Travel Mysteries
Author of Historical and Romantic Novels and Sagas about life in the North East of England

The Darkening Skies

Travel Mysteries



Janet MacLeod Trotter

Janet MacLeod Trotter

email: janet@janet


The Darkening Skies




Second in the Durham Mining Trilogy

*An Amazon Kindle Bestseller*

Published by MacLeod Trotter Books

  • Available in paperback ISBN 978-1-908359-10-0
  • Available as an ebook ISBN 978-1-908359-09-4
  • Available in Large Print (published by Magna) ISBN 0-7505-2460-X
  • Available in audio (published by Soundings) ISBN 1-84559-127-5

The Darkening Skies is a sequel to The Hungry Hills and continues the story of the fictitious mining community in County Durham, following the fortunes of the Dimarcos, an Italian family caught on the 'wrong side' at the outbreak of the Second World War.

The once popular, and accepted ice-cream parlour owners, face increasing hostility and the novel illustrates the harsh treatment that Italians faced as they were indiscriminately rounded up and interred, their shops attacked and their families left to struggle on alone. With its vivid backdrop of a pit-town strained by the tensions of war, The Darkening Skies is a vibrant and moving story of conflicting loyalties, passions and cultures.

Janet: "This was inspired by stories I had heard about the harsh treatment that Italians faced during the war in this country after emigrating here in the 1900's. Despite the fact that most did not have any allegiance to the fascists in Italy and indeed a whole generation had been born and brought up in this country they were indiscriminately rounded up and interred, their shops attacked and their families left to struggle on alone. At the heart of it is a bitter-sweet love story."

Reviewers Comments:

"A moving and well written tale, The Darkening Skies continues the story of the people who live in the fictitious mining community of Whitton Grange. Janet convincingly portrays the rising tide of hate that engulfs the village...There is a good deal of worry, misery and poverty. But there is also courage, warmth, and, above all hope that things can only get better. With the coal mines largely a thing of the past in the North East, The Darkening Skies acts as a timely reminder of a way of life that will soon be all but forgotten."
The Newcastle Journal

"This rich slice of pit-town life shows a world which is all but forgotten."
Northern Echo

"Her latest novel paints an all-too realistic picture of what life must have been like in the Durham pit villages as the Depression wore on and the spectre of war reared its ugly head." Newcastle Journal

Readers Comments:

I have just finished reading The Darkening Skies - it's a rare treat to find one of your books in the library. I enjoyed it very much. The story was enthralling and by the end of the book I felt as though I knew some of the characters personally. The relationship between Sara and Joe was particularly poignant.
J.H. - Louth, England.

I have so enjoyed The Darkening Skies. It was an enthralling saga and so true to life of that era. Also knowing the area so well made it more special for me. - I could visualise the road from Durham to Stanhope and Kilhope Wheel. The Hungry Hills is very popular too and has passed around various friends and family. Thank you for autographing my book, nice to have when you are as famous as Catherine Cookson!!
B - Lincoln England

I have just finished reading your book The Darkening Skies and enjoyed it enormously. I was fascinated by the Dimarco family who reminded me so much of my own relations. My maiden name was Demarc and my parents originally came from Cassino and owned various ice cream cafes in Swansea and Glasgow my parents had very similar experiences to those in your book. I look forward to reading more of your books.
R.N. - Herts, England.

Unfortunately I couldn't wait to read The Darkening Skies and Never Stand Alone between my studies as you suggested and ended up finishing both before I finished my vacation. They were both excellent although I have to admit I cried a lot at the end of The Darkening Skies.
K.M. - Toronto, Canada.

I have now read your The Darkening Skies...I found it most impressive. The characters seem to me convincing. You give what I am sure is a true as well as an engagingly vivid picture of life in a mining village of County Durham; and you show a fine and sympathetic understanding of human nature. Your bringing out so vividly both of the hardships and the persistent courage of the miners and their families is a most valuable memorial of community life which in these last decades has been heartlessly destroyed. The Darkening Skies is a worthy sequel to The Hungry Hills. I hope that both of them will have the success they certainly deserve, and that you will be encouraged to write more equally humane novels.
C - Durham, England.

I am getting great pleasure reading The Darkening Skies ...I hope that number three will soon be in the bookshops.
M - Durham, England.

I spotted The Darkening Skies in a book shop...and read it with great interest and enjoyment. You captured the interest immediately and maintained it all the way through - very clever!
S - Durham, England.

I think your new book is wonderful. When will the next one be published? Congratulations.
G.J. - Burley, England.

I have just finished reading the fantastic novel 'The Darkening Skies' and I must say that I found your novel impossible to put down. You have written a story about prejudice, hatred and passion and you've managed to make me chuckle as well as shed a tear. You clearly are one of the genre's best writers. I hope that you keep producing more great books.
J.D.B. - Malta.

If you would like to write to Janet by e-mail with your comments about this or any other book, please use this e-mail link:


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