An Apprenticeship of Life

Staff Reporter (24 January, 2022)

Marina did her fair share of travelling before settling in Dulwich


Growing up in Canada, Marina McCarron fell in love with A Bear Called Paddington and felt a need to ‘create a story and a character as Michael Bond did with him’, which meant many years of working towards that point, writes Michael Holland…

A BA in English and Classical Studies, a journalism course, working in radio and a Master’s Degree was all part of her ‘apprenticeship’ and, like the bear, Marina did her fair share of travelling before settling in Dulwich.

But that journey Marina experienced has been filled with key markers to who she is now: Miss White the English teacher who told the young Marina that ‘she always enjoyed reading my stories’; having a poem published in the local paper; an article accepted by Reader’s Digest about her father’s battle with Parkinson’s Disease… The confidence gained motivated Marina on to writing short radio pieces, travel articles and news stories for various publications. Plus, she read a lot.

Eventually the time came for the dream of that little girl and her Paddington book to be made true. So, as she stood at Pointe du Hoc on a windy June day she asked the magical question, what if…? 

That question to herself became The Time Between Us, which she describes as ‘a dual timeline novel exploring the impact of the choices we make in life and if we should always keep our promises’. 

Normandy, 1937. Sixteen-year-old Elise embarks on a whirlwind romance with a young American man, which transports her from the drudgery of her everyday life caring for her mother. But neither she nor William is prepared for the war that will threaten to tear them apart… 

Boston, 2009. Lucy has been left reeling by the death of her beloved grandfather. They had always planned to visit France together after her college graduation; now, still aching from his loss, Lucy decides to take the trip alone. As Lucy traces the steps of her grandfather through the French countryside where he once served as a GI, a powerful story of love, loss and destiny emerges – but can the truth about her family’s past unlock her future? Or are some scars too deep to heal? 

Right now Marina is editing the first draft of her second novel, The Shimmer on the Water, which also has a dual timeline, and tells the story of a mother and daughter who have no real bond. ‘There’s also a mysterious disappearance that needs to be solved,’ she adds mysteriously. 

The Time Between Us. Published 3rd February: Fiction / FRH (Romance) ISBN: 9781801104425 432 pages

RRP £8.99


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