Although she has more than twenty books published in more than ten languages, Caroline doesn’t consider herself an author as much as a word wrangler.
To her mind, sitting down to write a new book is like setting out on an old-fashioned cattle drive. Only instead of moving several hundred heads of cattle to the upcountry, her task is to guide twenty-six letters from the spark of a story idea to their final destination of ‘The End’. Along the way the plot line often veers off track and needs to be brought back in line, characters wander off and need to be lassoed back with the others, and some days spent in front of the computer screen feel every bit as difficult as fourteen straight hours in a saddle.
There are writing days when the dust is thick and the sun is hot, and faith and hope are the only things driving the story forward. But then there are moments when the words flow effortlessly, and the experience is much like sitting around a roaring campfire on a night when the breeze is cool and the sky is littered with stars.
Finally, often just as exhaustion is about to set in, the end of the trail comes in to sight, pages are corralled, a final word count is done, and the story is delivered to readers before it’s time to hit the trail again.
London – 1940
As German bombs rain down upon the city of London, Emma Bradley hastily packs a suitcase, cradles her newborn son in her arms, and boards a train with two evacuee children she’s agreed to chaperone in exchange for a job in the south of England. Although she’s only one of the thousands leaving the city, Emma is fleeing more than the horrors of war. Her greatest fear is that the father of her child will track her down and exact revenge for what she’s stolen from him.
World-renowned Dutch concert pianist Andrej Van der Hoosen is a man who cherishes his privacy above all else. His wealth and privilege have afforded him the luxury of avoiding being around children because of a painful loss from his own past. So, when he meets the woman and children he’ll reside with for the duration of the war, he’s instantly on guard. The children are boisterous and full of life, the cottage they’re assigned to live in is small, and he finds himself intrigued by the secret Emma is so clearly trying to hide.
Despite their reluctance to trust each other, Emma and Andrej soon find themselves drawn together in a world torn apart by war.