Jane Johnson

Jane Johnson was born into a Cornish family and went to infant and junior school in Fowey, then to Liskeard Grammar School. She has worked in the book industry for 30 years as a bookseller, publisher and writer. For many years she was responsible for publishing the works of JRR Tolkien, and later worked on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, spending many months in New Zealand with cast and crew.

While Jane was in Morocco in 2005 to research The Tenth Gift she met her soon-to-be husband Abdellatif, a Berber tribesman from a village in the Anti-Atlas Mountains. Returning home, Jane gave up her office job in London, sold her flat and shipped the contents to Morocco and were married later that year. Their time is split between Cornwall and Morocco, and still works remotely as a Fiction Publishing Director for HarperCollins.

Following the death of her mother, Becky begins the sad task of sorting through her empty flat. Starting with the letters piling up on the doormat, she finds an envelope post-marked from Cornwall. In it is a letter that will change her life forever. A desperate plea from her mother's elderly cousin, Olivia, to help save her beloved home.

Becky arrives at Chynalls to find the beautiful old house crumbling into the ground and Olivia stuck in hospital with no hope of being discharged until her home is made habitable.

Though daunted by the enormity of the task, Becky sets to work. But as she peels back the layers of paint, plaster and grime, she uncovers secrets buried for more than 70 years. Secrets from a time when Olivia was young, the Second World War was raging and danger and romance lurked round every corner....