The White Raven and the Oak and Survival Days">


Troubador The Leave-Takers

Released: 20/01/2004

eISBN: 9781904744023

Format: eBook

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The Leave-Takers

Book 1, 'Journey into Eta' trilogy


In 480BC, Xerxes gathers a great army to bring down Athens. These first long shadows of turmoil to come reach Hagio, High Priestess of Delphi and leader of free women and their young, the Leave-Takers far to the north of Thrace. In a quickly changing world, Hagio must confront her own past to ensure a secure future: she knows the manipulative priest Milos will pursue her, but her determination to deny him must hold firm.

To find escape in the world of men and the cult that would ensnare her, Hagio must first overcome her own fears; she is more than she seems.

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The three novels of the Journey into Eta trilogy -- The Leave-Takers, Dream Thoughts and Trysts, were published in 2004.
The children's novel Survival Days, loosely linked to the trilogy, was published in October 2005 and awarded the 'Readers' Review' first 10/10 score!

Latest publications in The Kuklos Trilogy:
The White Raven and the Oak
Rites 20th November 2006
Forthcoming PublicationsClosing the Helix (2007)

Do send in your remarks when you visit the author's website (Due for an update since there are more to add) at:

Amazing book!
I don’t read very often but this one has me hooked while I was on holiday.
Funny and sad at the same time but real which I loved, my mother in law and partner are now reading it it’s that’s good!

by Bex

This is one of the best reads I have had in a long time. It is a from the heart, tragic, honest and a compelling read from start to finish. Thank you you for writing such an great book.

by Michele Meakin

There are some books that grab you from the first page, even the first paragraph. What’s Left Unsaid did just that for me:

“If Annie had just been honest with me, we might have avoided much of the ugliness which followed… but she wasn’t and we didn’t…”

How could I resist? I didn’t! It helped when I realised the story is told in one of my favourite formats; it’s written from different points of view under the name of three characters: the protagonist, Sasha, her mother Annie and her late father, Joe. I especially liked Joe’s objective viewpoint that balanced out the subjective viewpoints of the other two characters as they describe the complex and difficult relationship between them. Even so, the question hovering throughout the text is what is truth and what is lies. It’s a cleverly written narrative and I loved the writing style of Deborah Stone; she moves from character to character, slipping easily into their voices, alternately moving the reader to understand each with empathy, yet being able to see the flaws in them as well.

The plot is tense and tightly woven, moving at different paces to reveal the secrets held for years held by this family. There are many themes: family secrets and deceptions, emotional power struggles between characters, dementia, miscommunications, understandings and forgiveness. All delicately intertwined throughout the text.

I always think that, when we reach a certain age we are formed by the things that we have done, what has happened to us, how we have been treated and how we have treated others. In What’s Left Unsaid the flashbacks to Annie’s earlier life reveal her vanity, her prejudices of others and her jealousy of her own daughter. As a reader I was torn between disliking much of what she was and yet having compassion for what she has become; a woman in the throes of dementia. The flashbacks of Joe’s earlier life show his Jewish family’s struggles to move from a totalitarian Russia at the end of the nineteenth century to the North of England where they face fascism and suffer poverty that they fight to escape, much as they have escaped from an oppressive regime.

The characters are many layered. The protagonist, Sasha is living in a loveless marriage and cannot understand either her husband, Jeremy, who has a secret of his own or her son, Zac, typically a monosyllabic, hormonal teenager. She has no closeness with her mother yet is forced to be deeply involved in her life. The author cleverly and subtly reveals the tensions hidden in Sasha, much as she does in all the major characters. Her internal dialogue initially shows her timidity, her nervousness, in the way she approaches her family. Yet there is also exasperation and even anger. And this comes out more and more as the story progresses.

Joe’s words, spoken from beyond the grave, are wise and, as I said earlier, objective. I felt they gave a distanced reflective view on human nature as a whole. Yet, through the dialogue and thoughts of the other characters, his personality in life is exposed to have had had the same flaws and weaknesses as their own.

Even without the story being allocated to each character the reader is left in no doubt who is speaking; each have their own distinctive voice.

The narrative describing the settings give a good sense of place and provide an interesting background to the story.

What’s Left Unsaid is a complex and poignant read. Thought provoking and absorbing it left me reflecting on the complexities of marriage and families. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy well-written family saga.

by Judith Barrow

What’s Left Unsaid is an apt title for this intense novel about the things people hide or lie about in order to just keep going in life. Sasha is a mother of teenage Zak, facing his teen attitude uneasily and worriedly as he shuts her out on a daily basis. Her upbringing was without love from her mother, Anna, who is slipping quickly into dementia. Anna slips in her memories to Zak, opening a can of worms that Sasha has avoided. The truths that are revealed are devastating but somehow bring Sasha and Zak to a better understanding of each other and of the past.

by Paula Pugh

Loved this book - it's hard to put down once you start! Kate's character is really relatable and you can't help but root for her and her mystery man. The writing style makes it easy to read and you get totally lost in the world created by the author. Also, a fantastic cliffhanger ending - a very unexpected twist! Can't wait to see what happens next.

by Sophie

Brilliant book. I couldn't put it down. Superbly written gripping story. I will definitely be reading more of Jan Harvey's books.

by Carole Shepherd

For all of its euphemisms and steamy descriptions that set the heart racing, Harper’s Fate is not your typical erotica novel – it’s much more than that. Indeed, between the revelation of dark secrets that shock you to the core and startling events that set the course of the narrative on a different trajectory entirely, the first instalment of F.C Clark’s trilogy is one not to be pigeon holed. I would definitely recommend Harper’s Fate to anyone looking for a fresh and exciting read!

by Cheryl Moore

I loved this book! It is a ‘must get’ for all aspiring as well as current leaders and managers in healthcare who are interested in developing their leadership and management skills. The book helps resolve the various issues and scenarios that we all deal with in everyday practice. It will therefore appeal to a wide audience of healthcare leaders and managers across international boundaries.

by Professor J. L.

‘Healthcare Executives’ is the definitive resource for any executive who wants to improve their leadership and management skills.

by Prof. J. S.

Superb read, thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.

by Joe

Margarett Mirley

A joyful, free ranging childhood in a small estuary town and long holidays in a remote woodland cottage gave her unforgettable and useful experience. Later, as the teaching head of an under resourced school overseas, laughter and solidarity brought her and her like-minded team through two wars, constant civil disturbance and unbelievable daily dramas. Her MBE in 1984 was likely for survival than the cited services to education. Later, in calmer days and a thriving school to hand over, she thought it time to explore the creative world within. That led to her first trilogy.

Since then she has been featured in a major article in Dawn's 'Books and Authors Review' and listed in their top English writers of Historical Fiction... for her huge Greek trilogy.

Following acceptance for several major awards, the resultant interest in the rights for a Greek translation would be a large undertaking if followed through. As well as book signings, she has addressed diverse forums, including schools, and talked on BBC Radio Essex about her books and writing. She has written articles for Writers News and Readers' Review Magazine, and was for many years the editor of a monthly community Courier. A member of The Royal Commonwealth Society, the English Speaking Union and recent Chairman of the local British Women's Association, charity fundraising remains an ongoing interest. Concerning that, she recently presented a recorded TV talk show with women on "The International Spirit of Christmas."

Margarett Mirley

Journey into Eta and Survival Days
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