Tina Beattie

Fiction - Theology - Reviews - Reflections
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Who am I?

Writer, grandma, wild swimmer, theologian, hanging on in there but not yet sure where there is.

I grew up in Lusaka and have spent much of my life in sub-Saharan Africa (Zambia, Kenya and Zimbabwe). After years as a frustrated secretary and failed attempt to be an earth mother, I started university when the youngest of my four children started school. Somehow, I went from being a rather conservative Presbyterian typist with very little education to being feminist Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Roehampton, which is too long a story to tell here. Along the way I've published a few books and journal articles, most of which have more footnotes than pages. I've now left my academic post and am focusing on my first and lifelong passion—to write fiction. I have set up a publishing imprint—Christabel Press—where you can read more about my published and forthcoming novels.

My Roehampton website has the official version of this potted biography.

“Rhodesia is sleep-walking towards its devastating civil war. Three women become entangled in that war and in relationships that harbour the seeds of tragedy. With great sensitivity and insight, Tina Beattie tells a haunting story of love and war that will long linger in the mind.” (Kay Powell, author of Then a Wind Blew).


“Msasa trees provided dappled shade for Jenny’s tea party. April sunshine dribbled through the leaves onto suntanned arms. The frangipanis were in bloom ...” This is the scene that greets Scottish doctor Morag soon after her arrival in Salisbury in the 1950s. Jenny is an English wife and mother trapped in an increasingly violent marriage and secretly in love with another man. Soon, Beatrice will come to work as Jenny’s maid and nanny to her children. Over the next twenty years these three women will form deep bonds of affection, but can their loyalty to one another survive as the façade of white suburban life is shattered by war?


“A compelling and captivating read. The story is a fascinating weave of black and white characters. I loved it despite scenes that deeply disturbed me, having been through those times. Tina Beattie has captured an essence of the time with precise and knowledgeable detail.” (Angus Shaw, Zimbabwean writer and war correspondent)

Between Two Rivers_Cover.jpg

Publication date 28 February 2022

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