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Bored with her job, and scarred by a bad relationship, headstrong young Australian Ellie is devastated when her English-born father dies. But he’s left her a challenge – a book, a postcard and a photo of a little girl. Suspecting she’s his, Ellie throws in her job and travels to England for answers. Days before leaving, she falls for Josh, a film-maker, but is infuriated by his rigid beliefs.

Set in NSW and southern England, and spanning the 1930s to the present, Ellie’s quest for the truth interweaves with the story of past generations, whose struggles bring challenges of a very different kind. But it’s not until she unravels the family secrets that she discovers the far-reaching impact one person’s actions can have on others — including herself.


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My debut novel: Fragments of a Dream

Is it too late for a second chance at love? Rosie doesn’t think so. When her marriage ends close to retirement, she plans to find Angelos, the charasmatic young Athenian she fell for as a naive 19-year old. But will he remember her? Will he even want to see her after what happened between them? 

There’s only one way to find out — go back to the Greek island of Hydra, in the hope that he still visits.

When he finally shows up, his reaction is not what she expected. He’s changed a lot, but so has she. As Rosie begins to understand him and his culture, she has to reassess her version of the past, confront her mistakes, and question her own values and choices.

A story about relationships and cultural confusions, that will make you laugh, cry and reflect on life’s complexities.

What readers are saying:

‘She really makes you see the island, smell the flowers, herbs, and sea, climb the hills with her and visualise the buildings.’

‘Beautifully written and so evocative of Greece.’

‘I started to read this book and then couldn’t put it down . . . It’s a must.’

‘Fabulous read, I loved it from start to finish. Skilfully and beautifully written romance.’

‘ . . . a very unusual romance, with something of the folly of old age as well as of youth in it. For me it was a page turner and I read it over two nights — the second till 4.00 am!’

‘. . . a story that covers themes of finding love in later life, learning to move on and cross-cultural constraints.’

‘An emotional rollercoaster. Leaves you longing to go to Hydra.’

‘This is a beautifully written novel which brims with captivating images of the island of Hydra’s natural scenery. These images provoke Rosie to remember her youth, mingling past with present, and to dream of her future. The author portrays Rosie’s inner emotional landscape so wonderfully that I felt I personally knew this unassumng adventurer. I grew to care about her dreams too and felt I accompanied her as she unfolded into a kind, enlightened and thoughtful woman. A joy to read, this is seemingly a simple love story and yet, it is not only a story of romantic love, but also one of love of family, friends and culture. It is a novel full of honesty, realism and gentle humour and of characters with true depth. I think I shall read it again and again and know that I will recommend it to all my friends.’

‘The above echoes what I felt when reading Ruth’s entrancing book. She takes you warmly into her story and you feel the friendships she feels for her friends and understand the passion and confusion she feels for Angelos. The story has real depth and Hydra comes alive and vibrant through her words.’

‘In this delightfully bitter-sweet novel, Ruth Larrea explores the treacherously fragmentary nature of lost love. “The past”, as L.P. Hartley famously put it in The Go-Between, “is a foreign country. They do things differently there”. When Rosie returns to Hydra, many years after the end of a love- affair that has haunted her ever since, it is clearly with the hope that she may step once more into that “foreign country”; and “do things differently”. It is, of course, a forlorn hope. And it is the subtly wistful unravellings of such longings that the author traces out, against the background of this paradisiacal  Greek  island, where they were first awakened many years earlier.’ 


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