About Me

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Hull is the city of my birth, but I have lived in the Beverley area for the past 20 years. I have a family in Hull and a family in Australia. Travelling to shores, both near and far, is often on my agenda. What keeps me young at heart? My grandchildren and my zest for life.

Sunday, 25 May 2014


 TIME FOR PEACE - Reviewer - Geoffrey Harfield

This is my first book to be reviewed in the Historical Novels Review magazine and I feel proud to merit such a favourable review.

In one of the best starts I've read, Rose bumps into a sad and drunken airman while on her way to help at the centre for WW2 bombing victims. This is a fine saga of great humanity set in working-class Hull, England. There are many war books but few of the result of war. With the ending of WW2 the 'peace' seems worse than the war itself. Predictably the dreary post-war period shows qualities of the British character under pressure.
   Rose says goodbye to her boyfriend, Harry, whom she hopes to marry after the war. Shocked at a letter from him saying 'it's all over,' she endures  her pain and starts to help others in air raids. There are details of streets and cafes in wartime Hull, where Rose and her friend Sally move, and conditions of impoverished war-weary homes. I well remember Dali prints in British restaurants, set up by the government to assist production and maintain a good diet.
   But Harry returns, expecting Rose's love, and so a triangle begins which, with family complications, continues to the end of this story of Rose finding a man when young men are short. With a jealous, selfish boyfriend, the now-helpful airman with a  young son, and Rose trying to do her community work, this is a poignant telling of  loving human contact. The smell of hair, the warmth of cheeks and softness of arms make it a very touchy novel.
   When Rose's brother brings  home a German wife pregnant with the baby of his dead army colleague, the family is torn with anti-German feeling. Rose stands firm as peacemaker. The German mother dies in childbirth, compounding problems further, but all ends well.

                                                                                                 Geoffrey Harfield

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

A Memorial Plaque on the site of the old Savoy Cinema

The extract, below, is taken from a scene of my novel, A TIME FOR PEACE. My late husband, when a young boy, witnessed the attack. He told me the story many years ago and I have never forgotten it. My story of fiction is based on facts, and is seen through the eyes of a young woman, Rose.

The Memorial Plaque is on the site of the old Savoy Cinema, now W. Boyes, and it commemorates the people of Hull who were killed and injured in that attack by the Luftwaffe.


On reaching Holderness Road, she heard the sound of the siren, warning of an enemy attack. The noise was so deafening, frighteningly so, even though she had heard it many times before. It couldn't  be a raid. All the talk was of the war ending, so surely it must be a mistake?
   Ahead of her, further along Holderness Road, she could see that  the picture-goers were leaving the cinema and streaming out in all directions. Something made her glance upwards to the dark sky above and she heard the noise of an aircraft. She squinted, seeing nothing, and then it was just above her head, the enemy plane so low she could see the pilot in the cockpit. She jumped back in fear as the  plane dived lower, its machine gun blazing. Then the ground beneath her shook as a bomb exploded. She was flung against a door of a shop as its plate-glass window smashed into smithereens. Screams filled the acrid air, her eardrums felt like bursting, lights popped and flashed, a kaleidoscope of colours stinging her eyes. Heat whipped round her body and falling masonry rained down upon her head, hitting her hard. She lifted up her arms to protect her head and face, closing her eyes in an attempt to ward off her mounting terror. There was an unnatural silence, and then panic broke loose. People were shouting for loved ones and  friends. Opening her eyes, Rose saw the  carnage all around her and her body went cold at the horror. A woman was cradling an older woman, a man was clawing with his bare hands at a pile of rubble, cries and moans filled the air, and everywhere there was  smoke and rising heat.
   Her first thought was for her parents. She struggled to her feet; her knees were bleeding, her hair and face were covered in plaster and bits of debris, and her coat was torn. But she was alive. With shaking limbs, she negoited the path strewn with obstacles of bricks, fallen timbers and broken glass.
   She plunged foward. She had to find her parents.