The Separation Blog Tour

The Separation Blog Tour – Dinah Jefferies On Her Main Characters

Dinah Jefferies April 2014The Separation is the debut novel by author, Dinah Jefferies. 

We are so happy to be welcoming Dinah and her blog tour to Novel Kicks today. Dinah chats to us about her main characters.

They say that a writer needs to fall in love with his or her characters, and I’ve discovered that can pitch you right into an emotional rollercoaster, in the way that a real love affair might. Take Emma, the second of my two main characters. Feisty and opinionated, but very loving, she was a delight to write. She has a temper, but I love her spirit, and her grief and anger at being separated from her mum, Lydia, and leaving Malaya, the country that she loves, is heartbreaking. As she says:

‘I imagined a fine line that ran halfway round the world. It was the invisible thread that stretched from west to east and back again; one end was attached to my mother’s heart and the other to mine. And I knew, whatever happened, that thread would never be broken.’

While Emma’s voice came in to my head straight away, it took longer to get to grips with Lydia. She’s sometimes misunderstood, but in some ways is a typical middle-class woman of the 1950s, when a wife was often under her husband’s control, and obliged to ask his permission about everything.

To make it worse, Lydia is a colonial wife just like my mother was. Not allowed to work and with not enough to do, through no fault of her own, Lydia, doesn’t turn to the increasingly early cocktail hour. Instead she sings, eventually in a night club, but she also makes her children’s clothes and her own. Lydia loves her children desperately, but trapped in a loveless marriage, she falls in love with Jack, and that costs her dearly, especially when she comes home to find her children gone, and is then faced with a hazardous journey through war- torn Malaya to find them.

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The Separation Blog Tour – Win A Copy

The Separation Cover Final - Front - Medium

Penguin, 22nd May 2014


The Separation is the debut novel from author, Dinah Jefferies. 

Thanks to Dinah and the lovely people at Penguin, we have a copy of The Separation to give away. 

To enter: 

Comment on this post with your name and county (UK and Ireland only.) Comment before the closing date of Sunday 1st June 2014 at 23.59. The winner will then be picked at random from the entrants and announced on the Novel Kicks blog on Monday 2nd June 2014. The winner will also be contacted via e-mail within 24 hours. Good Luck. 

About the book: 

What happens when a mother and her daughters are separated; who do they become when they believe it might be forever?
1953, the eve of the Cartwright’s departure from Malaya. Eleven-year-old Emma can’t understand why they’re leaving without their mother; why her taciturn father is refusing to answer questions.
Lydia arrives home to an empty house – there’s no sign of her husband Alec or her daughters. Panic stricken, she embarks on a dangerous journey to find them through the hot and civil-war-torn Malayan jungle – one that only the power of a mother’s love can help her to survive.

Read our review here. 

 

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The Separation Blog Tour – Review

The Separation Cover Final - Front - MediumWhat happens when a mother and her daughters are separated; who do they become when they believe it might be forever?

1953, the eve of the Cartwright’s departure from Malaya. Eleven-year-old Emma can’t understand why they’re leaving without their mother; why her taciturn father is refusing to answer questions.

Lydia arrives home to an empty house – there’s no sign of her husband Alec or her daughters. Panic stricken, she embarks on a dangerous journey to find them through the hot and civil-war-torn Malayan jungle – one that only the power of a mother’s love can help her to survive.

Not a book I would normally pick out from the shelves, I was very pleased that this book was brought to my attention and I had the opportunity to read it. I was hooked on this story from the moment I picked up the book and started to read. 

The plot is compelling and in some places, it’s outright heartbreaking. The plot was paced so well. It’s told from two point of views – Lydia and her daughter Emma with each character taking up alternative chapters. I don’t think I can pick which character I preferred. To begin with, I was really interested in Emma’s part of the story but as the book went on, I couldn’t wait to read what happened to Lydia, who doesn’t seem to have much luck throughout the first half of the book especially as she tries to come to terms with tragedy and the idea of living without her children. 

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