Welcome – this is the official Rosie Thomas website.

Rosie Thomas was born and grew up in a small village in north Wales.

After winning a scholarship, she became a boarder at Howell’s School. The school had a strong tradition of music and games, but unfortunately Rosie had no aptitude for hockey and no enthusiasm for Gilbert and Sullivan choruses. She found the library instead … and read, and read. To feel an outsider and to be immersed in books was the ideal apprenticeship for a writer.

Rosie read English at St Hilda’s College Oxford, and for the first time in her life felt that she was in the right place at the right time. She still feels a debt to the remarkable women who taught her, and who encouraged her to think for herself.

After a few years of working in women’s magazines and for a publisher, and by now married to a literary agent, Rosie found herself at home with a new baby son and no job. To write a novel seemed the more promising of the options open to her.

Her first book was published in 1982, shortly after the birth of her daughter. She has been writing full time ever since, and that first novel has been followed by a score of others.

Rosie lives and writes in London, but she is also a keen traveller, mountaineer and skier. Among many adventures she has climbed in the Alps and the Himalayas, trekked in Pakistan, Ladakh and Bhutan, followed the Silk Route through Asia, worked on a research station in Antarctica, sailed the Atlantic, explored in Chile, and competed in a classic car rally from Peking to Paris. Most recently she has sailed the southern ocean from Falklands to South Georgia and then crossed the island in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Rosie believes now that her travelling and writing are interdependent, and that one informs and enables the other.

All along the road there are stories, waiting to be told.

Among her other interests, Rosie has been a Trustee of the London Library and of the facial reconstruction charity Saving Faces. She has chaired the Betty Trask Prize.

Her work has twice been awarded the Romantic Novel the Year, and recently The Kashmir Shawl won the epic category of the prize.

She is currently at work on a new book.

315 thoughts on “Welcome – this is the official Rosie Thomas website.

  1. Loved your book The Kasmiri Shawl both for the quality of the writing and for the story. There were places in the novel, however, where you describe tensions between Hindus and Muslims as early as the war years.
    I’ve spent a month in Srinigar, 2 weeks in 1966 and 2weeks again in 1969. My distinct impression was that the population was nearly 100% Kashmiri as in non Hindu, and of course, in those days, the Indian occupation had not happened and there was no sectarian tension. My sense was also that the Kashmiris who I believe are descendants of the Persians, had little in common with either India or Pakistan and that independence from both was desired by the vast majority.
    I look forward to reading more of your books.
    M. Doria Shaw

  2. Hello, and I’m sorry for this belated reply. You are right of course that the population of Srinagar and the Vale is now predominantly Muslim. Many Kashmiri Hindus, including the large Pandit community, left at the time of partition or in the years that followed. Sectarian tension was unusual but not entirely unknown in the war years – although people were united behind the Quit India campaign. When I was in Kashmir a couple of years ago I did come across some difficulties, however there was much more feeling about the Indian Army presence and the militant Kashmiri Independence movement. Kashmir is the most beautiful place in the world, as you know, but it also has incredibly complicated social, economic and political issues – none of which will be easily resolved, sadly. But it remains a fascinating and hospitable place to visit, and anyone who goes there will be richly rewarded.
    Kind regards – and thank you

  3. I just finished The Kashmir Shawl and loved it! a thoroughly delightful read! not everything turns out rosy in life and your novel reflected that so well….but life does goe on for all of us! loved the vocabulary used….so many novels use such pedestrian vocabulary that the fullness of the written word is never truly appreciated!and the political situation is often as described–often complicated and complicating lives–rarely straightforward and sensible!

  4. I have just finished reading the Kashmir Shawl. I don’t think I have enjoyed a book as much as I have this one. The intricate stories and characters were spellbinding and descriptions of the sights and smells took me there among the exotic, the freezing and the desert. What a fascinating history these people have come through. What sadness and loss they are still experiencing. I finished the book on Wednesday and on Thursday morning there was an item of news on the radio from Srinagar about the killing of some policemen overnight. Not something I would normally pay attention to as it is such a regular occurrence in the news these days but this time the article made me feel sadness and empathy for their loss. Picturing the area and knowing more about the conflict made it very real.
    Thank you for such an amazing book – when I told mu husband I’d finished it he said ‘Oh, good to have you back!’ Oh dear – I’m already on the prowl on the kindle site looking for more “Rosie Thomases”

    • Dear Jan, Amy, Marilyn, Barbara and other readers – it’s such a joy to hear others’ memories and experiences of Kashmir, or to learn that my book has brought alive a place as yet unvisited. Thank you for all your comments.
      It is bitterly cold here as I write, and I am wrapped up in – yes! my beloved pashmina shawl. Plain black, with a band of hand embroidery at either end. Couldn’t afford the full works!
      Very best wishes to you all, and happy reading.

