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About Clare Flynn
Historical novelist Clare Flynn is a former global marketing director and business owner. She now lives in Eastbourne on the south coast of England and most of her time these days is spent writing her novels – when she's not gazing out of her windows at the sea.
Clare is the author of twelve novels and a short story collection. Her books deal with displacement – her characters are wrenched away from their comfortable existences and forced to face new challenges – often in outposts of an empire which largely disappeared after WW2.
Her latest novel, A Painter in Penang, was published on 6th October 2020. It is set in Malaysia in 1948 during the Malayan Emergency.
Clare's novels often feature places she knows well and she does extensive research to build the period and geographic flavour of her books. A Greater World - 1920s Australia; Kurinji Flowers – pre-Independence India; Letters from a Patchwork Quilt – nineteenth century industrial England and the USA; The Green Ribbons – the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century in rural England, The Chalky Sea - World War II England (and Canada) and its sequels The Alien Corn and The Frozen River - post WW2 Canada. She has also published a collection of short stories - both historical and contemporary, A Fine Pair of Shoes and Other Stories.
Fluent in Italian, she loves spending time in Italy. In her spare time she likes to quilt, paint and travel as often and as widely as possible. She is an active member of the Historical Novel Society, the Romantic Novelists Association, The Society of Authors, and the Alliance of Independent Authors.
Get a free copy of Clare's exclusive short story collection, A Fine Pair of Shoes, at www.clareflynn.co.uk.
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Art, love and betrayal, against the rich backdrop of 1950s ParisDesperate to make her mark as an artist and prove herself as an independent woman, Jasmine Barrington heads for Paris and a place at the prestigious Beaux Arts school. Following in the footsteps of former students like Renoir and Degas, she immerses herself in her studies by day and discovers the cafés and bars of the left bank by night.
But life in the City of Light is far from easy. Will the challenges and discipline of the classical training regime crush Jasmine’s creative spirit, and will her charismatic teacher, Lachlan, break her heart?
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Howard, the man to whom she owes her life, faces the daily dangers of the Malayan Emergency without so much as a postcard to fuel his fading hope that Jasmine might one day return to Penang.
From the creative whirlpool of post-war Paris to the war-torn jungles of the Malayan peninsula, Jasmine in Paris is the latest in Flynn’s award-winning Penang series.
Sixteen-year-old Jasmine Barrington hates everything about living in Kenya and longs to return to the island of Penang in British colonial Malaya where she was born. Expulsion from her Nairobi convent school offers a welcome escape – the chance to stay with her parents’ friends, Mary and Reggie Hyde-Underwood on their Penang rubber estate.
But this is 1948 and communist insurgents are embarking on a reign of terror in what becomes the Malayan Emergency. Jasmine unearths a shocking secret as her own life is put in danger. Throughout the turmoil, her one constant is her passion for painting.
From the international best-selling and award-winning author of The Pearl of Penang, this is a dramatic coming of age story, set against the backdrop of a tropical paradise torn apart by civil war.
The journey is just the beginning…
Elizabeth Morton, born into a prosperous family, and Michael Winterbourne, a miner, come from different worlds but when they each suffer unspeakable and life-changing tragedy they’re set on a path that intertwines on the deck of the SS Historic, bound for Sydney, Australia.
Falling in love should have been the end to all their troubles. But fate and the mysterious Jack Kidd make sure it's only the beginning.
A sweeping tale of romance and new starts, perfect for fans of Gill Paul and Fiona Valpy.
Praise for A Greater World
‘A truly inspirational book of how two people from different backgrounds meet and share a joy together can they find what there really looking for a very gripping story that kept me totally captivated from beginning to end’ 5* Reader review
‘A great read which from the very first page has you enthralled. A real page turner’ 5* Reader review
‘A fabulous read that will keep you captivated’ 5* Reader review
"Following the death of my wife, I am in need of support and companionship. I am prepared to make you an offer of marriage."
Evie Fraser, paid companion to a crotchety spinster, seems destined for a lonely life. Then out of the blue, a marriage proposal arrives by post. She met the handsome Douglas Barrington just once – at his wedding – but never forgot him. Now widowed, plantation-owner Douglas offers her a new life on the lush, exotic island of Penang. How can Evie resist?
But what are Barrington’s motives in marrying Evie when he barely knows her, and why is he so hostile and moody?
Evie soon finds herself pitched against Douglas on the one hand and the shallow, often spiteful world of the expatriate British on the other. Has she made the biggest mistake of her life?
