tom had come in that evening, clearly agitated, the first sign things weren’t well at work. He had glanced at the receipt on the kitchen table for the food and slammed down his fist.
‘Katie! How much have you spent?’
She had looked at him, then carried on placing delicate quails eggs onto blinis and sprinkling them with paprika, trying not to let her hands shake too much.
Some of it had come out then.
‘Restructuring … abroad is a possibility, we might have to go … Best for us, arrears on the house, share price crash at Trent Financial, lousy bonus …’ he’d said. Something about an American guy taking over.
She’d stood frozen to the spot and told him that she couldn’t discuss it now, that the nanny was bathing Andy and James and that there were 30 people about to arrive. She’d said that the show needed to go on. She had spent ages planning the perfect party, she wanted to do something properly. She had felt slightly uneasy about some of the snooty mums at James’ new school; she was, if she was honest, trying to impress them. She remembered him holding onto her shoulders, looking her straight in the eye: ‘This job in Australia might be our answer Katie, they’re throwing me a life line.’
She’d been so shell-shocked they had held each other tightly.
‘But it’s not definite?’ she’d looked up at him.
Something in his eyes had her worried when he’d said no.