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I was born in Sussex at the end of WW2, the child of a British woman and a Canadian Airforce officer, who was soon posted back home. I was adopted aged 2 weeks by two elderly women. My interest in adoption and in absent parents comes from my childhood; it's there in my new novel, The Jeweller's Skin, and in the essay about the origins of the novel in London, City of Disappearances.
I came to London to university at 18, and have stayed here since, bar a year's voluntary service in Senegal and an MA at Essex. I've worked in Citizens Advice and with refugees and asylum seekers, and as a consultant to various charities. Currently I earn my living conducting secular funerals.
I always wanted to write, but didn't allow myself to take it seriously till I was 40. Since then I've published several poetry collections; the latest is On the Saltmarsh. The Jeweller's Skin appeared in January 2014

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The Jeweller's Skin

4.5 stars on Amazon

4.5 stars on Goodreads

Category: Literary

"A powerful and absorbing depiction of what it meant, and means, to be a marginalised person. Vividly conjures up the atmosphere of the large mental hospitals that used to surround London. Beautifully written"

Carole Satyamurti, author of Changing The Subject, Broken Moon and Striking Distance

"This beautifully-crafted novel is the first effort from a well-established poet. The prose is gorgeous, and the narrative, which shifts through different periods in the heroine's life, is gripping and moving. Highly recommended"

Tamar Yoseloff, author of The City With Horns and Fetch


"Beautifully told"

Rosie Johnston, author of The Most Intimate Place, writing in London Grip 


1946, and England is recovering from war.

Change is everywhere. Even Holywell, a Victorian asylum outside London, has ambitions to reform. Narcisa Humphreys, resident Cook at the hospital, has created a life of hard work and routine within the closed community of staff and patients. She has begun an affair, but still remains detached.

Now however her past is coming to light, and threatens not only her livelihood, but her hard-won sanity. 'It was almost comfort; but not enough for sleep. The animal, a fox perhaps, barked again. She thought she heard a car rattling down the lane, but it could have been a milk-float, or something older, a horse and cart out of her memory, driving away: what she had once most feared...'

Reaching across the first half of the twentieth century, and from Kosovo to London, The Jeweller's Skin is a story of exile, trauma and recovery, told with insight and humour in vivid, luminous prose.

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