The Pumpkin Coach
by Susan Sallis
For Alice Pettiford, living near Gloucester in the late 1940s, leaving school as soon as she could and taking a job as a railway secretary in the ... Show synopsis For Alice Pettiford, living near Gloucester in the late 1940s, leaving school as soon as she could and taking a job as a railway secretary in the city made perfect sense. Her family had long been 'railway servants', and her best friend Hester's father would be working closely with her. What Alice had not expected was that she would fall in love with Joe Adair, a colleague, almost as soon as she met him. But Joe had to go overseas on National Service, and in the meanwhile Hester's brother, the enigmatic Valentine, found that his fondness for Alice was deepening into something much stronger. When he and Alice discover an old railway coach, long abandoned, hidden in a clearing in the Forest of Dean, Alice realises that it has been a very special, magical place. What she doesn't know is that the coach has played a secret part in the history of Joe's family, and that Joe's mother named it 'the pumpkin coach'. Now her own destiny will also be shaped by this enchanted refuge.