  5. As a 21 yr old in 1951, I joined the Foreign Service of the State Dept and was posted to India and felt I was the luckiest girl in the FS. Two weeks after I settled in Delhi I was “adopted” by an Indian family who helped me understand my new “home” (we are still in touch via Skype). I traveled to many Indian states as my leave and money allowed, even staying in Dak bungalows. My dream was to go to Kashmir but the pass was not always open and my government forbade us to go when there was any trouble. A window opened and in June, 1954, I was living on a houseboat called Miss America with my Indian sister who had family in Srinagar. We shopped at Suffering Moses and met his American wife. Before leaving I purchased a shawl and wearing it brings back many memories. My best trip was to Gulmarg where I HAD to get on a horse (hill pony). This Bostonian almost didn’t but I made it to the top. From Gulmarg we continued over rocky streams going high and higher. I have snapshots of me drinking tea wearing a borrowed Army jacket on the 4th of July. Many years later I entertained visiting Indians at my home and told them of that trip when one gentleman informed us that it was he that engineered the road to Gulmarg – small world. So you have given this 83 yr old senior much pleasure
    while reading “The Kashmiri Shawl.” Reading your book felt like I was back in Srinagar with the English and Welsh gals. Thank you for the pleasure you give all of us who read your wonderful books (I loved Iris and Abby, too).

    • Loved that story. Brought back memories. In 1966 I was an intern at State, part of a Masyer’s Degree at the Maxwell School. We had 9 of us in India, 6 in Pakistan. The war had barely ended so the Pak students had to fly thru Nepal to meet us for our 2 week July seminar in Srinigar. We, too, stayed on houseboats, visited Gulmarg and Kilanmarg (sp?), watched the shikar boats filled with flowers and vegetables, bought all manner of Kashmiri art, because all of it was art- The shawls, the paper mâché , the carved wood. But it was the boat trips sipping Kashmiri tea and listening to the boatmen sing Persian love songs and a special dinner and musical performance on our boats and the magnificence of the Himalya against the Vale! How can one forget!!!

      • I would like to have ti too. I have been reading your book called, in portuguese, Sol a Meia Noite and i stayed vera curious about de põem. Where can i find ti?
        Sorry for me english … Thank you

      • Hello Maria, thank you for your message – your English is about 1000 times better than my Portuguese…
        I am very sorry to say that there is no more poem: I made up both the poet and his works, including the opening line of the imaginary work I think you are referring to – ‘Remember this when I am best forgotten’? I didn’t think my readers would want to read any more of my poetry!!! Best wishes to you.

  6. Rosie
    I loved your short story!
    Iris and Ruby.
    It reminded me very much ofthe wonderful relationship I had with my grandmother.
    My grandmother was a very successful business woman, very independent, and not motherly. Successful in a time when women weren’t.
    I wish there was more to read about. Thank you

  7. I am reading Sun at Midnight and would like to know about the carater of Gregory Shoesmith and the station names used in this novel. Are they fiction because I can not find any references to the character of Gregory Shoesmith and Mount Shoesmith. Only a Shoesmith glacier. Antarctica is the one place on earth that I would like to visit most of all should I ever have the funds to do so. In the meantime I will look through your eyes (or Alice’s) and enjoy every moment of it!

      • Think I have messed up my request! I want to know if the caracter of Gregory Shoesmith and the stadion names in Sun at midnight is fiction? I am reading the book at the moment and love your description of Antarctica. The one place I would like to visit most of all.

      • Hi Sandra
        I just made up all these names. There’s no Kandahar Station and no Gregory or Richard Shoesmith. I’m interested that you found a Shoesmith Glacier – I must have seen this on a map and subconsciously appropriated it! (This is how it usually goes, I should think).
        Antarctica is extraordinary. I have been fortunate enough to go down there three times, and I would go again tomorrow if I could. I put as much of it as I could into Sun at Midnight. If you get a chance to visit, don’t think twice!
        Thanks for getting in touch. Happy reading.

