Katharine McMahon

Katharine's tenth novel

The Hour of Separation

 June 2018



Intense and emotional, The Hour of Separation takes us deep into the shadows cast by violence and conflict. Terrific (Elizabeth Buchan)


Four years in the writing:  Read Katharine's blog to discover the inspiration behind her latest book.

Read my article on how there are no boundaries between historical and contemporary fiction:  https://www.rlf.org.uk/showcase/memory-and-fiction/

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March 1939

     Estelle is the headstrong daughter of Fleur, a Resistance legend who disappeared during the Great War, supposedly killed while helping Allied soldiers to escape.

    Christa, an only child, longs to break free from the constraints of London suburbia, and fantasises about the ethereal Belgian heroine who saved her father.   

     When Estelle comes looking for the truth about the mother she believes deserted her, an intense friendship grows between the two young women. Estelle invites Christa to De Eikenhoeve, her family’s idyllic country estate. 

     There, Christa encounters Estelle’s two brothers — brooding, tempestuous Robbe and dependable, golden-haired Pieter — and during that long hot summer, passions run high. When war breaks out Christa is forced to return home, but not before she has done something she will regret for the rest of her life. 

     Christa arrives back in England a changed woman, while Estelle decides to follow in her mother’s footsteps and join the Resistance. Little do they dream that Fleur was betrayed by someone close to them, and that the legacy of this betrayal will have heartbreaking consequences for them all.





Katharine’s emerging theme, through ten novels, is women and their historical struggle to find a voice.  She has gained inspiration from astonishing women ranging from Mary Ward, whose family was intimately entwined with the Gunpowder Plot, to Carrie Morrison, the first woman to qualify as a solicitor.  In her latest book she explores what it means to be a heroine, and the conflict between domestic duty, love and vocation.

Browse this website to discover the women behind the fiction.


Emilie du Chatelet

Mary Ward

Florence NIghtingale

Carrie Morrison

Mary Seacole

Edith Cavell

Charlotte Corday

Frances Mary Buss

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon

The astonishing women who inspired my fiction...



                                                                             Katharine talks to poet Julia Copus about The Crimson Rooms:  


BBC Radio 4 - Woman's Hour   The Woman In The Picture   8 July 2014


Orion Publishing Group

Author Profile



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