No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
Douglas J Lindsay was born to the sea. His parents both came from sailor families and when his father went back to sea for the duration of the Second World War, his mother followed the ship to its new base in Scotland, where the author was born in 1941. His father sailed on the small coaster Drumlough, which the family owned. It ran as a supply ship for the fleet at Scapa Flow, operating up and down the east coast of the United Kingdom. Remarkably, from 1939 to 1945 it was never touched by enemy action. The family lived in a wooden shack on the Scrabster harbour wall and the author’s playground was the harbour and ships berthed there until 1945. Douglas has had a lifelong passion for writing. His first published piece, in 1965, was published in the Journal of the Institute of Navigation. In the 1980s he attended creative writing classes run by John Fairfax and Sue Stewart, founders of Arvon. His adult life has been spent in the marine world, becoming a merchant ship’s captain aged 28 and having many adventures in running his own shipping company, being a consultant specialising in port marine safety, and sailing as captain of square-rigged sailing ships. He was also, for many years, an officer in the Royal Naval Reserve.
Twenty-year-old Jane Beacon is one of life’s mavericks - a young sea-woman who navigates her own life-course against convention, against the odds, against expectation. The setting is 1940 Dunkirk and Jane has risen from joining the Wren Cadets in 1939 to single-handedly skippering a naval cutter to rescue injured soldiers. From the opening pages Jane’s formidable spirit and wit is brought to the fore, as are the prejudices of the time: “Very largely the Navy has accepted us and they know that we Wren have done a huge amount of good work, But there is always a limit to male tolerance and if you cross it, as I have done frequently, the barriers can suddenly be very high.” Readers will no doubt be swept along by Jane’s rip-roaringly reckless exploits, her unwavering commitment to the war effort, and her disregard for doing things by the book (she’s a loveable rogue, of sorts, described by her female superintendent as having “the most lurid disciplinary record in the service…she doesn’t give a damn about authority”). Fascinating research and Jane’s intense personal coming-of-age story are interwoven into the adventure, making this a tightly-packed parcel of passion, action, humour and history.