Doncaster author publishes a novel that will transport you to the beautiful island of Corfu despite current Covid-19 restrictions

A Doncaster woman is publishing her first novel which is set on the Greek island of Corfu.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 6:33 am

Melanie Hewitt has had a lifelong love affair with the Durrell family.

Now popularised by a well loved TV show, the lives of the family members are no strangers to the spotlight.

But Melanie has a special connection to the island and its former residents which prompted her to delve into years of research.

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Melanie Hewitt - author.

Melanie, 59, from Branton, said: “My dad gave me a copy of ‘My Family and Other Animals’ when I was just 13 years old.

“I remember it well.

“It was a rainy afternoon here in Doncaster

“The book transported me to the magical land of Corfu.”

The book comes out on August 5, 2021.

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From that point on Melanie has had an insatiable appetite for all things Durrell.

But it wasn’t until two years ago that Melanie put pen to paper and started writing her new novel ‘Looking for the Durrells.”

She was dining at one of her favourite restaurants on Corfu when she started thinking ‘what if the Durrells were still here today?’

“A character named Penny began to fill my mind,” Melanie said.

“A woman who has an adventure on Corfu on a sort of pilgrimage.

“She has just lost her father and broken off an engagement and sets off to find what happened to the Durrell family in the wake of her life events.”

The book follows Penny on her journey of self discovery as she uncovers facts and secrets about the beloved family.

Melanie is proud to become an author from Doncaster.

She said: “Doncaster has always had a rich and beautiful thread at the heart of it.

“We have so many talented artists and to be a small nugget of that makes me really proud.

“I’m a huge advocate for Doncaster and it means an awful lot.”

This is Melanie’s first book but she has been a writer all her life.

With a long career in journalism then teaching.

She hopes her novel can help people escape after a rough 18 months.

“There is humour and of course a beautiful island setting,” she said.

“I felt like I was truly there in the 32 degree weather when I was really writing it in the back room of my home.”

‘Looking for the Durrells’ will be published by Harper Inspire on August 5, you can pre order the book here.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.