Books & films
Beyond Summerland Novel, 2024
Jersey 1945. In the immediate aftermath of Liberation from the Nazis, Jean Parris and her family wait anxiously for news of her deported father.
But now a different kind of war is unleashed - a war amongst the islanders themselves. And as Jean, now a young woman, begins to question everything, she soon discovers not only the truth about her family, but the full implication of her own deceptions.
Beyond Summerland is a page-turning story of ordinary people in extraordinary times, and a tale of long-buried family secrets. It explores suspicion and prejudice, female friendship, and the fictions we cling to when we cannot afford to let them go; it is also a story of survival and the dangers of finding oneself on the wrong side of history.
The Girl From The Channel Islands Novel, re-publication, 2022
Lecoat’s debut novel, The Girl From The Channel Islands, was originally published in the UK by Polygon in 2020, and re-published in 2022. It made both the New York Times and Der Spiegel bestseller lists in 2021, and is now published in thirteen territories:
UK (Polygon), USA & Canada (HarperCollins), Australia (Allen & Unwin), Argentina (El Ateneo), France (Mercure de France), Germany (Bastei Lubbi), Sweden (Historiska Media), Norway (Aschehoug), Poland (Proszynski), Israel (Modan), Portugal (Porto), Czech Republic (Moba), Romania (Prestige)
The book is based on the true story of Hedy Bercu, a young Jewish girl who fled to Jersey from Vienna to escape the Nazis, only to find herself once more trapped when the Germans invaded in 1940. The story of her struggle to survive the five year Occupation, involving a relationship with a German officer and eighteen months hidden away in the home of local woman Dorothea Le Brocq, is an extraordinary tale of terror, courage and forbidden love.
…a vividly evoked story of love surviving, even triumphing, over oppression
…a compelling and beautifully written fictionalised account
…a captivating, heartfelt and rewarding debut…stimulating, emotional and engaging
Lecoat capably combines historical fact with the fictional narrative, and offers a cast rich with multidimensional characters. Readers will be riveted.
An unforgettable tale of friendship, love, courage and survival. I loved every word of this fantastically engrossing novel. Jenny Lecoat is an author to watch!
The Girl from the Channel Islands springs to life with cinematic clarity. With the story’s every dramatic turn, Lecoat raises profound questions about our understanding of trust, friend, and foe.
Another Mother’s Son Feature Film, 2017
Lecoat began the research for this project in 2012 as a way to tell the story of her great aunt Louisa Gould, who sheltered an escaped Russian slave worker from the German forces on Nazi-occupied Jersey.
Betrayed (the family believed) by neighbours, her great uncle Harold was deported to Germany, eventually becoming the only British survivor of Bergen Belsen, whilst Louisa herself met her death in the gas chamber of Ravensbrüch.
The feature film, portraying the relationship between Louisa Gould and the young Russian slave worker whose life she saved, starred Jenny Seagrove, Julian Kostov, John Hannah, Amanda Abbington and Ronan Keating. Produced by Bill Kenwright Films it was released in UK cinemas, receiving huge press attention and praise from many reviewers.
…heartfelt, robustly presented drama
The strength of Lecoat’s script, and of Menaul’s direction, is the almost total avoidance of melodrama… shrewdly placed details bring a neglected aspect of WWII vividly to life.
…an accurate and absorbing account… I do urge you to see a film which chronicles such an overlooked chapter of World War II.
Diana — Last Days of a Princess Television drama-documentary, 2007
This television drama-documentary by Dangerous Films, combining real footage of the princess, interviews with news journalists and dramatized scenes from her final weeks, was released to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Diana’s death.
The scripted sections, written by Lecoat, were heavily informed by the Paget report carried out by the Metropolitan Police in the investigation of her death. The film, starring Genevieve O’Reilly and Patrick Baladi, was shown in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, U.S., Australia, Russia and India.