Lilian Harry grew up in Portsmouth and now lives in a village on the edge of Dartmoor with two ginger cats. She has a son, a daughter and two grandchildren, and is a keen walker.
The latest book in the Burracombe series, CELEBRATIONS IN BURRACOMBE draws together many threads of life in the little Devonshire village where triumph and tragedy have always rubbed shoulders. It's the late 1950s and change is in the air. For the Napier family, up at the big house, the old ways are shifting. Hilary must discover if reaching out for a chance of happiness must mean breaking away from the life expected of her, while Patsy, their young housekeeper's help, is facing motherhood without her own family around her. Down the hill from the Napiers, villagers young and old are setting out on adventures - Stella and Felix begin married life, change comes to the village school and the Tozer family continue to find surprises in their midst.
Devon, 1954. The villagers of Burracombe pull together to help each other though the tough times but now it's summer, and a time to celebrate love and new life. Even so, there are still a few surprises to come...At Burracombe Barton, Hilary Napier is doing her best to keep the estate ticking along, all the while longing for a man she cannot have. She welcomes help from young Patsy Shillabeer - but Patsy is more headstrong than she first appears, and there's trouble brewing. And all is not well in the village school, where a strict new teacher appears to be making the lives of the little ones a misery. And almost everyone is missing their beloved teacher Stella, still in hospital after the accident that nearly killed her. As the first crocuses bring colour and the promise of change back to Burracombe, the villagers help each other through the hardships. For, while the course of true love never did run smooth, for anyone, in Burracombe, there are weddings to plan and it won't be long before everyone in this very special village comes together in a joyful celebration of love, life and the things that matter most.
A seemingly sleepy Devonshire village, Burracombe is in fact full of intrigue and drama. Family secrets, budding romance, cruel twists of fate and amazing friendships all play out against the backdrop of the beautiful countryside. It's autumn 1953. The village is delighted when Joe Tozer - who left Burracombe as a young man in 1919 - returns to visit his family. His life since emigrating to the States has been a world away from rural Devon - but coming home, he falls in love with the place (and one particular person) all over again. With him is his eldest son, Russell. He sets hearts fluttering in the village - but will there be anyone on his arm when he catches the boat back to America?
It's a summer's day in 1953 that turns Hilary Napier's life upside-down. When Marianne, a beautiful French woman, knocks on her door, Hilary can't help but be struck by Robert, the young boy with her. He has the same eyes as the brother she lost in the war. As she listens to Marianne's sad tale, she realises her soldier-brother lives on in the son he never met. But this is only the first revelation ...As the village of Burracombe tries to make sense of the strangers in their midst, there is also much to celebrate.
The latest in her Dartmoor-based series takes us on to 1953, Coronation year, and the ups and downs of the village. People fluctuate between tragedy and bliss in another involved, heart-warming tale. Perfect nostalgia. Comparison: Marcia Willett, Debbie Macomber.
Lilian Harry is one of those lovely authors whose fans may argue about whether her April Groves books are better than her Burracombe ones. Well, now you have a book that links characters from both in a wedding. What more could you ask for? Comparison: Jane Woods, Emma Blair, Margaret Dickinson.
Set in the sleepy Devon village of Burracombe the villagers get involved in the new drama club set up by the new enthusiastic curate. Well thought out characters and the beautiful Devon backdrop make this a welcome addition to the Burracombe stories.
Lilian Harry's hallmarks of excellent research, dramatic plotlines and characters you really warm to have yet again been superbly portrayed in this romantic saga set during World War Two with the beautiful Devon moors as the backdrop. A thoroughly absorbing read.Comparison: Margaret Mayhew, Elizabeth Elgin, Beryl Matthews.
The start of a new village series set in Devon in the 50s and centred on a new young teacher. This title is also available as an Audio book, read by Helen Ayres as either a CD or a cassette.Similar this month: Emma Blair.Comparison: Margaret Dickinson, Beryl Matthews, Marcia Willett.