  8. I have just finished reading The Kasmir Shawl, and have to say it is probably the best book I have ever read. The descriptions of the surroundings are subtle and inobtrusive, yet evoke such clear pictures of the surroundings – right down to the sounds and smells. I just couldn’t put this book down. The story is totally absorbing. A much loved aunt of mine was a missionary in India in the 1940s on, plus I have a special interest in fine fibres and creativity, so the whole story had special meaning for me. I had not come across Rosie’s books before, but will be gradually working my way through them all now. Thanks for the great experience!

  9. I am a 53 year old from Trinidad and Tobago in the caribbean. I finished The Kashmir Shawl about one week ago but it is still there in my head. The smell of the narrow streets, the characters, the shawl and tea. The book is an absolute delight! I have to look for more of your books. Please visit me if you ever come to the Caribbean.

    • Dear Ann, very good to hear from you, and thank you for your kind message.
      I might just take you up on coming to stay! I did an Atlantic crossing as one of 4 crew on a small sailing boat five years ago, and our first landfall was at port of Scarborough, Tobago, so as you can imagine I fell in love with the island there and then. We had a wonderful holiday afterwards, as all my family had come out to meet me. It’s a beautiful, friendly, fascinating place and I’d love to see it again. Unfortunately we didn’t get over to Trini, and I want to visit there too. So you never know!
      Enjoy your reading,

  10. Dear Rosie: Your book THE KASHMIR SHAWL was a great read for me. I just had to let you know that. I am looking forward to reading CONSTANCE this Fall. I have a relatives that live in Plymouth, England. I had a very enjoyable visit there back in 1994. I must make another visit soon. Tommy Carr

  11. Hello Rosie – I just love your books. Everytime I start a new book, I get so engrossed I never want it to end. I think you are just one of the best story tellers.

    Many thanks.

  12. Well, I had read on google, that there was a character in one of your novels with the same name as me, and my name is quite rare! There aren’t many of us Nerys Watkins about!!
    So I’ve just downloaded it on iBooks, and I’m gonna get stuck right in!! Xx

    • Hi Nerys. Thank you for this message – you have a beautiful name. I have always loved the old welsh first names, Angharad and Rhiannon and Gwenllian and yours – I hope you don’t feel as if your identity has been stolen! I think I chose Watkins as a good Welsh surname too. Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading about your namesake. I’m away for a month, but if you would like a suitably inscribed copy I will send you one when I get back. Best wishes.

  13. Gosh, marvellous books – thank you, Rosie – have been reading your work for a long time and always look forward to more – and fascinating comments too. I thought Sun at Midnight was excellent – completely captivating – I hope they lived happily ever after! I see someone mentions T&T, well, we lived there for a few years – and in Kenya too (have you set any of your books in Africa yet?) and now we are in Wales, so …. my husband and I are semi-retired scientists/academics – with a strong interest in nature and humans!

  14. Rosie, I am reading all of your work that I can get my hands on. THE KASHMIR SHAWL was one of the most rewarding books that I have ever read. Our public library here in Minnesota can request books from the whole state’s system so I am one happy traveler (through reading your books). I am 87 and love to travel here and there by reading your stories. Can’t say enough good things about your ability to give us pictures in our minds when we are involved in your stories. Thank you for sharing your gift with many readers.

  15. I have read all Rosie’s books and have introduced many friends to this wonderful writer. I have been desperately trying to get hold of the white dove and especially as I have recommended to so many people far and wide, that is to colleagues in Australia. Finally I will be able to get it in February. Thanks

  16. Rosie
    I have just read The Kashmir Shawl. A most enjoyable and accurate description of life in Ladakh. I thought you might be interested in follow-up information about the rabies problems of the area. My husband (a veterinary surgeon) and I went to Leh a couple of years ago on a volunteer project-he was working for Vets Beyond Borders , an Australian vet charity who neuter street dogs and vaccinate them against rabies. The project has now has now been working 5 seasons and there is already a significant reduction in the incident of human rabies. One of their other project locations is Sikkim which has been operational for about 8 years is about to apply for W.H.O rabies free status.

