The Novelist





Recent Publications


After the Rain

Lottie O’Brien is a bright, feisty, and pretty sixteen year old living in an impoverished part of Wellington, New Zealand with her parents and younger brother and sister.  The year is 1921 and her father has returned from the war a mental and physical invalid for whom her mother has neither sympathy nor affection.

Life in this deeply dysfunctional family is hard for Lottie who aspires to something better, and she is befriended by her class teacher Madeleine Carson who introduces her to her affluent family living in a prosperous part of Wellington. At first Lottie resists becoming involved with them, but is gradually drawn into their orbit.

This perceptive and atmospheric novel is the story of how Lottie’s life is transformed by her involvement with the glamorous Carson family, particularly Madeleine’s brother Hugh, as she gradually achieves her aspirations, but at what cost.

June 2012, Severn House £19.99 





The Holly Tree

Sasha, the attractive inspiring tutor of a watercolour evening class, is tired of her sterile relationship with a fellow artist.  Among her students is Caroline, a soldier’s wife, desperately anxious about her husband serving in Afghanistan.  Alice, the oldest of the group, has unexpectedly found a new life and forms a deep and rewarding friendship with Moira, recently widowed, who is wracked with worry about her beautiful married daughter Vanessa engaged in an illicit love affair.  Roger, recently divorced, is lonely and looking for new love and Pauline, although successful in business, is afraid of being left on the shelf.  The talented Martin, who mysteriously comes and goes, is an unsettling almost ominous presence.

Love and friendship is the theme of this engrossing novel about a group of people brought together through their love of painting, whose lives over the course of a single year become interwoven in often surprising and unexpected ways …

July 2010, Severn House £19.99 paperback £10.99 (also audio)



On a Day Like Today

When Eleanor sets off for lunch in a seaside pub one glorious September day, she has nor idea that her world is about to be turned upside down. Divorced, and having taken early retirement from a glamorous career in London, she is enthusiastic about the prospect of making a fresh start and enjoying the gentler pace of life in the country seeking out new friends.

The ensuing near-fatal car crash changes everything. Confined to hospital for several weeks, and facing a long convalescence, the fiercely independent Eleanor must reluctantly learn to rely on others. Her daughter Alex, starting out on her own career and caught up in a tempestuous relationship, reluctantly returns home to care for her mother. Under the most difficult of circumstances, the two women – never close – are forced to reassess what they mean to each other, and to those around them …

June 2008, Severn House £19.99  paperback £10.99 (also audio)