ALL grown up and with a devastating task on their hands they return to their family home.

Once thriving with the hustle and bustle of a busy household inhabited by four siblings, the Bliss family - Miriam, Clare, Anna and Seb, whose surprise arrival in the throes of a Jubilee street party was the talk of the neighbourhood for some time afterwards - they reminisce amidst the sadness of the loss of their beloved Mum, Dorothy.

Their father, Frank, whose presence lives on in the family home where he etched each of their heights into the door frame as a growth chart during their childhood, had died some years before.

So here they were, back where they had started, united in their grief and loss chatting fondly of old times and sharing precious memories.

The divvying of possessions wasn’t going to be easy as Anna the so-called ‘favourite’ had acknowledged in the silence of her own home before the journey to her childhood home.

Then then there was that other pressing issue - her mother’s dying words to her and the very wish that was now haunting Anna.

The discovery of the will and letter she was told to retrieve and burn was niggling at her but its contents - as she would discover - had the potential to turn her family’s lives upside down.

What should she do? Should she follow her mother’s wishes and do as she was told. She was, after all, the responsible one - well Miriam - being the eldest - was probably as equally responsible and a great organiser but it was she who her mother had entrusted with the information about what to do with the will and letter so it was her decision, and her decision alone.

Yet here she was, back in the family home having to hood-wink her siblings who were discussing the will and its whereabouts.

Had curiosity not got the better of her and Anna wasn’t party to the information the will - which was laying on her kitchen table - contained the task would have been much easier.

Torn between her conscience telling her to do the right thing and her Mother’s wishes, Anna was stuck in a dilemma and even visiting the man, formerly a close friend of her Mother who had been a mystery to them didn’t help with the decision she would need to make.

Should she remain silent about its contents and burn the items as instructed? Anna struggled with the knowledge - she now wished she hadn’t opened it; destroyed it as her mother had told her to do, then she would be non the wiser.

What should she do?

Nobody should know - that was that, she would destroy it as her Mother said - but what if that decision was taken away from her, just as she had taken the decision away from her Mother? What if another pair of eyes absorbed the information and refused to stay silent?

At least it would be out in the open - it was no longer a burden she would have to carry herself - but it could change the live of one of their siblings forever - a sibling who was already struggling with life anyway, who had careered from one disaster to another and sunk into the depths of despair through drinking.

‘The Thing About Clare’ is a well crafted and compelling read by Yorkshire author and mother-of-four, Imogen Clark, who trained as a lawyer but left the legal profession to look after her children. During this time Imogen returned to her love of books and studied part-time at University, resulting in her achieving a BA in English Literature.

Her debut novel, ‘Postcards from a Stranger’ was published in August - her latest novel, ‘The Thing About Clare’ is published today (Saturday December 1) by Lake Union.

A brilliant read with a plot destined to keep readers guessing.

Sally Clifford