Author(s): Jenny Haworth
The Great War to end all wars has recently ended and Caroline Allen, a young arts student, senses a chance of freedom, of escape from the rigid expectations of her family. While she is nursing her mother, who is ill with Spanish Flu, she is invited by a friend, Judy Wilson, to travel to Paris. Judy's father is part of the New Zealand delegation to the 1919 Peace Conference. For Caroline it is a chance to explore European art, to see the originals of so many paintings she has studied only as black and white reproductions. Her friend Judy, however, is interested only in finding a 'good' husband. While in Paris Caroline meets Ashley Carrick-Jones, an army officer and a journalist with a "past" and an enigmatic role in the new Europe. His job takes him to the cities of the defeated powers - Berlin, Vienna and Budapest. Circumstances force Caroline to follow him. The Undone Years is set in the six months following the First World War. Everyone is hoping for new beginnings, for freedom from the horror of fighting: but no one is free of those "undone years" - the influence they have had or the fears they have created. This is a novel that balances the creative impulses against the destructive past.
Jenny Haworth is an historical novelist, freelance journalist, and travel writer. She has written for international book publishers, for many New Zealand and international magazines and for most of the major newspapers throughout New Zealand. She has a lifetime love of history and the arts, and with an M.A. in History has written about and taught these subjects. Her first novel, Hobsons' Chance, is a compelling and heart-rending story of chances gained and lost by a family that helped shape the birth of New Zealand as we know it now. Her second novel, Lost Souls, tells the often-forgotten story of some of the more than 6,000 New Zealanders who fought in the Boer War between 1899 and 1902. Jenny is also the author of the critically acclaimed book The Art Of War: New Zealand War Artists in the Field, 1939-1945.