    • This is really interesting, Ali. When I was researching the book I visited a small medical clinic in Padum – five or six years ago, now – where human rabies victims were treated. Their facilities were very primitive. I asked the young doctor what was done to control the dogs and he pointed out of his window. ‘Do you see any dogs?’ ‘No’, I admitted. ‘That is because we kill them’. ‘Do you shoot them?’ He stared at me. ‘Do you think we have guns? No, the people stone them’.
      I greatly admire the work your husband and you have been doing, therefore – on human and also on humane grounds.
      Thank you for telling me about this.

      • We are surprised to hear about the stoning scenario. The dogs are caught each night, neutered and treated for any problems , vaccinated and then returned to the street where they live the following day. There are various charities doing this sort of work now-my husband has just returned from Nepal doing similar work for HART (Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust)
        Changing subject, I have worked out that I was the year below you at Howells and my brother lives at The Fisheries!

      • I only pass on what the doctor told me – I didn’t see it myself. They had just lost a 4-year-old boy in the clinic to rabies. Padum is quite a way into the deep interior of Zanskar, as you know.
        Fascinated to hear you were at Howell’s, Ali, and about the Fisheries. I spent many happy times at the latter. The former – not so much!!!
        This is quite the Old Howellian forum – see message from Mary Zuckerman, above. Same year as me, in Bod (I think?)

  17. Thank you for your description of grief and how we morn on, page 451 of ” Constance”. I recently lost my son and although I am grieving, in my own way, this passage helped me and I hope others understand there are many roads to take. Only the heart knows and remembers.

  18. Dear Rosie,
    Having just finished a marathon read of every book of yours that I own, I just wanted to let you know I’m a huge fan of your books! The first one I read was Border Crossing, followed immediately by White and then Sun at Midnight.I was hooked from day one! What I want to ask is, which book did you enjoy researching and writing the most? My favourite is Sun at Midnight, I’ve always been fascinated by Antarctica and your descriptions bought the continent alive for me. It’s the one place on earth I’d truly love to visit, the one place I doubt I’ll ever be lucky enough to see, so thank you for bringing me my own personal version of it!
    Best wishes, and stay safe in your travels – Bonnie

    • Bonnie, thank you so much. I always love doing the research! I feel so lucky to have seen such far-flung places, and Antarctica is certainly up there close to the top of the memory tree. I was able to spend over a month living and working on the Peninsula whilst I was researching SUN AT MIDNIGHT and I’ll never forget the ravishing beauty of it – all the more spectacular because it is so harsh and remote. I remember the sounds of it as much as anything – surf, wind, rattling brash ice, the chirr of penguins and the scrape of sledge runners. If you ever do get the chance to go down there, by any means at all, then grab it. The cruise ships come and go, and they are usually staffed by excellent scientists and guides who can show you glaciers and wildlife in safety and (relative) comfort. What drew your interest in the first place? Where are you based?

      • It sounds incredible! I was given David Attenborough’s Life in the Freezer on VHS when I was eight, and apparently after five minutes of watching I told my mum,’The South Pole is my favourite place in the world’. We were living in Qatar at the time, so I suppose all that snow and ice was quite appealing after all that sunshine and heat! I watched that video over and over, until I’d worn out the tape. I gradually forgot about Antarctica until I was 15 and I was given Sara Wheeler’s Terra Incognita, which is now another one of my favourite books. All my friends think I’m crazy, wanting to go to the coldest and loneliest place on earth!
        I’m living in Derbyshire now, but I’m definitely going to try to get on to one of the cruises, whether I have to beg, steal or borrow!
        Thank you for your speedy reply – Bonnie

  19. Dear Rosie

    I finished The Kashmir Shawl last month and loved it – the first novel by you that I have read, so I will be looking out for more. I felt sad when I finished the book – I just wanted the excellent story to go on and on! It appealed to me on several levels – I am originally Welsh and love the countryside there, my husband and I know many missionaries and with my husband;s job, we lived in India for nearly 8 years – 2 years in the 80’s and 6 years up to 2011. India gets under your skin like no other place we have lived, and although it is a challenging place to be, we loved our time there. We were fortunate to travel to Kashmir and Ladakh – amazing places. – and I have a pashmina or two! – one lovely one bought from the owner of the houseboat we stayed in. At the moment we live in Shanghai and have traveled a lot in China – last year we were in Urumqi so I will look out for your Silk Route novel which I saw mentioned somewhere. Not many books in English available here, so will look when I am next in UK.

