“I have had a fabulous time reading A Spring Affair. I loved it. Milly Johnson does horrible husbands better than anyone I know and this time she has surpassed herself.” – The Bookseller
A Spring Affair (2009)
When Lou Winter picks up a dog-eared magazine in the dentist’s waiting room and spots an article about clearing clutter, she little realises how it will change her life. What begins as an earnest spring clean soon spirals out of control. Before long Lou is hiring skips in which to dump the copious amounts of junk she never knew she had. Lou’s loved ones grow disgruntled. Why is clearing out cupboards suddenly more important than making his breakfast, her husband Phil wonders? The truth is, the more rubbish Lou lets go of, the more light and air can get to those painful, closed-up places at the centre of her heart: the love waiting for a baby she would never have, the empty space her best friend Deb once occupied, and the gaping wound left by her husband’s affair. Even lovely Tom Broom, the man who delivers Lou’s skips, starts to grow concerned about his sweetest customer. But Lou is a woman on a mission, and not even she knows where it will end…
The idea for this book came to me when I was filling a skip. I had just moved back to Barnsley knowing my marriage was on its last legs and bought a huge Victorian house which was full of the last owners’ detritus. It didn’t bother me, I would get round to clearing it out one day, I knew, but it drove my dad mad when he came to visit. So he told me to get a skip and he’d pay for it. Mum, dad and I cleared out old carpets and junk and I got addicted to throwing out rubbish so I went through all my possessions and threw everything out that was no use to me, or I’d held onto for years ‘just in case’. As I was throwing stuff into the skip, I had a lightbulb moment. ‘What if a woman started clearing out rubbish in your house and couldn’t stop. And she moved onto clearing out her diary, people who were draining her and discovered a new lease of life,’ I thought. I started writing it that night. Originally it was called ‘Lou to the Skip’. Then ‘The Spring Clean of Lou Winter.’ I stuffed the book full of all the tips I’d picked up whilst I was clutter-clearing so it’s not only a story but an instruction manual. You wouldn’t believe how many people write to tell me they’ve decluttered their house after reading my book.