Category Archives: Riduna

Readers’ Favorite Book Review ~ Riduna

 “Diana Jackson is a great writer who develops a wonderful story”

Reviewed by Michelle Randall for Readers’ Favorite

Harriet always thought she had her simple life planned out. She would grow up on Riduna, marry and raise a family, never leaving her tiny island home. Sometimes dreams aren’t enough to face the realities of life, and the harsh realities of life can change even the best of dreams. Edward grew up next door to Harriet and he had always dreamed of traveling, going to sea and adventuring, but he always thought he would come back to the safe port of home in Riduna, and Harriet. When tragedies occur and Edward is far at sea and nowhere to be the rock that Harriet needs, his cousin Joe becomes her rock and protector. Riduna follows these three people through life and the developments of the world and war, and all the events that occur to change all of their dreams. Diana Jackson does a wonderful job of giving readers a family saga that touches your heart with love and heartache. You become involved in the family and want to know more and want to see what occurs.

Riduna is such a small island, but among the friends we met in the beginning, some can’t wait to leave, some can never see themselves leaving, and some who never planned to leave find things that they have no control over can change even the best of plans. Diana Jackson is a great writer and develops a wonderful story that has you feeling part of the lives of these people. You can almost imagine yourself on the island of Riduna right in their lives. There are historical events that truly occurred mixed into the story that makes it feel even more real, and like this could really be someone’s actual life. This is a great book, the first of two books in the series, and would be a wonderful read for anyone.

**** review!

You can read this review and others on the readers’ Favorite website:


Filed under Alderney, Book reading, Book reviews, Book Reviews -Alderney, Riduna, Riduna ebook

Another 5* Review ~ A Balance of Perspectives

I would like to celebrate with you two new 5* reviews on Amazon this week, the first for Riduna (the island of Alderney, Channel Islands):



“I read this book as the precursor to Ancasta to ensure I understood the characters and settings, and I’m pleased that I did. The author paints an engaging picture of life on the island of 150 years ago, aspects of which I could relate to my own early years. The story tells the timeless dramas of life’s progress spanning many years against this fascinating background, and is very readable – you really feel you get to know the characters and the island.”





The reader continues in his praise of Ancasta:

Ancasta Guide me Swiftly Home

Ancasta Guide me Swiftly Home


“The Riduna story develops dramatically as it shifts its location to Itchen Ferry Village, Southampton, straddling the years of WWI. We move from small island life to the world stage. I know this area well, and have stepped in the footprints of the characters. There is a rich wealth of detail encompassing the incredible events of this period, and the author has researched well, but kept the historical aspects in context with the central characters. Most enjoyable, and I very much look forward to the next in the series!”

Do I know this kind and thoughtful reader you may ask? Is he a friend or long lost relation? No, he first emailed me saying he’d bought the books when searching for the telephone number of The Yacht Tavern in Itchen Ferry village (most say Woolston unless you live there, where the people are very particular to differentiate and always have done, rightly so) I have met him subsequently. Following a successful book signing session at West Quay Waterstones Southampton I took my parents to the Yacht for lunch and I signed the gentleman’s books and had a lovely chat.

I particularly liked the way he talked of walking in the footsteps of the characters and several people, who have written emails to me after borrowed the books from local libraries down in Hampshire, said much the same thing.

Other positive reviews recently received recently were from a reading group in Luton, Bedfordshire and yet again I knew none of them (I am writing this for the writers among you) The feedback was that all enjoyed the book although it was not a genre they would normally pick up to read, preferring thrillers and murder mysteries. I was so grateful for their feedback because firstly they had not read the first in the series Riduna and secondly they lived no where near the settings of the novel and so I was assured that their unfamiliarity did not diminish their enjoyment of Ancasta.

Having said all of this I do appreciate any feedback, especially from writers who will point out the finer details. I can learn much from their feedback which will enable me to refine my craft for future writing. I always ask readers and writers for their honest opinions, as I hope I would give myself.

If you have read either of my books and would like to let me know what you think, but would rather email me  here’s the address:

I look forward to hearing from you.


Filed under Ancasta, Book reading, Book reviews, Riduna, Woolston

Two contrasting heroines ~ Harriet and Sarah

Last week I received a lovely review from a reader of Ancasta via Facebook:

Yes I really loved it, I read the start and then took a break and read the bulk of the book quickly, but I need to reread the start I think. I thought it was great, so many characters so complex, must have been hard to choose which characters to not really delve into, like Anthony and Ernest’s wife.

Left me feeling I wanted more, it would make a great TV drama. It was a great read. Have you started work on the third book.”

….and it set me thinking about my characters. I was told by an earlier reader that I could write at a tangent with many of my characters because they are so strong….what about Jane for those of you who’ve read Riduna and Ancasta?…..her struggle to choose love or her vocation, nursing; her training; her service abroad and finally sharing her experience training other auxiliary nurses at The Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley…then a rekindling of love maybe….forever choices on her life…..yes she’d make a novel in herself.

But what of my two main heroines Harriet, the matriarch of the story and Sarah her headstrong daughter. Both were women of their times.

Harriet was a child of the Victorian Age, an age when her elders were respected and their rule was law on the island of Riduna. (Alderney) A bright young girl, (in Riduna) she showed potential at school and was given a wider education than many of her peers as she became a ‘teacher helper,’ but although a sensible lass, loyal to her family and Edward her childhood sweetheart, she chose marriage over vocation, although given two opportunities to do otherwise. She was meant to be a mother, unlike her best friend Jane above. By the time we see her in ‘Ancasta Guide me Swiftly Home,’ the second in the series, her family are grown up and flying the nest and although she never married Edward, he is still in the background of her life.

Sarah, her only daughter is a child of the early 20th century, influenced by the desire for more in life for women than bringing up a family and caring for the home. Marrying an officer in the army, she felt trapped by life in the barracks and, however complete she felt for a time at the birth of her son, she still deep down dreamed of more. It was not that she was fully aware of the suffragette movement until she moved back with her mother during The Great War, but that she had a strong-willed character from the start and was quite a handful for her husband Anthony. Sarah relished new opportunities, firstly working at Supermarine and then sharing her mother’s business.

You see, it was by now respectable for Harriet, a widow by this time, to own her own business. Both she and Sarah became ladies of independent means as they ran a boarding house together, utilizing their skills to the full. Harriet’s nurturing, caring nature and yet her education made her perfectly capable of dealing with financial matters. Sarah on the other hand was businesslike and professional and yet willing to turn her hand to the sewing her mother so detested.

My next post will be true stories of other women of their time which I discovered whilst researching, with some surprising findings.



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Filed under Ancasta, Riduna, Role of Women, The Great War, WW1