‘Dangerous Waters’ by Anne Allen is a contemporary story of love and loss. The story revolves around Jeanne Le Page, a thirty-something who left the island of Guernsey 15 years before after a family tragedy. She is now forced to return after her grandmother’s death, having inherited her cottage. Jeanne plans to leave after selling the property, not wanting to pick up her old life again. Heartbroken after the recent end of a relationship, she’s feeling completely lost. But then she starts to unearth secrets going back to the German Occupation, together with the truth behind the unexplained tragedy.
Allen says she is inspired by a number of authors, including Robert Goddard, Katie Fforde and Mary Higgins Clark. She compares her writing to ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society’ by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
Anne was asked why she wrote the novel and what inspired her:
“I’d always wanted to write but had never seemed to have the time,” Allen explains. “Then about seven years ago I entered a UK writing competition in Prima magazine. It was for a 500-word true-life story and I won! I’d been toying with a book idea and the win gave me the confidence to sit down and write ‘properly’.”
Anne Allen lives in Devon, UK. She was born in Rugby, to an English mother and Welsh father. As a result she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learnt to love the sea. She lived in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people.
“I chose Guernsey as the setting as I’d spent nearly many happy years there and had had to return, reluctantly, to England. It’s not only a beautiful island but has a fascinating history,” she says. “I wanted to include an old house hiding secrets (I just love secrets!) and a heroine with a tragic past. The ideas started to flow and I found myself adding in extra plot ideas, ending up with a book-within-a-book.”
By profession Anne is a psychotherapist but has long had creative ‘itches’, learning to mosaic, paint furniture, interior design, sculpt and, finally, write.
Various reviews on Amazon had good things to say about her book.
“I've never been to Guernsey but I'm determined to go now that I've read this book. It's a book you can settle into and really enjoy, but it's a lot more than chick-lit. There's an intriguing mystery, a finish which had me reading into the early hours of the morning and an insight into what I think of as the back-end of the publishing industry, the bit that the reader never sees or even knows exists. It's delivered with a light touch but gives the book real depth. I was impressed.”
Another review says “This is an enjoyable and intriguing read by Anne Allen, full of romance and mystery, and the setting of Guernsey is well evoked. Jeanne is a likeable main character; she is talented, brave and resourceful but also apprehensive and unsettled by recent and past events, and seeks to create some stability and normality in her life. She has suffered much pain and at times it overwhelms her.”
“I liked the author's inclusion of historical aspects alongside and within the modern day story, which added to the intrigue and revealed more about Jeanne's family heritage, as well as adding colour to the island's past during the German Occupation. I also liked the mystery of the room in Jeanne's Gran's cottage which always held a chill for Jeanne whenever she entered. I wondered what it was that she sensed there. I was drawn into Jeanne's life and her friendships on the island, and I found the story regarding her Gran interesting and moving. I enjoyed reading this atmospheric novel with its combination of love story and mystery.”
“The story flowed beautifully and as a result was easy to follow. The author provided excellent descriptions as it relates to the setting of the story. I never travelled to any those paces but after reading this book it makes me want to visit. The story ended beautifully it left no unanswered questions. I enjoyed reading this book and I would definitely recommend this book.”
Dangerous Waters is available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback. http://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Waters-Mystery-Guernsey-ebook/dp/B007P1EIAU/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1362407838&sr=8-10&keywords=dangerous+waters