    Thank you for writing so beautifully, creating engaging characters and reviving happy memories for me, kind regards from Anne

    • Dear Anne
      I lived in India in 1966, spent two weeks on a houseboat in Kashmir and was there again in 1969 and spent a week on a houseboat. My question is, what is Kashmir like now? In the 60s of course it was unspoiled, the flora/fauna were unspoiled, there were wonderful artisans, and, while one was aware of the Kashmiris desire for independence from India, there was no insurgency.
      I would dearly love to go back but wonder what it would be like now.
      Any advice?

  20. I have only just recently “discovered” you as an author. I first read the book ‘Lovers and Newcomers’ which I enjoyed enormously. I had fun with all the characters and with them attempting to recreate their university friendships. I was thus encouraged to try another read. I selected ‘A Simple Life’. Very sadly I have to tell you that I did not like anything about this story. The character, Dinah, was over-produced. She annoyed me right from the opening. She had managed to get through 15 years in normality, then suddenly she became this creature from weirdo land. She could not relate to anyone…her husband, people attempting to befriend her, her sons, her mother etc etc. She could only find companionship with a psycho, gothic 14yr old. When Dinah kidnapped her innocent daughter, Sarah, and the suggestion was to go and hide with druggies in a hangout in London, I lost it. I simply closed up and would not read further. I found no sympathy for her. I know she had suffered guilt in giving Sarah away, but this was way over the top of acceptable behaviour. Did you really enjoy creating such a crazy woman? Not enjoyable at all Rosie. Sorry. I am sure you have better books and better characters. I can tell that other readers have enjoyed other books you have written. One day I might try again with a different book.

  21. The Kashmir Shawl utterly consumed me. I have a 5 and 3 year old and I managed to start and finish it within 4 days. Unheard of! Wonderful, thank you…

  22. My grandfather, Ben Jones was born in Wales, so your books caught my eye as I was looking for something for my mom who is 88 to read. I read the first paragraph and had to get my own copy! We love Wales and Welsh names. My grandfather was born on the Llyn pennisula. I will be catching up on your books. Do you have one about adventures in Wales? Bora Da ( good day!)

    • Hello Linda – thanks for this message, ac bore da i chi! I grew up in north Wales and often went climbing and diving down the Lleyn, a beautiful part of the world. Have you ever visited?
      So glad to hear you are enjoying the books. There is an early one called SUNRISE, set partly in Wales…
      Happy reading.

  23. Hi I live in Didsbury Alberta Canada. Originally from Folkestone Kent England. Just finished Iris & Ruby, loved the book, thank you. I will look forward to hunting down more fabulous books from you. Thank you again for many enjoyable hours transporting me to a different time and place. 😊

  24. Dear Rosie,
    I’ve just come across your website which gives lots of info on your books and the
    amazing trips you’ve made around the world. Truly inspirational!
    Duncan Rosie

  25. During high school years, I had a penpal, Susan Llyod Edgar, born May 1946 in Denbigh, Wales lost track of her after that time. Also, my older son has also been to Antartica as a scientist. Now, only grandchild is spending her summer in India until college starts in the fall in USA. And, to finish, I greatly appreciate your writing!!
    many Thanks!
    Judy laney

    • Hi Judy, nice to hear from you and I’m pleased you like the books. Quite a lot of links here! Susan Lloyd Edgar would be eighteen months older than me – is anyone in touch with her, or know where she is?

  26. Hi Rosie, just finished The Kashmir Shawl, absolutely loved it ! I have just finished a trip to India, and fell in love with the country and the people,cant wait to go back ! Thanks for the inspiration, in more ways than one. I now will have to visit Kashmir !

  27. Have just read ” The White Dove” loved it, a real tear jerker. Definitely lends itself to a sequel !!

  28. Hi Rosie, I don’t know if I am your only male fan but I love your books and am just checking that I have read them all – I particularly liked Iris and Ruby – lovely to see how the generations teach each other.

    I am looking at your website to see if you have a new book coming out – my trip, through your novel, to Kashmir seems a long time ago – but if you have been busy exploring some more, I don’t blame you

    Thank you for giving so many so much pleasure


    • Hi Andrew – you are not quite the only one, but you are in a distinct minority! Thank you for this nice message.
      My latest book is THE ILLUSIONISTS, set in the world of stage magic and theatrical illusion against a backdrop of late Victorian London. It’s only available in hardback or Kindle at present, which I think is really expensive. The paperback is scheduled for April 2015, so do hang on for that.
      Happy reading and best wishes.

