The Time Mosaic

Book Cover


Contemporary,Across Centuries

Susan Durst

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A captivating historical novel and family saga spanning four centuries, a dramatic tale of back-breaking labour and raw ambition, oppression and revolt as generations of Robertsons struggle to survive through civil war and religious persecution to the grinding poverty of the Tyneside pit village.


Family,Historical Fiction

Short Summary

A chance meeting in Newcastle between TV celebrity Nick Robertson and amateur genealogist Jenny Armstrong is the starting point for a roller-coaster journey through time in search of Nick's Northumbrian roots and a fascinating glimpse into the real lives of Nick's ancestors.

As long-buried family secrets and fragments of the distant past connect to the present, Nick and Jenny's tumultuous love affair finds its own place in the mosaic of time.


Mainly the colliery villages of Tyneside and rural Northumberland

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Rags to Riches,Quest

Plot - Other Elements

Happy Ending,Meaningful Message

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Nick Robertson

Age: 30

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Aspiring,Charming,Confident,Engaging,Heartthrob,Educated,Masculine

Additional Character Details

Name: Jenny Armstrong

Age: 32

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Complex,Educated,Insecure,Outspoken,Skillful,Visionary,Sarcastic

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Development Pitch

The Time Mosaic is an epic panorama spanning four centuries of working class life in Northumberland, weaving together the "mosaic" of past and present against the backdrop of a modern-day romance. The way the book is structured - a contemporary story interspersed with stand-alone tales of characters from the past - makes it easily adaptable to film or TV. As the story unfolds we are drawn into a series of nine vivid portraits of "ordinary" men and women in successive generations of the Robertson family ... a fugitive Scottish soldier during the Civil War, the widow of a Jacobite rebel, a penniless stable lad who emigrates to America, a headstrong Catholic farm labourer whose destiny clashes with his Presbyterian lover, a mutinous runaway child forced to work in a coal mine at the age of 12, a frivolous Victorian housemaid dragged down into prostitution, an articulate schoolmistress fighting for miners rights, a de-mobbed serviceman thrown into the brave new world of post-war England and a clever grammar school kid who breaks free of his Tyneside roots. Set in North East England, the storyline has broad appeal due to its unique mix of social history and human interest. Viewers will identify with the wide range of characters portrayed. But a bigger picture gradually emerges too : it's ordinary people living uneventful lives who make history, billions of colourful fragments in the vast mosaic of time. And the lives of our ancestors remain a vital part of who we are today.

About The Author

Susan Durst grew up in a Tyneside colliery village before leaving Newcastle to take a degree in French at Reading University. She subsequently settled in Paris, where she held various senior management positions in the international travel and tourism sectors. Married with two sons, Susan and her French husband currently live in the Dordogne area of south-western France.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: Austin Macauley

Year Published: 2019 (2018 in self-published version)

Hard Copy Available