Flynn’s tenth novel explores love, marriage, the impact of war and the challenges of displacement – this time in a tropical paradise as the threat of the Japanese empire looms closer.
Life can change in a single moment...
Living under the watchful eye of her controlling and abusive father, Hannah Dawson’s hopes for freedom and happiness seem a distant dream. Her mother, passive and ashamed of her self-preservation, refuses to challenge her husband. It is the mysterious circumstances of her long-lost Aunt Lizzie’s disappearance in the 1920s that inspires Hannah to seek a better life.
Since escaping his family’s notoriety in Australia Will Kidd has spent a decade sailing the seas, never looking back. Content to live the life of a wanderer, everything changes in a single moment when he comes face to face with a ghost from his past on a cloudy beach in Liverpool.
Hannah and Will are thrown together by fate and bonded by secrets from long ago. Now, they discover a love like no other. But with Hannah’s father determined to see her wed to a man of his choosing they must fight against a tyrant who has ruined many lives. Even if they succeed, can they escape the chains of their histories? And will their plans for a future be possible when the whole world is changing forever…?
A compelling tale of family secrets and undeniable love against the odds, perfect for fans of Susanne Goldring and Fiona Valpy.
Praise for Storms Gather Between Us
'Another great book by Clare Flynn’ Reader Review
‘A really gripping and moving pre WWII story’ Reader Review
‘I would recommend this book without hesitation’ Reader Review
‘Very descriptive, immersive and well written. This book is guaranteed to make you turn each and every page.’ Reader Review
‘I was totally gripped from the first page’ Reader Review
'Although this novel follows Flynn’s A Greater World, it can stand alone, since the characters’ backstories are introduced non-intrusively. Will’s exploits on the seas and in coastal regions, notably Zanzibar and Naples, and Hannah’s confined life and mannerisms in pre-WWII Liverpool are presented vividly, displaying the author’s talent and extensive research. The descriptions of the sea voyages and locales are undoubtedly based on Flynn’s travels. The novel’s skillful plot elucidates the harsh treatment of some women during the period. Readers will look forward to the sequel. Recommended.' Historical Novel Society
A dramatic and emotional wartime novel
1940 Liverpool. The pressures of war threaten to tear apart two sisters traumatised by their mother's murder by their father.
With her new husband Will, a merchant seaman, deployed on dangerous Atlantic convoy missions, Hannah needs her younger sister Judith more than ever. But when Mussolini declares war on Britain, Judith's Italian sweetheart, Paolo is imprisoned as an enemy alien, and Judith's loyalties are divided.
Each sister wants only to be with the man she loves but, as the war progresses, tensions between them boil over, and they face an impossible decision.
A heart-wrenching page-turner about the everyday bravery of ordinary people during wartime. From heavily blitzed Liverpool to the terrors of the North Atlantic and the scorched plains of Australia, Sisters at War will bring tears to your eyes and joy to your heart.
After Penang is attacked by the Japanese at the end of 1941, Mary Helston believes Singapore will be a safe haven. But within weeks the supposedly invincible British stronghold is on the brink of collapse to the advancing enemy.
Mary and her mother are captured at sea as they try to escape and are interned on the islands of Sumatra. Imprisoned with them is Veronica Leighton, the one person on the planet Mary has reason to loathe with a passion.
As the motley band of women struggle to adapt to captivity, relationships and friendships are tested. When starvation, lack of medication and the spread of disease worsen, each woman must draw on every ounce of strength in their battle for survival.
A vivid and moving story of sacrifice, hope and humanity. From the best-selling author of The Pearl of Penang.
“A story of love, loss and tragedy: a heartbreaking and moving tale” Readers’ Favorite
From the author of A Greater World
In 1875, 18-year-old would-be poet, Jack Brennan, runs away from home to avoid being pushed into the priesthood. Life soon looks rosy for Jack when he lands the teaching job he's always dreamed of and meets the love of his life, Eliza Hewlett. But his world is shattered when Mary Ellen, his landlord's daughter, falsely accuses him of fathering the child she is expecting.
Jack and Eliza decide to escape to America. As they are about to sail, Jack is arrested and dragged from the ship, leaving Eliza alone en route to New York with only a few shillings in her pocket. Desperate and helpless, Jack is forced into marrying the woman he despises.
How will Eliza cope alone and penniless in New York? Can Jack make a new life amid the ruins of his hopes and dreams? Will the lovers meet again?
If you like complex and believable characters with flaws and weaknesses you will love Letters from a Patchwork Quilt.