  29. Rosie, I have loved reading your work – especially THE KASHMIR SHAWL. Have read several more. I take my list to our local library in Minnesota and ask for any they can get. Now your new one that I had requested is there for me to pick up. Cannot wait to dig into THE ILLUSIONISTS. Sadly, I can’t get many of your earlier books as they are not in the MN library system.

  30. Dear Rosie

    I have loved and cherish all your books, but ‘Iris and Ruby’ is the one I keep dipping into time and time again. Having visited and fallen in love with Eqypt I can picture the modern maze of hustle and bustle and noise that is the Cairo of today and imagine the one from days gone by.

    Looking forward to your next book and more superb writing.

    Thank you


  31. I have just spent the last 4hours since 6.15am sitting in bed on a Sunday morning finishing The Kashmir Shawl – utter perfection. Couldn’t wait wake up as couldn’t put it down. One of your best and I’ve read most. Thank you for an inspirational read – so descriptive and evocative. The story of extracting the goat wool was so fascinating as my father was a woollen merchant specialising in cashmere cloth.
    Many years ago a guest left Stangers at my house and started me on my very rewarding enjoyment of your writing. They sit on my bookshelf, none of them recycled so that they can be enjoyed again. Thank you.

  32. Hello Ellie- reading this message made me very happy: I was up at 6.15 this morning too, tearing out my hair over the ending of the current novel and feeling that I never have/never will do anything I can feel proud of! You have given me the oomph to bash on with chapter 16. THANK YOU for your kind words. Enjoy your reading!

  33. Wow – how wonderful to inspire you to continue – thank you. and I look forward to reading it in the not too distant future!
    Felt bereft at having no book to read – hunted around & found I’d picked up White in a 2nd hand book shop a while ago and I’d forgotton about it – yeh! pouring with rain here in London so no better thing to do than start another of your books!

  34. Rosie! Loved THE ILLUSIONISTS but don’t understand why on the flyleaf description Carlo’s last name is “Bonomi” when in the book it’s BOLDONI??!!! A slip?

    Thanks, that really bugged me!

    • Hello. So pleased you liked the book. Tell your friends/book group!
      My publishers provide the flyleaf copy, and they wrote this one using an earlier version of the text before I changed the dwarf’s name… There is quite a well known figure in the book business with this surname, so I decided it would be better to adjust it.
      You have an eagle eye.
      We’ll make sure it’s put right for the paperback, and thanks for pointing it out.

      • I’m just working my way through your earlier titles which I’m borrowing from my library network so you’ll be pleased to know that they are still in circulation. The legend of Gelert is a very moving story, I first heard it when I visted Beddgelert while on holiday in Wales. It’s a beautiful place.

  35. Hi Rosie, I am a fan of your novels and last week saw me confined to a houseboat on Lake Kariba (Zambia) for a few days (a great hardship I know !) and so I downloaded a few books of yours and Border Crossing was just the perfect book. Here I am, at the age of 49, wondering if life is going to be pedestrian in my middle years, reading about a lady who wasn’t that brave going on a journey that made me wonder if your definition of bravery differed from mine, as I thought you had to have bravery in huge dollops to go on such a rally! I have this great urge to go do something brave/daft/adventuristic in my 50th year, but doubting the wisdom of following the urge, and there you signed up to do a race which should have been done in a modern 4X4 vehicle with a degree in mechanical engineering, and you knew nothing about cars! In the past 6 months I have bought 2 old and buggered Jaguars (my sons and hubby are Classic Alfa fanatics and I wanted to have something in common with them so old cars are a must), and am learning about how unreliable they are and what is needed to keep them going just to the local town and back, so I could really feel the pain of the drivers nursing their old classics across Asia! The personal thoughts and journey you shared has inspired me and as the houseboat chugged past crocs and elephants and the landscape hinted at adventure, I dreamed many dreams and one day soon I hope to be as brave as Rosie Thomas and fling myself out there!

    • Hi Carlene – WOW, lucky you! Sounds an amazing trip.
      Thank you for your kind words too. You know, I don’t think you really need encouragement from me, but of course you must consider every adventure that beckons. You are in the most fruitful and powerful years of your life and I bet you are actually raring to go. I don’t think the condition is bravery – it’s curiosity, about people and their lives and new quarters of the world. I wouldn’t be so divisive as to say that women possess this curiosity in abundance, over any other of the various genders….but, you know….
      Follow your instincts!! And good luck. Let me know what transpires…

  36. Hi from Western Australia
    I have just finished reading The Illusionists – what a wonderful book – thank you.
    I do hope there is a sequel – I would love to know more about the characters you have so clearly depicted.