This is a moving and well-crafted saga that will have you turning the pages non-stop to the end. Historical detail of the Dunkirk evacuation is excellent but even better it includes a lot of detail I didn't know before too. The sacrifice of both soldiers and civilians pulls at the heartstrings and it's important that we don't forget what others did for us in WWII to save our country. The author really does give us a glimpse of the trials and triumphs of life in England at that time. This title is also available as an Audio book, in either CD or cassette format.Comparison: Charlotte Bingham, Margaret Dickinson, Beryl Matthews.Similar this month: Mary Jane Staples, Lesley Pearse.
In previous books Lilian Harry has been following folk of rural Hampshire through the war years, now that peace has arrived there are some serious adjustments to weather. She’s good.Comparison: Josephine Cox, Ruth Hamilton, Maureen Lee.Similar this month: Katie Flynn, Catrin Collier.
Set in Portsmouth in 1941, this new saga brings back some well loved characters from Harry's April Grove series. She is a star regional saga writer
Return to Burracombe in this warm and charming prequel to Lilian Harry's Burracombe series and journey back to where it all began . . . Devon, 1943. In the village of Burracombe, 'Dig for Victory' is more than just a wartime slogan. While the young men are away, everyone at home knows the war effort needs them too. Whether it's Land Girls on the farms, wives and mothers having to make do and mend, or the villagers knowing how to stretch rations to keep spirits bright, there is always something to be done to help. When the Barton is requisitioned as a children's home for war orphans, all of Burracombe rallies round to welcome their newest arrivals, particularly little Maddy Simmons. Still reeling from losing her mother and brother in the Plymouth blitz, and her father being killed at sea, now in a cruel twist, Maddy has been sent to a different children's home to her beloved sister. As Maddy explores the village and makes new friends, she begins to feel at home and realises that Burracombe is the kind of place where you will always have someone to turn to, even when times are hard. Could this be somewhere she could finally call home? This heart-warming story gives a different perspective to the village as it adapts to the struggles of wartime and explores the story of a much-loved character in the wonderful Burracombe series.
The day that Hilary and David have been waiting for has finally arrived and as the church bells ring out for the arrival of the bride, everyone's fingers are crossed for the day to go without a hitch. The festivities set the tone for the year ahead and there's more love in the air in Burracombe as planning continues for both Dottie and Joe's and Frances and James's nuptials. There's nothing like a wedding to bring the village together. Times are changing in Burracombe and as young and old embark on new adventures it's time to say goodbye. But with friends like these, a goodbye is rarely for ever, so instead we'll say a very fond farewell. Return to Burracombe in Lilian's next book, A Child in Burracombe, a prequel to the series that will show you where it all began...
The Weaver's Daughter was first published in paperback under the name Donna Baker.In the 1800s in the Midlands, it's a hard life for the weavers of Kidderminster - beautiful carpets spring from the looms they work, but life is not always so neatly woven.So it is for the Himley family - already struggling to get by, they must find a way of coping when their daughter, Bessie, is raped and disappears with her brother Tom to London, suspected of murder. But hope comes in the form of Rebecca, their youngest daughter. A job in service for the Pagnel family, owners of the carpet factory, means a chance of different life for Rebecca. As she gradually rises to the position of housemaid, she gets a glimpse of a world far removed from that she was born to. When love beckons, she is unsure - following your heart can be dangerous, and for Becky will it be her saving or her downfall?
The Weaver's Dream was first published in paperback under the name Donna Baker.London, 1824. Life has taken Rebecca far from her humble start in a weaver's cottage in Kidderminster. But although she has found love and comfort with her husband, Francis, it has meant they are both banished from the town that raised them. Instead they must raise their family - and a new business in the bustle of the capital.But when a death finally draws them home to Worcestershire, they find the landscape unchanged, but the poverty increased. Amid the smoke of the factories and the clatter of machinery there is also the growing murmur of unrest as the workers search for a way to express their discontent.For Rebecca, Francis and their young family it means being torn between family duty and sympathy for the weavers' plight. And while they have a dream for the future, will it be strong enough to survive the turmoil ahead?
