CATHERINE M BYRNE


AUTHOR


I was born on the island of Stroma and lived there for the first nine years of my life.  I grew up hearing stories from my mother and grandparents of the life of a different generation.

 

Pushed by members of my writing circle, Talking Volumes, to write about my native island, (which has already been done in length in the book entitled 'Stroma') I decided to set my story in a fictional island, Raumsey.   All of the characters are entirely products of my own imagination.

 

After Winning 2nd prize in the Scottish association of Writers' general novel competition 2009, my first novel, Follow the Dove, was published by Troubadour in 2011. 

I now have seven books under my belt, five of them in the Raumsey Series. Three of them are award winners.

 Isa Muirison loves her life working for the floating shops of Orkney at the turn of the 20th century. But her  life is thrown into turmoil by her father's decision to emigrate to Canada, her sister's illness and her own love for Davie, a penniless whisky runner.


Despite her family's opposition, she follows Davie to his tiny island home where she is met by the fierce hostility of his mother and his childhood sweetheart, Chrissie.


But no one could have foreseen the tragedy shatters Isa's security. 


Meanwhile, Chrissie has found solace in the arms of Davie's violent brother Jack, only to discover a darkness in his soul she could never have imagined.  Events are set in motion over which the two women have no control.

Chrissie Reid, a young battered wife living on a small Orkney island in 1906 finally turns on her husband, Jack. After a particularly brutal attack, she is driven to offering him poison. With no memory of that night, she believes she has killed him, especially when she discovers the remains of a body buried in the byre. 


But the past won't stay buried, and fourteen years after that fateful night, Chrissie is forced to confront the nightmare that has overshadowed her life.


With the arrival of a letter, she discovers that nothing is as it seems.  A series of events over which she has no control are set in motion.  Lies and secrets are uncovered, leading to a dramatic and tragic climax.

For Isa and Davie Reid, life as immigrants is full of loneliness and despair. On the long journey from her home in the northern isles of Scotland, she meets up with Sarah, a young girl from the Irish community in Liverpool, who has been sent to Canada to marry a friend of her father, a man twice her age whom she has never met. Through the years, both Sarah and Isa grow into strong independent women. The struggle to build a better life in this new, often harsh land is intercepted and exacerbated by the great war, which brings tragedy to some, yet gives Sarah the means of escape from what she sees as the nothingness of her existence.


Left alone during the war years, Isa is faced with extra trials that she could have never foreseen. Tragedy of the past and challenges of the present threaten to overwhelm her, yet  she confronts every setback with her normal strength of spirit and unending optimism ......

The Great War is over, and the inhabitants of Raumsey Island struggle to regain their livelihood.

 

Seventeen-year-old Annie Reid is a spirited, ambitious girl, determined not to end up a herring gutter or go into service.

 

Annie befriends a young schoolteacher, Alexander Garcia, who promises to help her further her education but, after tragedy strikes, Annie pursues a nursing career amidst the political complexity of Glasgow.

 

Garcia dreams of a return to his Spanish roots, but Spain is also in political turmoil.

 

Annie’s love for the teacher remains through the years, but will love overcome the barriers and prejudice of race, religion, beliefs and distance?

 

Part of the series, but stand-alone


Hitler is marching across Europe.

 

Mary Rosie enjoys the excitement the influx of young servicemen bring to the area, especially one charismatic RAF pilot.

 

When the first bomb strikes her home town, Mary is catapulted into the grim realities of war.

A grim discovery on the beach changes her life forever and fuels her decision to join the WAAF.

 

 

France has capitulated. Johnny Allan’s regiment has been annihilated. Somehow, he has to

get home to the girl who no longer waits for him.

 

Liesel, a German Jew who lost her family to the Nazis, struggles to adapt to life in Britain.

 

Their lives become entangled in a way that no one could have envisaged.

 

A story about war, family ties, love, loyalty and loss.

 

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