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Maggie Joel - book author

Maggie Joel is a British-born writer who lives in Sydney, Australia. She has been writing fiction since the mid-1990s and her short stories have been widely published in Australia in Southerly, Westerly, Island, Overland and Canberra Arts Review, and broadcast on ABC radio.

She has had five novels published: 'The Past and Other Lies' (Pier 9,2009), 'The Second Last Woman in England' (Pier 9, 2010) winner of the FAW Christina Stead Award for Fiction, 'Half the World in Winter' (Allen & Unwin, 2014), 'The Safest Place in London' (Allen & Unwin 2016) and 'The Unforgiving City' (Allen & Unwin 2019).

Maggie Joel is the author of books: The Second-Last Woman in England, Half the World in Winter, The Safest Place in London, The Past and Other Lies, The Unforgiving City, The Past And Other Lies

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Author Books

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01
The War is over, even the rationing is nearly over, and a new queen, young Elizabeth, is due to be crowned next June. Mrs. Harriett Wallis should be happy. Her husband has an important job, the children are settling in with the new nanny, the new fashions are terrifically flattering, and the War is done. Unfortunately, in just a few months, Mrs. Harriett Wallis will become the second-to-last woman in England to be sentenced to death.
02
A captivating drama of family secrets and tragedies.

It is London, 1880, and Lucas Jarmyn struggles to make sense of the death of his beloved youngest daughter; his wife, Aurora, seeks solace in rigid social routines; and eighteen-year-old Dinah looks for fulfilment in unusual places. Only the housekeeper, the estimable Mrs Logan, seems able to carry on.

A train accident in a provincial town on the railway Lucas owns claims the life of nine-year-old Alice Brinklow and, amid the public outcry, Alice's father, Thomas, journeys to London demanding justice. As he arrives in the Capital on a frozen January morning his fate, and that of the entire Jarmyn family, will hinge on such strange things as an ill-fated visit to a spiritualist, an errant chicken bone and a single vote cast at a board room meeting.

Written with charm, humour and rich period detail, Maggie Joel has created an intriguing novel of a Victorian family adrift in their rapidly changing world.
03
On a frozen January evening in 1944, Nancy Levin, and her three-year-old daughter, Emily, flee their impoverished East London home as an air raid siren sounds. Not far away, 39- year-old Diana Meadows and her own child, three-year-old Abigail, are lost in the black-out as the air raid begins. Finding their way in the jostling crowd to the mouth of the shelter they hurry to the safety of the underground tube station. Mrs Meadows, who has so far sat out the war in the safety of London's outer suburbs, is terrified - as much by the prospect of sheltering in an Eastend tube station as of experiencing a bombing raid first hand.

Far away Diana's husband, Gerald Meadows finds himself in a tank regiment in North Africa while Nancy's husband, Joe Levin has narrowly survived a torpedo in the Atlantic and is about to re-join his ship. Both men have their own wars to fight but take comfort in the knowledge that their wives and children, at least, remain safe.

But in wartime, ordinary people can find themselves taking extreme action - risking everything to secure their own and their family's survival, even at the expense of others.
05
Secrets and lies throw three lives into chaos in the last days of the nineteenth century.

Colonial Sydney in the final weeks of the nineteenth century: a city striving for union and nationhood but dogged by divisions so deep they threaten to derail, not just the Federation, but the colony itself. There are chasms opening too when a clandestine note reaches the wrong hands in the well-to-do household of aspiring politician Alasdair Dunlevy and his wife Eleanor. Below stairs, their maid Alice faces a desperate situation with her wayward sister.

Despite sharing a house, Eleanor, Alice and Alasdair are each alone in their torment and must each find some solution, but at what cost to themselves and those they love? Evocative, immediate and involving, this is the sweeping story of three people, their passions and ambitions, and the far-flung ripples their choices will cause.