The Great War
The end of innocence…
In 1913, in a quiet corner of London, the three Fry sisters are coming of age, dreaming of all the possibilities the bright future offers. But when war erupts their innocence is shattered and a new era of uncertainty begins.
Cecelia loves Max but his soldier’s uniform is German, not British, and suddenly the one man she loves is the one man she can’t have.
Jessie enlists in the army as a nurse and finally finds the adventure she’s craved when she’s sent to Gallipoli and Egypt, but it comes with an unimaginable cost.
Etta elopes to Capri with her Italian love, Carlo, but though her growing bump is real, her marriage certificate is a lie.
As the three sisters embark on journeys they never could have imagined, their mother Christina worries about the harsh new realities they face, and what their exposure to the wider world means for the secrets she’s been keeping…
Did or do you like to read comic books/graphic novels> Which ones?
No, I’m afraid I rarely read these. I have read Maus by Art Spiegelman, though, which was outstanding.
Whom do you inherit your love for books/reading from?
That’s a good question! My mother said my first word was “book” which I insisted using for “milk”. I remember being obsessed with pulling books off all the shelves when I was a toddler — I particularly loved the coloured anatomy section in the Encyclpaedia Britannica! Both my parents were avid readers, with my mother going to the local library every week. I got used to seeing people reading books, and was read to before bed as a child. So, I became an avid reader too!
When you need to murder a victim or someone you can diagnose with a serious disease or someone who is involved in a fatal accident, do you sometimes picture someone nasty you have met in real life and think ‘got you'”? LOL.
Nope, afraid not.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
Hmmm. It varies. I have to make sure the names are appropriate to whatever country and era the story is set in — I do a lot of researching the most popular names through the 20th century. I’ll research popular surnames in different countries as well. Sometimes I read an interesting name on a sign, or hear someone called an unusual name that I write down for future use. I often use names and surnames from my family — in Love in a Time of War, the three sisters are inspired by my grandmother and two great aunts whose names were Edith Fry, and Jessie and Ettie Chinn. My step-grandmother’s name was Cecilia, and my grandfather was Frank. I often hide the name of an actual relative in the novels as a passing reference — a little Easter Egg for family members. Sometimes, it takes a while to settle on a name. I kept changing Sophie’s name in The English Wife, until I finally settled on Sophie. A name has to sound right to me, or I’ll change it.
Do you write other things besides books (shopping lists, etc.)?
I’m definitely a list maker, so I have a lot of those! And I still use pencils and paper. 🙂 I develop short interior design courses for a London design college, so I’m always writing up presentations for those, and I sometimes speak at interior design conferences and shows, so I have to write talks for these as well. I’m a keen haiku writer, which I started doing to sharpen concise descriptive writing. I love theatre, so I’m thinking of trying my hand at play writing eventually.
If a movie or series would be made from your books, would you be happy with he “based on” version, or would you rather prefer them to show it exactly the way you created it?
Film and television are very different media from novels, so it’s necessary for the scriptwriters to make changes sometimes in order for the written page to transfer to the screen. Obviously, I’d prefer they don’t make major changes, but I do understand that some things (interior dialogue, descriptions) need to be shown differently on a screen.
Who would you like/have liked to interview?
Not so much interview, but just have a conversation with — F Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, Josephine Baker, Georgia O’Keeffe, TE Lawrence, Barbra Streisand, Elizabeth I, Lee Miller … so many people!
Do you have certain people you contact while doing research to pick their brains? What are they specialised in?
No — most of my research is done on-line or in libraries or as I travel.
Is there someone you sometimes discuss a dilemma with?
Absolutely! My sister Carolyn is my chief beta reader. I’m always discussing the novel I’m writing with her, especially when I hit a rough spot, and when I’m doing the structural edit.
What is more important to you: a rating in stars with no comments or a reviewer who explains what the comments they give are based on (without spoilers of course)?
I read all the comments readers leave on NetGalley, Goodreads and Amazon. I love to know what they liked, or didn’t like so much. Sometimes they make a good point which I note for the future. I certainly don’t like spoilers, because they do exactly that — they spoil the book for other readers.
Thank you, Adrienne Chinn and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Adrienne Chinn was born in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, grew up in Quebec, and eventually made her way to London, England after a career as a journalist. In England she worked as a TV and film researcher before embarking on a career as an interior designer, lecturer, and writer. When not up a ladder or at the computer writing, she often can be found rummaging through flea markets or haggling in the Marrakech souk. Her second novel, The English Wife — a timeslip story set in World War II England and contemporary Newfoundland — was published in June 2020 and has become an international bestseller. Her debut novel, The Lost Letter from Morocco, was published by Avon Books UK in 2019. Her latest novel, Love in a Time of War, set during WWI, is the first in a series of three books based around the changing lives of three English sisters and their half-Italian mother, with a timeslip to 1890s Capri and London.