Buy the Book


It was the day before Valentine’s Day and Rose was on a train, speeding through the misty Kent countryside with her passport in her bag, her phone in her pocket and her grandad on the seat opposite, snoring gently. Rose hoped he wasn’t going to dribble.
She stifled a yawn and looked around the compartment at the other passengers, trying to imagine who they were and what their lives were like. She often did this when she was sitting on a train or bus and had nothing else to do. It stopped her getting bored. Or thinking about other stuff.
Her eyes rested on a smartly dressed woman across the aisle, working on her laptop. She lived on her own, Rose decided, in an amazing flat overlooking the river, but secretly longed to move to the country and breed guinea pigs. And the smug, pink-faced businessman opposite, who looked like he’d been over-inflated with a bicycle pump – he didn’t know his teenage daughter had just got her tongue pierced and his son was keeping a snake in a shoebox under his bed.

About the book

When fifteen-year-old Rose visits Belgium, she can feel the deep scars left there by the Great War.

But when she hears the sound of marching late at night, she does not expect to see the ghosts of the past from her window …

Rose’s granddad takes her on a trip to Ypres, Belgium, to visit the graves of those who died in the Great War. It’s the day before Valentine’s Day, but Rose can sense the shattered old city beneath the chocolate-box new.

And it seems that it can sense her too.

When she goes up to her room that night, she hears the sound of marching feet and glimpses from her window a young soldier on his way to the front line …

Share this:

Press reviews

“‘Massively recommended, a really stunning read … a hugely powerful novel.”


“A moving exploration of the war’s impact resonating down the years.”


“This book packs a powerful emotional punch in just 150 pages as it combines grief, love and the reality of the trenches … This is a beautifully written story...”


Author notes

‘I’ve always loved ghost stories, I’ve always loved love stories and I’ve always loved stories where the past and the present collide. Valentine Joe’s story gave me the chance to combine all three. Perfect!’


If you liked Valentine Joe, why not try ...




Germany, Netherlands, UK Audio