Imagine that the Second World War had turned out differently. Imagine there being a swastika hanging from every public building and seeing German soldiers on every street corner. Imagine having to witness the forced deportation of people you care about. To some, this is an nightmare scenario but, for the people of the Channel Islands, such as teenager Izette, it is a stark reality. For Izette's family and friends there is food rationing, fear, illness and murder but there is also defiance, bravery and passion. And there is, too, the tricky problem of having to tread that very thin line between co-operation and collaboration.
Born and raised in Manchester, Viv Packer graduated from the University of Manchester with an honours degree in drama. She then married and relocated to Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, where, after a false start in the Civil Service (having decided she was temperament-ally unsuited to government work!) she started showing and breeding St Bernard dogs. She later joined a local conserva-tionist in setting up and running an environmental conservation and study centre for overseas students, a job she enjoyed and stayed with for seventeen years, producing two sons along the way. Divorced and remarried seven years ago, Viv started writing as a serious hobby around this time. She worked at the University of Gloucestershire for four years until she was able to take advantage of an extraordinarily early retirement scheme, which enabled her to up sticks and move to the Sierra Nevada region of Andalucia in Spain. Viv and John bought an old Moorish house in the Alpujarran village of Yegen, made famous by the British writer Gerald Brenan in his book, South from Granada, where they live happily today.