Debut historical novel is set in Rutland and Stamford

Laura Longthorne with a copy of her new book
Laura Longthorne with a copy of her new book
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An expatriate teacher has published a debut historical novel which is set in Rutland and features Stamford.

Grace In All Her Steps by Laura Longthorne is about a rural family struggling to deal with a daughter’s autism at the turn of the 20th century.

Laura, 29, teaches English at the English International College in Marbella, but formerly taught in Peterborough secondary schools and from 2010-2012 lived in Stamford prior to moving to Spain.

She took about 18 months to write the 253-page novel and said this week that she has always loved writing and history.

“I began writing the book while I was living in Stamford and thought the local area was a perfect setting for the story,” she said. “Much of the inspiration for it was drawn from the area. The village of Kinwell is an amalgamation of Ketton and Tinwell, where I used to jog every Sunday. In fact, most of the descriptions were inspired by the Rutland landscape.”

The novel’s main themes are family relationships, social status and the different perception of people with autism at a time when very little was known about such mental disabilities.

One of the book’s main characters, Martha Pick, is named after Laura’s great-great uncle, Jack Pick, who created the Pick Motor Company of Stamford.

The book, with a cover by local freelance designer Emma Masters, is available as an ebook online for £1.84 or in paperback from for £6.99.