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Theresa Le Flem

The Essential Reading List

The author Theresa Le Flem inherited the creative gene. Born in London, a daughter of the late abstract/ expressionist artist Cyril Hamersma, she is a novelist, artist and poet. Her novels have a recent historical setting 1960s - 1990s and often have the sea, and Cornwall as their backdrop. Fond of writing about characters who face a crisis, her fiction is thought-provoking, emotional and poetic. One time studio-potter, Theresa has worked in retail and secretarial, but now writes full-time. She paints for relaxation, enjoys gardening, reading and music, playing the fiddle in folk clubs and writing poetry.

Books by me

The Sea Inside His Head by Theresa Le Flem

The Sea Inside His Head

"This romantic and highly emotive novel is set in the Coalfields of Kent, England, during the 1984 National Coal Strike. I was inspired to write this as I lived in a mining village during this time and got to know the miners and their families. Bradley Shepstone, a miner, is torn between feeding his family and supporting his fellow miners who are all fighting to keep their jobs. He longs to leave the pit behind, the pit that killed his father, and work somewhere by the sea. But his wife joins the Miners Wives Campaign, and the strike drives a wedge between them which asks questions about where our loyalties really lie."

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The Forgiving Sand by Theresa Le Flem

The Forgiving Sand

"Set in the beautiful Cornish seaside town of St. Ives, Christina is fighting to save the beach café she runs single-handedly. Romance blossoms as Peter arrives on the scene, sweeps her off her feet and defends her against her bully of a brother-in-law, René, who is determined to shut it down. Her love for Peter grows, while her feelings for John, a local fisherman whose wife drowned, tears her apart. John’s intensity draws her in to his tragic world. Christina clings to the comfort of opening-up the café every morning and seeing her cheerful regulars, but all that is about to change …"

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The Gypsy’s Son by Theresa Le Flem

The Gypsy’s Son

"When a young boy Finn is left at home with his baby sister, his mother doesn’t return. Setting out to find her, with the baby in the pram, a tragic accident occurs. Afraid of what he has done, he runs away and is taken under the wing of an old Romany Gypsy driving his horse and caravan. What follows is a journey that takes Finn through childhood, travelling the country lanes of Cornwall where he learns many things, of nature and birds, the changing seasons, and even the old wise gypsy’s philosophy. But the fate of his little sister remains Finn’s greatest burden. By chance, however, his secret slowly unravels …"

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Dreamcatcher Girl by Theresa Le Flem

Dreamcatcher Girl

"An artist in Cornwall, Isobel is drawn into the emotional battle Clem is experiencing on the loss of his beloved twin brother who fell from the oak tree and was killed. Unable to come to terms with it, he often confides in the tree itself. He experiences a spiritual link with the oak. Even her love and the dreamcatcher she makes for him isn’t strong enough to save him from himself. When builders announce the tree is about to be felled, he resolves to fight for it. Meanwhile, Isobel hears her parents have lost their farm, her childhood home, and the story takes us down unexpected roads of family history and what it means to leave the past behind and fulfill new dreams."

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Personal favourites

The Wartime Bookshop by Lesley Eames

The Wartime Bookshop

Lesley Eames

"The story of three very different women who are drawn together as WW2 rages. They become friends. The charitable cause which prompts Alice to take books to the local hospital for injured soldiers and servicemen to read causes a stir, in fact a small scandal in the village. This is an absorbing and easy read, filled with warmth and humour but also retains its serious aspect. That war affected local village people in a number of ways as they awaited news of their loved ones sent abroad to fight."

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The Library by Bella Osborne

The Library

Bella Osborne

"I really enjoyed reading this; it’s a good bedtime read. It’s easy as well as thought provoking, describing the friendship between a teenage boy who drops into the village library to do his homework, and a retired lady who attends the library’s Book club. The author portrays both characters so vividly and shows how the age gap isn’t as wide as you might expect. When the library is threatened with closure, the community get together to save it, and in doing so perhaps they might also save themselves."

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Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where The Crawdads Sing

Delia Owens

"This is one of the most well written mystery novels I’ve come across. It is detailed, forensic almost, in its portrayal of a girl growing up wild and alone on the marshes of the North Carolina Coast. Her beauty attracts the attention of local townsmen, but no- one can get near her. Her instinct for danger and knowledge of nature, however, is not enough to protect her from her own desire for human contact and affection."

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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Rachel Joyce

"This is such an unusual story that on first reading I thought I might have missed something and resolved to read it again. Having kept up correspondence with an old friend for years called Queenie, he goes out one day to post a letter to her. Yet the journey Harold sets out on is unexpected and unplanned; it just happens. When such a humble ordinary man undertakes such a task it attracts the media. He has left his wife at home, he carried no luggage or change of clothes. He is always heading for the next post box …but where will it all end? Intriguing and thought provoking."

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The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

Christy Lefteri

"I have only got a short way into reading this but it’s powerful, beautifully written and extremely moving. In war devastated Syria, Nuri and his wife Afra are trapped. Afra is blind and insecure. Although Nuri cares for her, he knows they must leave the country and undertake the hazardous journey to safety. Their family has gone, and their livelihood is finished because Nuri’s beehives have been destroyed. When the military demands that he either take up arms and fight or he will be shot, he plans their escape."

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The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

The Salt Path

Raynor Winn

"The only non-fiction book I have chosen for you is this incredible account of a couple devastated by bankruptcy, made homeless, and only days later receiving the diagnosis that the husband is terminally ill and will soon need a wheelchair. But what do they do? They pack a rucksack and set off walking 630 miles of Devon and Cornwall, the Southwest Coastal Path. The book gives an insight to what life is like living ‘on the road’ and having barely any money to feed themselves. Their bravery and endurance is beyond inspiring, it’s simply stunning."

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