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On a break in Greece, Annie and son Jude encounter the cause behind disturbing events in their past

A kid called Jude breaks another kid’s nose for making a racist comment.

Annie is a psychologist but works as a carer to make ends meet.

Girl, 16, runs away from Glasgow and lives in London squats.

A beloved aunt and friend leaves a gap in many lives.

Going to stay with Uncle Puke on the Greek island of Symi sounds like a good idea.

A Greek/Dutch aid worker meets a Scottish musician.

Questions in no order of priority: Who is Zeezoo? Why do so many dire things happen to Annie and who or what is behind it all?  Where’s Jude?

A dangerous puzzle finds answers on an island called Leros.

Set amidst the refugee crisis in the Greek Islands in 2016, Jigsaw Island explores the nature of belonging to a past, to a birthplace, to a family or to another person. It’s also about the importance of love and laughter and about saying ‘efharisto’… thank you.



Terrible With Raisins, Lynne's first novel, also features the island of Symi and introduces the younger Annie. As a special bonus to subscribers, a free e-book of Terrible With Raisins will be included with every pledge.

Lynne’s writing career got off to a precocious start when, aged eight, she was commended for a short story by head teacher, Mr Barker, a success crowned by winning threepence, less than 1p today, for spelling ‘sphere’. Thereafter, it all went downhill. At nine, she sent a short story to The Evening Standard. It was rejected. At ten, she entered BBC Children’s TV Write A Play competition. Got nowhere. After fifteen years, following art school, university, a trainee directors’ bursary, and with a lot of stage sweeping and making tea for actors along the way, she (partially) recognised defeat and became a theatre director, directing a wide range of plays from Ayckbourn to Shakespeare. Still unable to let go of the compulsion to write and, inspired by Mike Leigh, she produced many devised, co-written and self-penned productions. She also taught at drama schools, dramatised 3 Dickens novels for the stage, adapted classics for BBC Radio and founded a young people’s creative writing company, Fable Productions. Her first novel, Terrible With Raisins, was self-published in 2013; Jigsaw Island is her second, the only one to make it out of the desk drawer since then. Both books were inspired by the endlessly fascinating Dodecanese Islands and their people.


https://lynnemcvernon.com

Blue Star Ferry, Aegean Sea, Greece. Thursday 23 June 2016.

Second time we’ve come to Symi, Jude and me. Before that, we’d been on a plane together only the once and that was with Mum and Dad for a couple of weeks in Spain. Kind of them but I didn’t take them up on it again. Jude was three and screamed all the way on both flights, Glasgow to Alicante and back. We were not popular. Yesterday on the plane he had a silent moody because I’d made us sandwiches instead of buying the overpriced onboard scran. The adolescent sulk was a pain for me, but much easier on the other passengers. By the time we got to the hotel on Rhodes he was so starving he wolfed the lot anyway. Gave me time to zap off a few messages to tell my remaining friends where we were. 

Now in the warm breeze on the afternoon Blue Star ferry to Symi, my phone pings a message from Shona in reply to mine from last night – ‘That was a sudden decision. You never mentioned you were going to Greece this year. Have a good time – Shona x’. I feel a teeny stab of guilt. Do I tell her only the negative stuff? Next to me on deck, Jude’s having another strop because he’s forgotten to charge the new Android phone his grandparents gave him for his birthday, so he doesn’t have a screen to stare at. We’re just moving into the harbour. Like everyone says, it’s a stunner. Almost a film set – no, more a sort of 3D oil painting round the water. Not your average blue and white postcard stuff but houses in mustardy or pale yellow with light and dark borders round the roofs, doors and windows and flowerpot orange roofs – Clair knows the right arty words. All down to the Italians occupying the islands for years, she said. Jude’s underwhelmed. Saw it all last time. Techno-bereft thirteen-year-olds and classy architecture aren’t a natural mix.

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Putting out The Ritz

Thursday, 9 May 2019

When I was writing an early draft of JIGSAW ISLAND, I wanted Annie to meet her friend Shona in a setting that highlighted the difference between them. Annie had just come off the bus from Glasgow so looked a wreck – Shona was just departing The Ritz to go to the theatre. I have had tea at The Ritz (my Grandma’s 80th birthday treat) and the staff were charming.  I wasn’t going to write anything unpleasant…

Money, money, money, money

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Catching up with my Syrian friend to continue and flesh out his story of the journey from Syria to the UK. Money crops up constantly - for visas to stay in Lebanon, fines for not having visas, for bribes to police, payment to smugglers and forgers, for plane fares, ferry fares, bus fares - money borrowed and money lent. This doesn't take into account the cash needed for food, clothing and accommodation…

The refugee experience

Friday, 12 April 2019

03 refugee boy copy

This week I met a young man who had escaped the war in Syria and endured terrifying experiences in order to have a better life. Siblings died, his family was torn apart, access between father and children was denied by constantly changing border regulations.

Assad, Russians, Americans and British alike have ensured by a mixture of bombings, privation and political interference that Syria will not…

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