A week ago, I finished the final edit of The Crimson Thread, the book I’ve been working on for almost two-and-a-half years.
It’s always a bittersweet feeling. Joy, relief, excitement, yet also grief that this story which has inhabited my imagination for so long is finally almost ready to be born.
It will be released in Australia and the US in early July, and I’ve just been sent the glorious covers from my publishers – always such a thrilling moment!
The Crimson Thread is set in Crete during the Second World War. It begins on Anzac Day, 25 April 1941, when Allied soldiers fighting against the German invasion were evacuated from the mainland of Greece to the island of Crete, which lies halfway between Europe and Egypt.
A young Cretan woman named Alenka meets two Australian soldiers named Jack and Teddy. They are best friends who joined up together so they could see the world. Both are irresistibly drawn to her.
A few days later, the Nazis launch a surprise attack on Crete, thousands of paratroopers jumping from planes at dawn. It is the first invasion by solely airborne troops in history. For eleven days, the battle rages, with acts of astonishing courage and defiance by the people of Crete. But at last the Germans prevail, and the Allies must surrender. Thousands of Australian, New Zealand and British troops are trapped on the island. Jack and Teddy are among them.
The novel is about what happens next – how Alenka hides them, how they survive living in caves and cellars, how they learn to resist, how their friendship is strained to the limit by conflicting tensions of love and duty, and how betrayal can sometimes come from those to whom you are closest.
The Crimson Thread is inspired by a true story, and also by one of the world’s ancient myths – the story of the minotaur locked in the labyrinth and fed upon the blood of young men and women.
Here is an extract from the book: