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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Thoughts on titles and emblems

The One I Was was titled 'Fairfleet' for the period of two years in which I wrote it, because the house itself seemed to be such a part of the narrative, almost a character in its own right. Eventually I changed the name, because a friend, rightfully, pointed out that it gave the book a nautical, if not naval, air! It is set in inland England, near the historic cities of Oxford and Abingdon, so I was worried that this would be misleading. 

The One I Was as a title popped into my head at a random moment and it seemed completely the right title for the book. Benny comes to England as a refugee from Nazi Germany and immediately realizes that to flourish in a new country he needs to reinvent himself into someone irreproachably English. But are we still the same people we were when we were children? And if you try and change yourself into someone else can you always succeed?


There are lots of other things in the The One I Was that fascinate me: topiary animals and peacocks. Appropriately, only last night, a few weeks after the book was published, a friend and I nearly jumped out of our skins when a peacock shrieked at us in the dark. A Spitfire plane also features in the novel as an emblem of freedom and danger, completely irresistible for Harriet Dorner, female pilot.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

What's going on at the library?

Use your library more. Libraries have a lot to offer besides reading – they are places to go online, to access digital resources and of course, get help from librarians, in person and online.
Bookmark your library aggregates services and content from 159 libraries in England and Wales (and a few Scottish ones) and puts them all together in one place. Have a look at the link and find out what's going on at UK public libraries.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The One I Was

I am delighted to announce that my latest novel, The One I Was, has been published by Moreton Street Books.



1939. Youngster Benny Gault, a Kindertransport refugee from Nazi Germany’s anti-semiticism, arrives at Harwich docks, label flapping round his neck, football under his arm, and a guilty secret in his heart. 

More than half a century later, Benny lies on his deathbed in his beautiful country house, Fairfleet, his secret still unconfessed. Rosamond, his nurse, has a guilty secret of her own concerning her mother’s death in a fire at Fairfleet, years earlier. As Benny and Rosamond unwind the threads binding them together, Rosamond must fight the unfinished violence of the past, now menacing both Fairfleet's serenity and Benny's last days. 

The One I Was is a novel about shifting identities and whether we can truly reinvent ourselves. 


Available from Amazon and from bookshops, ISBN 978-1910229019/