What would you do if someone you loved disappeared? What would you do if you were told they’d never existed? This most awful of nightmares comes true for Eva when her closest friend, Annie, vanishes. Even Annie’s parents deny her existence.
The uncertainty of the early months of 1939 has been eclipsed. Eva’s comfortable, normal small town life becomes despairing and desperate, until a friendly hand reaches out to her. The elderly and eccentric Lola shows no surprise at Eva’s tale. Neither does Gabe; young, handsome and distant. They have answers that lead to more questions, and information that leads to confusion. The pair guide Eva through a new and frightening world towards her beloved Annie. Eva is sure that her search has absorbed every part of her, until she realises how close she’s becoming to the mysterious but tender Gabe.
As Eva learns more about the hidden world now exposed to her, the depth of which seems infinite, she finds that people can be lost and all memory of them forsaken. Gabe and Lola are lost, just like Annie; but, unlike Annie, no-one is looking for them to guide them home. Eva, now attached to Lola and deeply tied to Gabe, struggles to believe that nothing can be done to help them.
Eva’s search is littered with many things – doubt, discovery, love, belonging and a myriad of scary jigsaw pieces; lost friends, the giving of gifts, a library of books, a troubled conscience and a brilliant pianist. Can Eva piece it all together to see the picture or has she missed something? Does Eva find Annie? Will Gabe reveal his story and are his and Lola’s other lost friends a help or a hindrance?
And is there something crucially important that not one of them is telling Eva?
Targeted Age Group:: Teens upwards
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I had a dream where my niece had disappeared and no-one but me knew that she existed, not even her mum. The dream stayed in my head for a long time and I decided that it had to become a book; the idea of no-one knowing you or acknowledging your existence or your place in your own family was terrifying and took my thoughts in all sorts of directions which I just had to write down and share.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love to read a huge variety of authors as the genre I read depends on my mood at the time. Recent reads have included; Jonas Jonasson, Kate Morton, Kathryn Stockett, Suzanne Collins, Andrea Levy, Stephenie Meyer, Victoria Hislop, Pam Jenoff, Rachel Joyce, Kathleen Tessaro, Margaret Cezair Thompson, Lauren Kate, John Green.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The character of Lola had been in my mind for a long time; I just didn’t know where she would come alive. She’d appeared in my head after seeing odd things lost in random places, like a shoe on the road or a glove on a bench, and I pictured someone collecting all these lost things. Gabe and Eva were created together and needed to be likeable; I wanted Eva to be just a normal girl and for Gabe to be strong but vulnerable. I had pictures in my head of them and I wrote down what I saw.
A tiny spark ignited inside me as I recalled the letter sent so many weeks ago; a hopeful letter sent by a well meaning friend to a little boy now grown, aged with the passing of eighty years. A letter enclosing a purple-blue flower folded gently in tissue paper. It was such a big task for such a small flower – not only to flout the unwritten rules of those who are lost but, now, possibly, after all this time to reverse the failure of memory that the passage of time can sometimes leave in its wake.
As a working mum of three my love of writing (with me since childhood) was only allowed out occasionally. Having started writing Family of Strangers in my free time, my husband suggested giving up my job and trying a career in writing instead. I did so after much soul searching, despite the thought of becoming an author being my dream job. Family of Strangers is my first novel.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Link to Buy Family of Strangers Print Edition at Amazon
Links to Purchase eBooks
Link To Buy Family of Strangers On Amazon