More on Telling the Sea


‘A teenage novel set in the real world with real characters of strength and depth…  A powerful story of coming through, with no punches pulled.’ Daily Mail

‘A gripping novel, hard to put down.’ Children’s Book Foundation

‘Confident readers of eleven upwards, particularly girls, will appreciate the intensity with which both hilarious and sad episodes are related.  This is a superb novel which deserves a place in school libraries and book boxes.’ School Librarian

‘A tough book with a moving story which doesn’t pull its punches abut the strange dynamics of family life.  Again this is high quality writing full of excitement and atmosphere and not afraid to tackle difficult issues.’ The Western Mail

'TELLING THE SEA' - Lion Publishing


Nona and her family have run away to a remote corner of Wales to escape the past.  They don’t want friends and they don’t want to be found.  But soon Nona’s troubles are entwined with those of Owen, a local boy whose journal she has found.  Together they defy their families, sharing their secret longings and fears.  But finally - alone - Nona faces the trap that the wild Welsh sea has set for her…


 When I started ‘Telling the Sea’, I was meant to be writing another book, but this one came along instead.  Writing it was one of my happiest experiences as an author. Perhaps that’s because its location - Dinas Common, Pembrokeshire - is one of my favourite places.  So much of what I wrote is there just as I describe it.  The cottage where Nona and her family struggled to hide from Uncle Brady and make themselves new lives is there, if you only know where to look. And some of the stories of what happens to them have their roots in true events - like the mysterious camper on the common, and the rabbit-gutting incident, which happened in real life - and I’ve still got the rabbit skin to prove it.  And, most of all, the sea is there, just as I wrote about it, setting the same traps for me that it set for Nona, every time I go down.