Author Clare Flynn kindly sent me a copy of her latest story, Letters From a Patchwork Quilt. What a wonderful cover and premise! I’m really looking forward to reading her story. I had the great pleasure of meeting Clare at the HNS Denver Conference this past summer. She is such a lovely lady and I do hope we met again in the near future. I would love to have a chat over tea about her wonderful stories. Clare is a former global marketing director, who has marketed global brands from diapers to chocolate biscuits and has lived and worked in Paris, Milan, Brussels and Sydney. After spending most of the last fifteen years running her own strategic management consultancy in London, now most of her time is dedicated to writing her novels. She has wanted to write since she was four years old.
Clare has won BRAG medallions for her first two novels, A Greater World, set in the Blue Mountains of Australia in the 1920s and Kurinji Flowers set in colonial India in the 1930s and 40s. Her latest novel Letters From a Patchwork Quilt was published in September. The book is set in the late nineteenth century and moves from industrial towns in England to New York City and St Louis.
Clare loves to travel – usually with her watercolor paints. She even went to live on a tea plantation while finishing Kurinji Flowers, staying in a tea planter’s bungalow from the 1930s and blagging her way into the incredibly snooty High Range Club to research the Planters’ Club of the book. The original idea for the novel came to her during an earlier trip to Kerala, during a sleepless night in a hotel in Munnar, on which the fictional town of Mudoorayam is based.
The idea for Letters From a Patchwork Quilt came from Clare’s geneological research. She stole Jack’s jobs and the English towns he lived in from her own great grandfather. All she had were names and places so she changed the names, kept the places and made everything else up.
Clare is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and the Historical Novel Society and is on the organizing commit for HNS Oxford 2016.
Book Description: Letters From a Patchwork Quilt
In 1875 a young man, Jack Brennan, from a large and impoverished Catholic family, refuses to be pushed into the priesthood and runs away to become a teacher. Jack falls in love with Eliza Hewlett, but his dreams and plans are thwarted when his landlord’s daughter, Mary Ellen MacBride, falsely accuses him of fathering the child she is expecting. Rather than be forced to marry his accuser, Jack decides to run away to America with Eliza. Just as the ship is ready to sail Jack is arrested and dragged from the ship, leaving Eliza alone en route to New York with just a few shillings in her pocket. “A story of love, loss and tragedy; a heartbreaking and moving tale”. Readers’ Favorite.