Promo: Sisters at War by Clare Flynn

I'm delighted to share an excerpt from Sisters at War, a gripping, heart-wrenching novel by historical fiction author, Clare Flynn, currently on blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club.

Sisters at War

Clare Flynn

Historical Fiction


‘Come with me. It’s a few minutes’ walk. Save your questions until we get there.’

Will, puzzled and a little annoyed, knew better than to argue. They walked beneath the overhead railway and headed up Chapel Street, turning into Rumford Street towards a new office block behind the Town Hall.

Palmer indicated a side doorway that looked like a fire exit. Inside, the walls were bare concrete, with nothing but a metal guard rail and concrete steps leading down to what must be the basement. The sharp smell of fresh paint hung in the air.

Palmer preceded Will down the stairs into the bowels of the building. ‘Seven foot of concrete over our heads and walls three feet deep make this the safest building in Liverpool.’ He pushed open a door into a large room where naval ratings were painting the walls and men were laying yards of cable. ‘Welcome to Derby House. Before long, this place will be a hive of activity. Telephones, signalling equipment, radio interceptors. This will be the joint forces command centre. Not only the Royal Navy but the RAF, and the Marines will be here too.’

Will looked around the empty and featureless concrete room. ‘But how? Why?’

‘We will be monitoring the western approaches to Britain. We’re going to track every enemy convoy, every submarine wolf pack, every airplane, that threatens our shipping routes.’

‘But isn’t that what you’re doing in Plymouth?’

‘The Admiralty and the War Office think Plymouth’s too vulnerable to bombing and since the bulk of our merchant shipping comes through the port of Liverpool it makes more sense for us to be located here. This bunker is purpose-built.’

Will scratched his head. ‘I still don’t get it. Why are you showing me this?’

Palmer smiled. ‘Because I want you to join us, Kidd. You know more about merchant shipping than most of these Navy chaps. I want someone with a merchant navy background. Someone familiar with the Atlantic shipping routes. You’ll have to transfer into the Royal Navy Reserves, wear the uniform and all that.’ He clapped him on the back. ‘I’ve cleared it all with the Admiral. He will be stepping down when we start up here in Liverpool and I don’t know who his successor is yet but apparently it’s all sorted.’ Palmer looked at his wristwatch. ‘Now we need to get moving or we’ll arrive after your wife does. I’ve asked her to meet us in a nearby café.’

When the two men emerged from the bunker into the daylight, Palmer turned to Will. ‘No mention of what you’ve seen or heard today to anyone, including your wife. All she needs to know is that it’s a land-based role that’s part of the war effort.’

Palmer’s assumption not only that Will would accept the position but the way he had involved Hannah in it, made Will feel manipulated and resentful. As they walked through the streets, his annoyance mounted. 

Palmer looked at him sideways. ‘You’re awfully quiet, Kidd. I thought you’d be excited.’

‘I’m not doing it.’

‘Not doing what?’

‘Working down in that bunker, giving up the sea. Pushing a pen or whatever it is you expect. I’m a seaman. I’m not suited to that kind of work. So, I’m saying no.’



1940 Liverpool. The pressures of war threaten to tear apart two sisters traumatised by their father’s murder of their mother.

With her new husband, Will, a merchant seaman, deployed on dangerous Atlantic convoy missions, Hannah needs her younger sister Judith more than ever. But when Mussolini declares war on Britain, Judith's Italian sweetheart, Paolo, is imprisoned as an enemy alien, and Judith's loyalties are divided.

Each sister wants only to be with the man she loves but, as the war progresses, tensions between them boil over, and they face an impossible decision.

A heart-wrenching page-turner about the everyday bravery of ordinary people during wartime. From heavily blitzed Liverpool to the terrors of the North Atlantic and the scorched plains of Australia, Sisters at War will bring tears to your eyes and joy to your heart.

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About the Author:

Clare Flynn

Clare Flynn is the author of thirteen historical novels and a collection of short stories. A former International Marketing Director and strategic management consultant, she is now a full-time writer. 

Having lived and worked in London, Paris, Brussels, Milan and Sydney, home is now on the coast, in Sussex, England, where she can watch the sea from her windows. An avid traveler, her books are often set in exotic locations.

Clare is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of The Society of Authors, ALLi, and the Romantic Novelists Association. When not writing, she loves to read, quilt, paint and play the piano. 

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