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New book set in Lowestoft and inspired by newly unearthed diaries from Pakefield woman on sale





A book set in a Suffolk coastal town in the post-war period and inspired by newly unearthed diaries is on sale.

The Lavender Diaries, by Chrissy Smith, is set in Lowestoft in 1946, and concerns an escaped prisoner of war (POW), named Stefan. He is trapped in the town after the war and a woman, named Alice, helps him.

Ms Smith was inspired to write the book after the death of her mother-in-law, Kath, of Pakesfield, in April 2021.

The Lavender Diaries, by Chrissy Smith, from Bishop's Stortford, is set in post-war Lowestoft and is now on sale. Picture: Chrissy Smith
The Lavender Diaries, by Chrissy Smith, from Bishop's Stortford, is set in post-war Lowestoft and is now on sale. Picture: Chrissy Smith
Kath Smith, Chrissy's mother-in-law, was from Pakefield, Lowestoft, and her unearthed diaries inspired Chrissy's new book. Picture: Chrissy Smith
Kath Smith, Chrissy's mother-in-law, was from Pakefield, Lowestoft, and her unearthed diaries inspired Chrissy's new book. Picture: Chrissy Smith

Ms Smith said following Kath’s death, an old suitcase was discovered, full of family diaries, which she’d kept hidden in her loft for many years and which were mostly written by her mother.

“The earliest was written in 1942 and I decided to transcribe the diaries for the family to read,” she said.

“They quickly became a window to another time, another world, and they taught me how different life was back then.”

Kath was evacauted to Laxfield, near Framlingham, during the war, during which time she lived at Moat House Farm and Lodge Farm. Picture: Chrissy Smith
Kath was evacauted to Laxfield, near Framlingham, during the war, during which time she lived at Moat House Farm and Lodge Farm. Picture: Chrissy Smith

Ms Smith said the story is her interpretation of the daily events portrayed in the earliest of the diaries.

During the war years, her mother-in-law’s family were evacuated to Laxfield, near Framlingham, living at Moat House Farm and Lodge Farm.

Kath worked in the local village shop during her time there.

Kath with her parents Frederick and Alice Goldspink. Picture: Chrissy Smith
Kath with her parents Frederick and Alice Goldspink. Picture: Chrissy Smith

Ms Smith had written short stories and poems for pleasure originally but began to write in earnest following the death of her father.

The book is available on Amazon in a downloadable format or as a paperback.