An extraordinary painting, illicit love and the devastating consequences of war make up The Arnolfini Connection, a new historical novel by Brenda Turner.

Brenda Turner lives in Edgware and was inspired to write this book after discovering her Jewish grandparents originated from Vilnius.

They migrated to west London in the late 19th century. Another family connection mentioned her father’s family was part of the Catholic Polish aristocracy, also from Vilnius. This sparked Brenda’s interest in researching the city’s history.

Brenda says: “This story emphasises the power of human resilience to overcome adversity.”

Vilnius, also known as the Jerusalem of Lithuania, has been fought over for centuries. With tensions in the city running high, a clandestine love affair between two young members of disparate families leads to a vicious attack.

Forced to live apart in Vilnius and London, their lives are then shattered by events beyond their control, when the extraordinary becomes horrifyingly normal during the Second World War. Their only link is a shared passion for a fifteenth century Renaissance painting.

Can this be the key to their reconnection?

Published by The Book Guild.