Book based on Libyan trip

A WRITER whose holiday in Libya turned into a nightmare when she was flown out of the country just as it was descending into civil war has written her first book inspired by the trip.

Bronwen Griffiths, 58, of Langham Road, has just published her debut novel, A Bird in the House, which is about Mohamed, a father who, after his wife’s death, flees war-torn Libya with his young son, Ahmed to live in England where he meets a widow, Betty.

Hastings author Bronwen Griffiths with her new book 'A Bird In The House'.

Hastings author Bronwen Griffiths with her new book 'A Bird In The House'.

In 2011, Bronwen made the front page of the Observer after her trekking holiday to south west Libya turned into a dramatic escape as she was flown out of the north African country just as civil war was breaking out.

Bronwen said: “I went to Libya on a walking holiday and I knew the Arab Spring had started but was told Libya would be fine, but the conflict erupted and it was really quite a tense time getting out of the country. After that I got a bit obsessed with what was going on with Libya.

Although the book is not about Bronwen’s own Libyan experience, as the author explained, visiting the county was pivotal in shaping the novel.

Bronwen had already begun writing a book about a man and his son who were exiled in England together but after visiting Libya she then decided to make the main character and his son Libyan.

The author said: “I used Libya’s political situation as a backdrop. But it’s not a political book, it is about how conflict and exile affect people. Although the book is not about my personal experience, it really came out of my trip to Libya.”

Published by Three Hares Publishing, the book is available in paperback from Amazon for £6.97 or on kindle for £3.08. The author will also be available for a booking signing at Bookbuster in Queens Road on May 24 at 3pm.