Historical women’s fiction with a smidgen of romance

In 1950 Australia, Raine believes her unplanned marriage to the volatile Teddy is working out fine.
Until he abandons her.

I’ve been thrilled with readers’ responses to Raine, Teddy and Alf and their struggles to work out what it is they really want from life – and with whom. Here are some of my fave review quotes –

Once you start to read this book you have to read on until the end.’
‘This was a book I read in two sittings, which is unusual for me.’
‘I was engrossed from the start – it comes alive while you read it’
‘I’d love to read more from this author in the future!’
‘I already want a sequel. This was a book I read in two sittings, which is unusual for me.’
‘This is a beautifully written book, uplifting and heart warming. I could not put this book down and read it in one session. I do hope you will write another book soon
.’

Starting with a handful of facts

The book came about when I was mulling over bits of family lore I’d grown up with, and it occurred to me I could over-dramatise reality and perhaps get a good story out of these snippets.
My parents met on a post WW2 migrant camp, my mother was from the Australian countryside and my dad emigrated from bombed-out East London. It was a beginning. They often talked about the camp, fondly, as a time of fun, no responsibilities, good mates they hung out with. Motor bikes with sidecars, my granddad’s ancient Pontiac which my dad assumed meant Mum’s family must be rich (ha!), going to the funfair and being, well, young. In a new place, with your whole life ahead of you.


… and spiralling out of control!

That’s where it started, but the story in my head quickly spiralled out of control. My mother would have adored living in a cabin in the hills, but she never did. And the closest Dad got to the Snowy Mountains was a day trip from Canberra when I was a student at university there. Raine, Teddy and Alf, their lives and personalities, are all in my imagination, though of course, as with all characters we write, there are bits of (different) real people there.

‘… a unique and emotionally charged historical romance novel’ Amazon review

In 1950 Australia, Raine believes her unplanned marriage to the volatile Teddy is working out fine.
Until he abandons her.
A grieving and furious Raine faces hard choices – made harder when she discovers she’s bearing their second child.


Reviews

With a 4.8 out of 5 stars average, I’d love it if you explored reviews on Amazon and Goodreads

Book club questions

Go here for some starter questions – get the discussion going (and include me, if you like, by email, zoom or in real life if you’re not too far away. I would love that!)

Read an extract

You can read an extract from Keepers here.

How to buy?

Click on the image or click Books for all options including paperback.


Background research
Migrant hostels

For the book, I did some research on post WW2 migrant camps/hostels
in Australia and my March newsletter carried this article. Fascinating stuff.



PS I entered Keepers in a novel competition and was thrilled with the feedback:

Excellent writing and intriguing opening. Convincing feel for the domestic setting but full of intriguing questions. Interesting structure too. Modest* story … written with great skill. 

* This, I am told, is a publishing term for a book which isn’t full of explosives and frantic action.