The Weaver's Glory was first published in paperback under the name Donna Baker. It is 1837. When Rebecca looks back at her life, she has seen much change - and much sorrow. Still young, it is hard for her to believe she has gone from scullery maid to mistress of Pagnel House. But without her husband at her side, can she make the dreams they had for the future still come true? Still reeling from her loss, she must find a way of carrying on.Her husband's cousin, Vivian, is appalled at the idea of a woman running a business. Should she - for the sake of her sons and her business - accept Vivian's offer of marriage?It will take all her strength and all her courage to discover where her future lies - and whether it is rooted in the land and people around her, or if the memory of a man now toiling on the other side of the world in Australia will change her destiny.
Hilary Napier has had enough of secrets. Her engagement party is a chance for her and David to finally celebrate their good news. But with obstacles springing up on all sides, there may be more than the dress and venue to arrange before she can consider walking down the aisle. Frances and James are doing their best to ignore their feelings for each other as they organise the school play. Can Frances find a way to let herself love again? Amid all the drama, old friends are always on hand, and when Dottie falls ill, a familiar face comes back to Burracombe to lift her spirits and perhaps change her life. With surprises around every corner, life is never dull in this beautiful Devonshire village . . .
Previously published in paperback under the name Donna Baker.Rowenna Mellor's life in the small Cumbrian mill village of Burneside has already known hardship - she lost her mother young, but friends and the bond with her beloved brother kept her going. Now, in the spring of 1885, he too has been snatched away from her. Rowenna knows she must now devote to caring for her father, and even falling in love cannot be a free choice for her. But a chance for salvation comes from an unexpected direction. To grasp the opportunity, Rowenna must risk everything - her good name, her liberty, and her heart - and defy the restrictions of her narrow life. Rowenna realises that starting a new life far away, under the wide open skies of Canada, will bring her freedom - but at what price? And will those she loves - and those she fears - find a way of following her there?
Previously published in paperback under the name Donna Baker.Cumbria, 1901: aged twenty-one, Joanna has never seen England before. Now her father's death has sent her home from India, back to a country and family she has never known. As she prepares to meet relations of her father for the first time, she must also ready herself to claim her inheritance - and house and working mines in this new land.But Joanna has brought with her another inheritnace - a knowledge and affinity with the customs and traditions of India, the nation which raised her. And the dreams she has now are not just visions of her past...but they might just become guidance for her future.As she grows to understand the stories behind the tragic loves and marriages in her family's past she wonders if she will be the one to break the pattern. But answering this question will test her to the limit.
A short story to whisk you away on a festive trip to the Devonshire village where life is full of surprisesSteal a glimpse at the past lives and loves of your favourite villagers in this captivating Burracombe short story. Autumn 1918 has brought young Alice Whiddon to the Tozer's farm to work as a maid. Alice soon falls in love with the little village and with life on the farm. But that's not all she's falling for. Youngest son, Ted Tozer is half promised to young Ivy Prowse, daughter of a neighbouring farmer, yet Alice and Ted feel a powerful bond forming.But while the first peacetime Christmas in years beckons, romance must wait as influenza comes to the farm and threatens to bring tragedy with it, just as the Tozer's eldest son Joe returns from the front to Burracombe and his sweetheart, Dottie. As Alice and the family wait and hope for the new year to bring long-awaited joy and peace, no one knows whether the bells will peal in sorrow or in celebration as the year turns.
Everyone has a secret in their past: discover the hidden lives of some of the best-loved residents of Burracombe.Escape to the little Devonshire village that feels like home with this compelling Burracombe short story.On Easter day in 1918, as the Great War entered its closing stages, Frances Kemp looked out at the little thatched village in the valley below and promised that, one day, she'd come back...For long before Miss Kemp became headmistress of the village school, when she was just a teenager, she had reason to know and love Burracombe. Sent to stay with family in the village, young Frances treasured her summers there and the friends she made. But as she grows up, she admits that there is someone there who is more than just a friend. Yet just as they realise their childhood bond is deepening into something else, war is declared and life will never be the same again.As Frances watches so many of her friends and family get called away to war, she must struggle to find a way to play her part, a way to get by while her sweetheart is away and a way to think about what lies ahead in a world where every day brings ever more uncertainty.