    • Hello Carolyn, lovely to hear from you. Particularly glad to hear you liked The Illusionists, as it’s a change from some of my other books – and I’m just putting the finishing touches to the sequel!
      Happy reading.
      All best wishes.

  37. Dear Rosie .
    have just read lovers and newcomers which i really enjoyed.just wish to bring to your attention on page 150 it implies that foil trays may be placed in a microwave.this is incorrect.kind regards from a follower of your books marilyn white

  38. Hi Rosie
    I have just read Bad girls, good women. While I have never read this book before the part in the story where Julia and Josh steal away for an affair in the townhouse in Kensington was familiar. Have you included a similar scenario in one of your other books or has this story been made into a screen play?

    By the way I have also read Lovers and newcomers and completely overlooked the mocrowave faux pas. They are dreadful contraptions you are wise to avoid them.

    • It’s a very long time since I wrote this book! I’m so happy you’ve recently been reading it–it hasn’t made it to the screen (there’s always hope!) and I can’t remember having written a similar scene. Although after 20-odd novels the process of invention doesn’t so much dwindle as develop patterns, if that makes sense? The stories come flooding into your head, but the way of telling them is more limited. Enjoy your reading! Very best wishes to you.

  39. Rosie, our church’s book club is reading ‘The Kashmir Shawl’ this month. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and found all of the characters quite interesting. I love books where the characters are strong women and these women were certainly strong! I am wondering how you got the idea for this book, there are so many themes here, which came first? With the rise of extremist Islam, are you fearful for the fate of Kashmir that somehow it will inject itself into this situation? Thank you in advance for any insights you can provide. It is a beautiful story and I will be sure and recommend this to others.

    • Hello Valerie, I do hope the book group enjoys a good debate on The Kashmir Shawl. I set out on the project with the idea of exploring roots, what it is about a place that makes us call it home, and so the Welsh part came first. Then I was lucky enough to go on a marvellous expedition to Ladakh and Kashmir, where I saw the shawl making process from start to finish and was fascinated by it. I met many Kashmiri people, read the history, and spent some time in Srinagar, and after that the story came quickly. Kashmir is a troubled place modern times, although its beauty is undiminished. We can only hope that the political, social and religious problems will somehow resolve themselves.

      • Rosie, we met to discuss The Kashmir Shawl yesterday and everyone loved it. Since we are a Presbyterian Church, we all had a chuckle regarding Evan’s character and want to assure you that all Presbyterian clergy are not so dour. (One of our members is a retired Pres. minister,) We had a good discussion about friendships, love and of course, Kashmir. Two of the group had been to Kashmir and shared their experiences; it certainly added to the discussion. We all agreed it was a beautiful book and you have a wonderful gift of language. Now we all want you to press someone to make it into a movie. It is a wonderful story. Thank you again for sharing it with us and for your emails.

  40. Hey Rosie. I came across your book “The Kashmir Shawl” randomly in a bookstall and bought the book out of sheet gut instinct. And I have to say, I am totally in love with the book. You wrote about India, people, love, war, sincerity and loyalty in an amazing way. I am nearing the end of the book but I don’t want the book to end. So much emotions in that 400 page book. After this book, I am sure to hunt down your other books. Thanks for such an awesome treat!! With love form India 🙂

    • Hello there, I am so pleased to hear that you picked up The Kashmir Shawl just by instinct, and delighted that it was a satisfying read for someone who knows India far better than I do! Best wishes, and happy reading.

  41. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed many of your books, but came across ‘Border Crossing’ thinking it was another novel. I read all of your books quite quickly but this one I just couldn’t put down! Am going to read the one based partly in Wales next as that has been my favourite area since I met my husband in 1961. Thankyou for writing! Pat, Derbyshire.

  42. I have always enjoyed your novels, and have just finished The Kashmir Shawl – which I really had a job to put down. Your Acknowledgments page, though, came like a bolt from the blue. Some years ago I was prescribed Diclofenac to treat ligament problems but five days into the medication I could hardly walk and ten days more left me pretty well paralysed. The medics dismissed my ‘allergy to Diclofenac claims’, saying that I probably had an infection or virus, but my research following your comments supports my theory. Thank you for your enlightenment! (Over time, I’m happy to say, the drug has leeched its way out of my system – and the problem was arthritis, not ligaments, anyway!)

