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The Girl Under the Olive Tree

by Leah Fleming

Love in a time of war is hard when you are on the wrong side. . . 1938. Penelope George lives a charmed existence preparing to be a debutante. But it is an empty life - a gilded cage with its door firmly shut on adventure and independence. When her sister Evadne needs help in Athens, Penny seizes the opportunity to escape to a future away from the straitjacket of London society. Arriving in the historic city, she reinvents herself, finding her true vocation as a Red Cross nurse, just another stranger among strangers until war breaks out. Greece is invaded and Penny finds herself stranded on the island of Crete, tending the wounded and dying, one of the few foreign nurses left on the battlefield. Forging a dangerous friendship with Yolanda, a young Jewish nurse, Penny attracts the unwanted attention of a high-ranking German officer. Little does she know how this encounter will change her life . . . Sixty years later, it is time for Penny to return, to make the journey she never thought she'd dare to, reliving those final dark days stranded on the island as the last remaining female foreigner. It's a pilgrimage which will lead her to a reunion with someone she thought she has lost forever - and the truth behind a secret buried deep in the past. eah Fleming was born in Lancashire and is married with three sons and a daughter. She writes from an old farmhouse in the Yorkshire Dales and an olive grove in Crete.

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