Madalyn Morgan: One of the Top 25 Historical Fiction Writers You Need To Be Reading
October 31, 2019
A brilliant job of capturing the time period during an era of war and fear and suspicion.
Madalyn Morgan was brought up in a busy working-class pub in the market town of Lutterworth in Leicestershire. The pub was a great place for an aspiring actress and writer to live. There were so many wonderful characters to study and accents learn.
At twenty-four Madalyn gave up a successful hairdressing salon and wig-hire business for a place at East 15 Drama College, and a career as an actress.
In 2000, with fewer parts available for older actresses, Madalyn learned to touch-type, completed a two-year creative writing course with The Writer’s Bureau, and began writing.
After living in London for thirty-six years she has returned to her hometown of Lutterworth, swapping two window boxes and a mortgage, for a garden and the freedom to write.
On the eve of 1939 twenty-year-old Bess Dudley, trainee teacher and daughter of a groom, bumps into James, heir to the Foxden Estate. Bess and James played together as equals when they were children, but now James is engaged to the more socially acceptable Annabel Hadleigh.
Bess takes up a teaching post in London but when war breaks out and London schoolchildren are evacuated she returns to Foxden to organise a troop of Land Girls.
Traditional barriers come crashing down when Flying Officer James Foxden falls in love with Bess. But by this time Bess has come to know and respect Annabel. Can she be with James if it means breaking her best friend’s heart?
And besides, Bess has a shameful secret that she has vowed to keep from James at any cost…
At the beginning of World War II, Claire Dudley joins the WAAF. She excels in languages and is recruited by the Special Operations Executive to work in German-occupied France with Captain Alain Mitchell, of the RCAF, and the French Resistance.
Against SOE rules Claire falls in love. The affair has to be kept secret. Even after her lover falls into the hands of the Gestapo, Claire cannot tell anyone they are more than comrades.
As the war reaches its climax, Claire fears she will never again see the man she loves.
In 1949 after receiving treatment for shell shock in Canada, Claire’s husband disappears.
Has Mitch left her for the woman he talks about in his sleep?
Or is he on the run from accusations of wartime treachery?
Claire goes to France in search of the truth, aided by old friends from the Resistance.
London, 1958, Ena recognises a woman who she exposed as a spy in WW2. Ena’s husband, Henry, an agent with MI5, argues that it cannot be the woman because they went to her funeral twelve years before.
Ena, now head of the Home Office cold case department, starts an investigation. There are no files. It is as if the woman never existed. Suddenly colleagues who are helping Ena with the case mysteriously die… and Ena herself is almost killed in a hit-and-run.
The case breaks when Ena finds important documents from 1936 Berlin that prove not only did the spy exist but someone above suspicion who worked with her then, still works with her now.
Fearing for her life, there is only one person Ena can trust… or can she?