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First published by The Women’s Press Limited 1985

This edition published by Dodo Books

at Smashwords

Copyright Jane Palmer 2010

This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


Dedicated to the memory of

Ros de Lanerolle



I would like to acknowledge the assistance of astronomer Heather Couper, for whose advice on certain passages I am indebted


But hot flushes can be very embarrassing,’ insisted Diana with a sincerity only the most stubborn of men could have doubted. Unfortunately Dr Spalding was one of those men. However charming, sympathetic and good with children he might have been, his biology would never allow him to comprehend what Diana was talking about.

Although he was stubborn, it was with a genuine concern for Diana’s welfare that he assured her, ‘But Hormone Replacement Therapy can have very unpleasant side effects, my dear. I’ve heard of some women losing their fingernails and others being stuck with headaches for weeks on end - and do you really want to go on having periods until you’re past seventy?’

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