Mayhew, Margaret 1936-
MAYHEW, Margaret 1936-
PERSONAL: Born 1936, in London, England; married Philip Kaplan (a writer).
ADDRESSES: Home—Gloucestershire, England. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Severn House Publishers, 9-15 High St., Sutton, Surrey SM1 1DF, England.
The Master of Aysgarth, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1976.
These Black Cormorants, Hale (London, England), 1976.
The Owlers, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1977.
The Railway King, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1979.
The Flame and the Furnace, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1981.
Bluebirds, Doubleday (London, England), 1993.
The Crew, Doubleday (London, England), 1997.
The Little Ship, Corgi (London, England), 1999.
Old Soldiers Never Die, Severn House (Sutton, Surrey, England), 1999.
Our Yanks, Corgi (London, England), 2001, Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's (New York, NY), 2002.
The Pathfinder, Severn House (Sutton, Surrey, England), 2002.
Those in Peril, Corgi (London, England), 2003. Rosebuds, Severn House (Sutton, Surrey, England), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: British author Margaret Mayhew has penned over a dozen novels since her first publication in 1976. Born in London three years before the beginning of World War II, Mayhew formed vivid childhood memories of the bombing of the English capital by the Germans, and many of her novels deal with the events of that war and its aftermath. Mayhew's books often have romance and friendship at the center of their tales of men and women caught up in the turbulence and violence of wartime. In The Little Ship, for example, Mayhew presents a cast of young characters, English, Austrian, and German, who are friends and rivals before the war, and then in 1940 are tossed together again as the small boat they once sailed now becomes a lifeboat rescuing soldiers from Dunkirk. Reviewing this British import in Booklist, Patty Engelmann noted that "Mayhew's gem of a book tells about childhood attachments and the upheaval of war."
Our Yanks was Mayhew's first book to be published in the United States. It tells the story of the confrontation of two uniquely different groups in England during World War II. When a U.S. Army Air Force fighter group is stationed near the small village of King's Thorpe, the stage is set for upheaval. The exuberant Americans affront many of the more reserved residents of this rural village, who have already experienced several years of war. But there are also those on both sides who want to make this forced relationship work; romances and friendships develop between villagers and the American soldiers. "The process is often hilarious," noted Jeff Zaleski in Publishers Weekly, "despite the domestic dramas being played out against the grisly backdrop of war." Zaleski further praised Mayhew's "charming story" for presenting "poignant details of life in wartime England."
With The Pathfinder and Rosebuds, Mayhew focuses on the postwar world. In the former title, Michael Harrison is posted to Berlin by the Royal Air Force in 1948 and is shocked by the destruction he finds there. Meeting a young German woman, he falls in love with her despite initial antagonisms on both sides. But the fact that she lives in the Russian sector does not make their romance any easier. Engelmann commended this "well-crafted" story in a Booklist review for providing "an insightful look at an overlooked facet of the post-World War II era." Rosebuds on the other hand, deals with postwar England through the lives of two best friends, Flora and Tally, who meet as ten year olds and come of age very differently during the 1950s. Booklist reviewer Emily Melton praised Mayhew's "realistic dialogue" and "appealing characters" in this "warm, engaging romance."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 1, 2003, Patty Engelmann, review of The Pathfinder, p. 1145; March 1, 2004, Engelmann, review of The Little Ship, p. 1139; May 15, 2004, Emily Merton, review of Rosebuds, p. 1604.
Publishers Weekly, January 14, 2002, Jeff Zaleski, review of "Our Yanks," p. 40.
All about Romance Web site,http://www.likesbooks.com/ (July 1, 2004), Rachel Potter, review of Our Yanks.*