These three full-length novels follow the fortunes of Jim Armstrong, a young Canadian soldier in the Second World War, and those of the women who impact his life.
The Chalky Sea.
War comes to a quiet English seaside town. Gwen is forced to confront the truth she has concealed about her past, her own suppressed emotions and her place in a now turbulent world. Canadian, Jim battles with a bewildering and hostile environment, far removed from the farm he grew up on.
The Alien Corn.
After a hasty wartime marriage, war-bride Joan joins Jim in Canada, but struggles to adapt to life on his remote farm in Ontario. Jim, haunted by his wartime experiences in Italy, Iingering feelings for a former lover, and the demands of the farm, begins to doubt his love for Joan.
The Frozen River.
English hairdresser, Ethel, alone after the death of her family and her wartime fiancé, visits her cousin, Joan, in rural Canada. Just as a new life seems within her grasp, her hopes for love and happiness are snatched away.
From the English seaside in the firing line of the Luftwaffe, to the plains and mountains of Italy and the rolling farmlands of Ontario, Canada, Flynn’s three Canadians novels and their characters will grip your heart and keep you turning the pages.
Oxford, 1900. When her parents die in a tragic accident, Heppie Wildman, homeless and penniless, must find her way alone in the world.
A post as governess at Ingelton Hall offers the chance to rebuild her life, and she quickly forms a bond with her eight-year-old charge and a close friendship with the local parson, Meritt Nightingale. Heppie is also irresistibly drawn to the handsome and elusive Thomas Egdon, the son of her employer.
But her new life at Ingleton Hall is not as idyllic as it first seems. Who is the mysterious woman who appeared in her bedroom in the middle of the night? What is Thomas Egdon concealing from her? How can she escape the lecherous advances of her employer, Sir Richard?
In attempting to protect herself and her future, Heppie unleashes a chain of events with disastrous consequences for her own life and the lives of those she holds most dear.
The Green Ribbons is set in an English village on the cusp of a new century. From the award-winning author of The Pearl of Penang, this is a classic tale of passion, vengeance and redemption.
Three powerful novels from a prize-winning storyteller
Set before, during and after World War 2 on the beautiful Far Eastern island of Penang, these books and their memorable characters will keep you up all night reading
THE PEARL OF PENANG – EVIE'S STORY Winner of the 2020 BookBrunch Selfies award for Adult Fiction
In 1939, lonely and without prospects, Evie Fraser accepts a marriage proposal by post from a man she barely knows. Evie leaves her quiet English village for a new life on the exotic tropical island of Penang. Soon she finds herself pitched against her new husband on the one hand and the shallow spiteful world of the expatriate British on the other. Has she made a terrible life-changing mistake?
PRISONER FROM PENANG – MARY'S STORY
In late 1941, when the Japanese attack Penang, Mary Helston flees to the safe haven of Singapore, only for it to fall within weeks. Imprisoned by the Japanese on the nearby islands of Sumatra, Mary and her fellow women internees begin a desperate struggle for survival. But it's not only the Japanese and starvation that Mary is up against, as with her in the camp is the one woman Mary has good cause to loathe with a passion.
A PAINTER IN PENANG – JASMINE'S STORY
The war is over and Evie's unhappy step daughter, Jasmine, is desperate to return to the island of Penang where she grew up. When Mary, Evie's best friend, offers to host Jasmine, the sixteen year-old is over the moon. As Jasmine settles into her new life, enjoying her painting, communist surgents begin the reign of terror that becomes the Malayan Emergency. Before long, Jasmine is drawn into a world of danger and secrets from the past that will force her to grow up faster than she had expected.
"In this testament to the strength of female friendship and endurance under the harshest of conditions, Flynn has imagined the unimaginable - a dazzling achievement."
Linda Gillard, author of The Memory Tree and House of Silence.
"A powerful and moving story of atrocity and of the human heart’s ability to love, endure and, perhaps, find love again." Lorna Fergusson, Author and Owner of FictionFire
"a core of joy and warmth in it. It gives hope. Which is something everyone in the world needs at the moment." (Books by Bindu blog)
Martha Walters is the widow of an abusive man. Martha has nothing and is about to lose her home.
Christopher Shipley is the reluctant heir to a substantial family fortune. He has more money than he needs or wants, and responsibilities he cannot shirk.
They were never meant to fall in love, but sometimes the wrong person is the right one. Then a terrible secret is revealed, which could force them apart.
From an English country house to the jungles of Borneo, The Gamekeeper’s Wife, is sure to keep you up reading all night. Buy a copy now or read on Kindle Unlimited.