The memories started to trickle back. She tasted the Cornish sea air, fresh and salty, and saw the white cottage on the narrow, twisting hill where they'd lived when she was four. Metal railings fishing boats. In the quay below, seagulls were bleating.
Next, she saw an untidy garden in Devon. Branches swayed in the wind and autumn leaves covered the ground. Taking her by the hand, Mother led her through clumps of damp earth and sat her by the pond to tell her they were moving again. To Dorset, this time.
'But it will be different, I promise you,' Mother said. 'Your father and I have talked about it. This will be our last move.'
So they'd moved to an old grey brick three-storey house that stood back from the seawall. She pictured the tide pulling in, the unsettled waves tossing against the rocks as droplets of rain landed on the sand; how in the spring season, the sun used to set over the waters, red like a fire.