It may be winter, but in the Devonshire village of Burracombe there is always warmth and friendship, no matter what troubles arise... In the village of Burracombe, nothing stays secret for long and behind the peaceful, rural charm there's always a scandal to uncover, a newcomer to the village to set tongues wagging, a happy occasion to celebrate or friends to help their neighbours through the tough times. It's December 1953 and for Stella Simmons, recovering from a car crash, the winter wedding that she and her sweetheart had planned seems impossible. Elsewhere in the village, Jackie Tozer is dreaming of America and Hilary Napier, who thought the war had robbed her of her chance of happiness, has to ask herself if she could ever imagine leaving her life at the big house for the sake of love and adventure. The darkest time of the year finds everyone asking questions with no easy answer. As snow falls softly on the village, Burracombe proves once again that there's always a surprise just around the corner.
A beautiful tale in the bestselling series set in a Devon village in the 1950s. Like the rest of the nation, the Burracombe villagers are shocked when King George the Sixth dies suddenly in 1952. But in the midst of their grief, the arrival of a stranger in the village on the very same day goes almost unnoticed, as the villagers have their own concerns... Farmer's daughter Val needs to find a home before she can marry her sweetheart; Hilary is struggling to come to terms with her new responsibilities, and Stella is still getting to know the sister she thought she had lost during the war. While the children at the village school are as lively and inquisitive as ever, there are still conflicts and feuds among the long-standing residents of Burracombe. Then a search for a family draws the whole village together, and more than one person is led to question their own ideas about families and what they mean.
A terrifically compelling wartime story of love and loss from the author of A SONG AT TWILIGHT. Born at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, Mary and Walter Tilford's baby daughter is named Thursday. It was meant to be a message of hope for the future - but they could not foresee that by the time Thursday celebrated her twenty-first birthday, Britain would once again be at war with Germany. Thursday is determined to help in the war effort and volunteers as a Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse. She is attached to the Royal Navy, and begins her service at Haslar Hospital on the shores of Portsmouth Harbour. The realities of war are brought home to her when the casualties begin to arrive from Dunkirk and Thursday begins to understand the true meaning of courage. While experiencing all the natural hopes and dreams of any young woman, finding pleasure and joy as well as sorrow in her work, Thursday is given her own opportunity to show strength and bravery in the face of war - and find a lasting love.
A vivid wartime saga of colour and authenticity capturing both the harshness and the warmth of life during the dark days of the Second World War. Dan Hodges is devastated when his wife Nora dies during the early days of the war. Working long hours in a Portsmouth shipyard, how is he to look after his two sons, Gordon and Sammy? Then Gordon, something of a tearaway, is sent to an approved school, which leaves young Sammy alone in the house until neighbours in April Grove intervene and Sammy is evacuated to Bridge End, a village near Southampton. Ruth Purslow, a young childless widow, takes him in, her compassion aroused by his plight. Slowly, as they grow closer, Ruth begins to dread the time when Sammy must return to Portsmouth...
A novel of love, separation, infidelity and indecision set in the 1950s and 1960s Clare and Kathy are young, inexperienced and very much in love with their men. But being 'married to the Navy' is harder than either of them imagined. With a husband at sea and a new baby to consider, Clare finds herself coping with motherhood alone, and when Martyn returns he is unsure how to deal with his wife's new-found independence. As for Kathy, newly engaged to Brian, temptations come her way which are impossible to ignore. Even when all their lives seem to be settling into some sort of routine, it seems that their troubles are only just beginning...
Set in a Lyons Corner House in London, this is the third compelling novel in the series set against the backdrop of the Second World War. The war is progressing for the Nippies, the girls who work at the Lyons Corner House in Marble Arch. With the air raids, rationing and blackouts, life no longer has the carefree attitude it used to have. But new pain and pleasure await as everyone decides what effort they can make towards victory. Jo yearns for Nick, but the burns he sustained when he was shot down are life-changing and need the new procedure of plastic surgery. Will their marriage ever go ahead? And does Jo want it to? She loses herself in her new role as lumberjill, one of the women hewing timber for the war effort. Meanwhile, Phyl has been selected, along with some other trusted Nippies, for secret work. Far from family and friends, she works with munitions and tries to forget her desire to be a Wren. Her husband is far away but she never loses faith that one day they will be reunited...