Debut Novel


From the shores of The Great Lakes to the slums of Bombay and a tiny island in between, this love story takes the reader on an intimate journey to unravel a family secret that’s laid hidden for generations.

To satisfy her wandering feet, eighteen-year old Gillian McAllister is sent from Ireland to Canada in the summer of 1932. She arrives with her Irish ways in tact, determined not to let the wiles of crop duster Christian Hunter woo her into submission. Yet as the summer unfolds and the sweet taste of love grows, Gillian’s appeal lures more than she anticipates. Fourteen years, a Great Depression, and a World War later, Christian sets out to discover why Gillian was ripped from his life. What he discovers on the Isle of Man will change them both forever. Not even a thatched cottage by the sea, a spritely Gillian, or memories sprinkled on a page can mask the secret that has been buried for too long. But it isn’t until a set of poems is given to Gillian’s granddaughter that the real mystery––Gillian’s true secret––is freed. So who is Pugsley?

With a narrative that captures the nostalgia of loss and secrecy, Susan Örnbratt’s The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley is sure to bring back stirring memories of first loves and arguably simpler times.

Places you will visit in The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley

London and Tobermory, Canada 1932 and 2003

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London, Southampton and Ascot, England 1931

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Port St. Mary, Isle of Man 1946

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Bombay (now Mumbai), India 1946

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I am indebted to the following books and websites for the insight and stories of Britain’s Internment camps on the Isle of Man and life in Britain during WWII, as well as the below websites on Hindu traditions and a personal thank you to the insight given by friends/colleagues, Shashi Sethi and Madhavi Adireddi.

  • ‘Totally Un-English’? Britain’s Internment of Enemy Aliens in Two World Wars – edited by Richard Dove
  • The Yearbook of the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies Vol. 7 (2005)
  • ‘Loyal to the Reich’: National Socialists and Others in the Rushen Women’s Internment Camp, Charmian Brinson

I am also indebted to my son, Alexander, for all of his support in building this website.  Thank you.

Official Publication Fact Sheet

Light Messages Author Page


Visit Trinkets and Trivia

Visit Book Clubs




Copyright © 2014 Susan Örnbratt

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