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Peace Weavers

Peaceweavers CoverInspired by the past, coloured by the present, my latest novel for teens weaves together two love stories and the struggle for peace. When Hilde finds a gold brooch on an archaeological dig, she starts to have vivid dreams and sees Maethilde, a young Anglo Saxon woman, who was the first wearer of the brooch - and a Peace weaver.

Hilde is furious when her peace-campaigner mother sends her to live with her father on a USAF base. refusing to go to school, she joins an archeological dig, 'not really her scene', where she meets Friedman, 'definitely not her type'. He's the son of an American fighter pilot. War with Iraq looks likely. Hilde is against the war but thinks protest is futile - till she steals a brooch from the grave of a sixth-century woman, a Peace Weaver, and her feelings start to change.

"Peace Weavers" has a provocative edge and asks the reader to make some hard-hitting moral choices. This is a timely novel about peace in our world"
The Bookseller
Available in paperback from Amazon  ISBN 1-84270-295-5.

Also available in Hardback from Amazon

Teachers - Please follow this link for a set of Lesson Plans based on this book. 

Researching "Peace Weavers."

I became interested in the Anglo Saxons when I visited a school on an American airbase in East Anglia, in the UK. I heard about a dig that had taken place there. Archaeologists found an Anglo Saxon warrior, a horse and a 'very tall woman'. They became the subject of much media attention. The BBC made a Meet the Ancestors programme about the warrior and his horse, but didn't mention the woman. I wondered about her. What sort of life did she have?

I started to research and came across the concept of woman as Peace Weaver. I read about one young woman who sailed across the North Sea in the middle of the sixth century - as a peace weaver - to marry a man from a tribe with which her tribe was at war.

Some historians think peace weaving was one of a woman's most important roles, and that men consulted them about preventing war. Women were the weavers of society, literally - they wove all the fabrics used for clothes and furnishings - and metaphorically. They were word weavers, the diplomats responsible for weaving the fabric of society. They used words and gifts and acts of kindness to weave peace. I found this idea exciting and began to write a historical novel.

As I was writing in 2002 there was much talk of war with Iraq. I followed the build up to war closely and this experience coloured my writing. I asked myself 'What could a young woman peace-weaver do today to stop war?' I noted that many young people were active in the Stop the War campaign - and my book gained another, modern strand. A gold brooch, found on a dig, links the two strands.

NORTH EAST TEENAGE BOOK AWARD 2006!"Peace Weavers" didn't win, but the party in Newcastle was great. I met lots of readers, inspired by my book. Do you like Rachel's illustration? I think it would make a great cover for the book. Publishers, please note!


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 September 2011 21:43 )