Eleven Days in June (The Little Leaf Series, 1)
Devon, 1985. Dan is 20, lives in a sleepy village and works in a small DIY shop. He likes numbers and hero worships Lord Nelson. But he finds ordinary people difficult to understand and he’s certainly never kissed a girl. His mother mocks him, and he misses his father and he pines for Ollie, his only childhood friend who truly understood him.
But, despite it all, Dan thinks he’s happy enough. Until one June day, the beautiful and mysterious Libby walks into his shop – and into Dan’s life.
Libby’s sudden appearance turns Dan’s ordered existence upside down. But Dan soon realises that Libby isn’t who she seems. Who exactly is she? What is she hiding, and, more importantly, who’s that threatening man always looking for her?
In trying to help Libby, Dan comes to realise what’s missing in his own life, and, in turn, appreciates what’s really important…
I thoroughly enjoyed this well-written, confident novel. The story it relates is interesting with a very strong sense of time and place. For those of us who lived through them, it’s nice to go back to the 1980s, which was in some ways the best decade ever! And for those who didn’t, it’s a lovely introduction to that period.
There’s excellent characterisation with intriguing relationships going on, both good and bad. Dan, probably more anti-hero than hero, is a likeable protagonist in whom the reader quickly becomes invested.
I also like that it’s a novel that’s happy in its own skin – or rather, covers. It’s content to be itself, original, different, not contorting to fit into a particular genre. It thus comes over as a very genuine, natural book.
It’s a delightful, entertaining and absorbing read.
I was born one Christmas Day, which means, as a child, I lost out on presents. Nonetheless, looking back on it, I lived a childhood with a “silver spoon in my mouth” – brought up in a rambling manor house in the beautiful Devon countryside. It’s been downhill ever since.
I was a librarian for a long time, a noble profession. Then I started a series called History In An Hour, “history for busy people”, which I sold to HarperCollins UK.
I now live in London with my wife, two children and dog (a fluffy cockapoo) and write historical fiction, mainly 20th-century war and misery, and humorous books set in 1980s England.