    • Dear Mary, I’m sorry you had a horrible time on Diclofenac and glad to hear you have got to the root of the problem, at least. The germ of the novel was given to me by two doctor friends who described the effects of drug when used on animal populations in Asia. Thank you for your kind words about The Kashmir Shawl.

      • Thank you, Rosie, for taking the time to reply to me. I look forward to your next Book. Mary

  43. Hi Rosie,

    Just to say that I have loved reading Iris and Ruby and also Sun at Midnight and am now off the library to order again. To get more titles, I have come on your website and was intriged to find that you were a boarder at Howells too. I was in St Patricks House from ’68-’74, but it sounds like you were there just before that.

    Best wishes, Gilly.

    • Hello Gilly, so pleased to hear that you are enjoying the books. I was at Howell’s ’59 to ’65, in School House. Not quite the happiest years of my life, I have to say….
      Where do you live now? Very best wishes to you.

      • Hi Rosie, Thanks for the reply and the dates. I live in Leicestershire now, but still have my Mum and family up in Wales. She and her sister (my aunt) were also at Howells and we often feel drawn to drive past. I expect that you have already heard that it has closed down; I hope someone can find a good use for all the buildings. Kind regards, Gilly.

  44. Hi Rosie.
    I have just finished The Kashmir Shawl and really enjoyed every minute of it. Your descriptions of Kashmir have sent me running for my atlases and for the Internet to let me see the wonderful places you describe and to allow me to understand better the discomfort that Nerys dealt with in her travels.
    I haven’t found images of the houseboats that you describe so vividly but I am sure they are there and I will come across them.
    I wonder if your publishers would let you include a map or illustration of the area you are writing about or even a list of references we could use. Is that making it all sound too cold and ‘studious’? I don’t mean it to, it’s just that you have created such enthusiasm with your writing that I want to expand the magic.
    This is the first of your books I have read and I am so looking forward to reading more and being whisked to other parts of the world.

    Best wishes

    • Lyn, you make a really good point. Thank you. I totally agree that a map of Kashmir and surrounding areas would be a good addition, and I’ll see what can be done for further printings. For research purposes I read lots of books about the region and Indian history until I felt quite immersed, and I travelled there before I started writing. If you click on the ‘gallery’ button on my hope page you’ll find some of the photographs I took on those trips – including a couple of the houseboats!
      All best wishes, and thank you again for your kind and thoughtful comments.

  45. Hi Rosie, I wanted to let you know that I am currently reading the Kashmir Shawl. However, your first book that i read and loved was Other People’s Marriages. It was amazing. I read it during a holiday years ago and have remembered you ever since. Which for me is unusual. I keep looking you up and looking for new books.

      • Last year I contributed to this site saying that The Kashmir Shawl is the best & favourite of mine, and now having read 12 of your books. An earlier contributor Lyn mentioned a map of Kashmir – good idea! I too looked it up and also searched out photos on the net of the area – wonderful.
        Recently I found Constance in a 2nd hand book shop which I’ve just finished and your description of Bahli is fabulous. Earlier this year I re-read Every Woman Knows a Secret which I first read in 2000, & I see that your style has changed and I love it that more recently they all have a background of travel & different locations with a lot of research obviously going into each one. It is remarkable how they are all so diverse and amazing how you think up new subjects – Keep up the great work for us all please!

        Thank you again for hours of happy reading!

  46. Rosie,
    I just finished your book “The Illusionists” and truly enjoyed it. The characters came to life.
    Just a quick question. On the front cover sleeve of the hardcover edition, it says the story starts in 1870 in London. However, when you start the book, it actually starts in 1885 (as stated on the first line on the first page of the story. I don’t know if your publisher saw this or not. I do the proofing here at the Library I work for and saw it immediately. No need to post this but thought you might want to know for future reprints. All the best.

      • You are quite welcome. We carry all your books here at our library and needless to say, they have a great checkout rate. I saw you are doing a sequel to this one. Can’t wait. If you need a proofer……………
        All the best,

  47. I fell in love with your books and I have read them all…I have shared them with others so they can enjoy them as well..you have such a talent!!

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