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One Morning in Prague by Olga Swan

It is my great pleasure to welcome my friend and fellow author, Olga Swan, to the blog today to discuss her new novel One Morning in Prague. Thank you for your time today, Olga. I know you are busy with your book launch.

Thanks so much Val for inviting me on to your esteemed blog. I am thrilled to have a chance to tell your readers about One Morning in Prague.

What motivated you to write One Morning in Prague?

For a long time I had wanted to write a novel from the perspective of an older woman, looking back on her long life.  But there were so many real events in recent history I wanted to write about.  So, at last, One Morning in Prague was born.


What real events and people does the novel cover?


During WWII, a modest Englishman called Nicholas Winton decided to help the desperate Jewish families in Czechoslovakia, by sending their children to London on his special kindertransport.


Secondly, I was interested to write about the many Caribbean immigrants who came to my home city in the early 50s, and the persecution they suffered from the indigenous population. Those who subsequently married a white Englishwoman had a particularly hard time.


Sometimes in life, coincidences line up. No sooner had I finished the first draft of my novel than I saw advertised the major film ‘One Life’ about my real-life protagonist, Nicholas Winton, starring Anthony Hopkins.  Another film, ‘One Love’, was also advertised for imminent release about the late Jamaican singer Bob Marley. Similarly, there was a recent TV documentary about the arrival of immigrants from the Caribbean aboard the Windrush. Both the latter film and the documentary tell the story of another of my novel’s protagonists, Patrick, from Trinidad. 

Amazingly we all use the word One in the titles!

So, what’s One Morning in Prague novel about?

Real-life hero Nicholas Winton saves the life of six-years-old Lila in 1939 Prague, sending her on a nerve-wracking train journey to London on his special kindertransport


But Lila’s new life in England is anything but smooth.   


Follow her journey from childhood angst in Prague, her amazing rescue, followed by a lifetime of stress as a Jewish immigrant growing up in Birmingham. As she matures, along comes wonderful Patrick, bringing the sunshine and laughter of Trinidad into her life, but was he the right man for her? 


At ninety-years-old, Lila at last finds success in London as a novelist, but it has come at an enormous cost to her health, self-belief and her decades-long fight against adversity.  She realises, though, that each part of her life had not been diminished by new beginnings, merely reinforced. But suddenly love blooms again for Lila alongside a new quest.  She simply has to find the answer to the mysterious puzzle about her late father’s identity, even though her family’s Czech records have long gone.   


A wondrous saga, which takes the reader from wartime Prague, to post-war Birmingham, and finally to Jerusalem.  

The Author

For many years Olga lived in France, where she wrote her best-selling Pensioners in Paradis and Vichyssoise. She was awarded her B.A. Hons. (Open) in the Humanities, specialising in English language and literature at the age of fifty.

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