So far, I’ve written six novels set in my native Glasgow & Clydebank, setting these stories against the backdrop of the 1920s, the Great Depression of the 1930s and the drama and challenges of the Second World War. These books are not the stories of my own family but the tales my parents and my aunts and uncles told me of those times inspired and inform these books.
These are all standalone stories. I’ve listed them below in the order in which they were written but they can be read in any order, although there is some overlap of characters in The Stationmaster’s Daughter and The Bird Flies High.
THE RIVER FLOWS ON
It’s 1925 and Kate Cameron is just sixteen when she’s taken on at a shipyard on the Clyde. Kate’s wages are needed in the house and her schooldays are abruptly over.
When Kate starts attending art classes at weekends, she meets Jack Drummond, whose world is far removed from the shabby backstreets where Kate grew up. But Kate’s not equipped to recognise trouble when it’s disguised by charm.
When Kate finds out the hard way how the world really works, she turns to the boy next door, Robbie Baxter, who has loved her as long as she can remember. But she daren’t tell him the truth – and so their whole future is based on a secret.
Set in the days when the majestic liners were launched on the Clyde, moving from the years of the Depression to the devastation of the Clydebank Blitz, THE RIVER FLOWS ON shows how love can blossom in adversity, and how laughing at life’s troubles can draw a community together.
‘Filled with Clydebank stories, passion and drama, this book is an ideal read.’ The Clydebank Post.
‘… a gripping and moving family story’ The Sunday Post.
WHEN THE LIGHTS COME ON AGAIN
Liz MacMillan has desperately wanted to be a nurse ever since her brother died of scarlet fever, but her domineering father won’t allow it. On the outbreak of war, however, nursing becomes nothing less than her patriotic duty.
Her new vocation in Glasgow’s Western Infirmary may be hard work, but it brings freedom and the chance to meet new people – like the medic Adam Buchana who befriends Liz early on … and Mario Rossi, whose film-star looks and sunnpersonality capture her heart.
But then Italy enters the war, and Mario’s name means he is classed as an ‘enemy alien’ and deported. Through the dark years of the war and the air raids on Glasgow, Liz wonders about Mario’s fate, despite the personal tragedy that follows in the wake of the bombs. With the advent of peace, she longs for his return. But will Mario still be the man for Liz, or will another face have grown more dear?
‘a fast-paced novel’ Scots Magazine
‘Captures the heady mood of a perilous and yet exciting period of Glasgow’s history.’ Scotsman
‘a powerful story [with] vivid character sketches. Few writers evoke all five senses quite so strongly.’ Scots Magazine
THE STATIONMASTER’S DAUGHTER
Although she’s grown up amid tenements and poverty, Carrie Burgess has led a charmed life. Her father’s the stationmaster at Partick, a job with a house and beautiful garden attached. Carrie’s only real problem is her mother ‘s disapproval of Carrie’s growing closeness to Ewen Livingstone, an uneducated railway labourer; Matt Campbell, a clerk, seems a much better prospect.
When Carrie’s father dies suddenly, the women are forced to move to a tiny flat, and money is tight. Carrie allows her head to rule her heart and, turning down Ewen’s proposal, she marries Matt. It’s the worst mistake of her life, for his devoted front conceals a man of violence, and there’s a dark secret within his family.
Carrie’s made of stern stuff, though. Fate takes a hand and as the Second World War drags on Carrie’s free to take on a job back at the station she knows so well. But her heart still belongs to Ewen Livingstone. And as the men come home in 1945, it looks like Carrie might have left it too late to win him back …
‘Craig seems to fully inhabit her fictional world in a manner reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier and provides a sensorial feast for the reader.’ Scotsman
THE BIRD FLIES HIGH
Glasgow, 1920s. Growing up in a poor but loving family in the packed tenements around Glasgow cathedral, Josephine Shaw dreams of a very different kind of life for herself, her mother, brother and sister and is overjoyed when she is taken on as a copygirl at a Glasgow newspaper. Then tragedy strikes, and Josie is left alone and friendless. By sheer determination she fights her way back, becoming a reporter on the same newspaper. Life is good, even if her relationship with fellow journalist Roddy Cunningham has its complications – and on both sides. Can he find the courage to trust again, and can Josie find the courage to tell him the truth about her past?
‘Maggie Craig knows her Glasgow and, more importantly, knows how to share that knowledge with readers.’ Scots Magazine
A STAR TO STEER BY
1920s. When her father dies, Ellie Douglas has little option but to go into service. Her position takes her out of the life of Frank Rafferty – childhood friend and now a member of one of Glasgow’s notorious gangs – and into the world of Evander Tait – son, heir and black sheep of the Tait household.
These two men dominate Ellis’e entire life. No one approves of her friendship with Evander and the bond she shares with Frank is misunderstood by everyone. Both relationships, for very different reasons, threaten to tear her apart. She must make the right choices, but will she be strong enough?
THE DANCING DAYS
Jean Dunlop just wants to dance. Like the thousands of young people around her in the Glasgow of the Great Depression of the 1930s, it seems to her the only way to escape the grey drudgery of her daily routine. So when she meets Andrew Logan, who’s handsome, funny and a wonderful dancer, it seems only natural that they should take the perfect escape route together; a job as paid dancing partners in The Luxor, Glasgow’s most glittering and exclusive club.
But the sparkle of her new life soon begins to dim as her perfect dancing partner reveals a terrible secret. Soon Jean is trapped, her only choice to take actions her old self would have recoiled from …
Finally she manages to start over again, but unfortunately the past is not dead and buried. Jean can never return to the life she left so far behind her, but what steps will she take to protect her hard-won happiness?