It's December 1975 and seventeen-year-old Francesca is about to find out if that which does t kill her will make her strong. Caught in the crossfire of the Indonesian army's brutal invasion of East Timor, she escapes with her life and little else. Arriving on the shores of Indonesian Borneo, she finds herself thrust into an ersatz American small town carved out of the jungle by Constar Oil of Texas. Interwoven in Francesca's journey are a cast of vividly drawn characters - the bored expat brat who befriends her, a divorced fundamentalist missionary bringing Christ to the jungle via Oklahoma, the inept son of a murdered socialist martyr, a former Vietnam War helicopter pilot, an amah who supplements her income turning tricks... Watching over them all is the menacing former Colonel Benny Surika, Constar's Mr. Fixit to whom everyone turns when they need something. Set against a backdrop of endemic political corruption, moral compromise and the pursuit of oil, Francesca is a passionate story of one woman's struggle against overwhelming odds to shape the country that nearly destroyed her.
Donald Finnaeus Mayo was born in London and grew up in Australia and South East Asia, the backdrop for his novel, Francesca. He was educated in England, where he graduated in Politics and Culture. At various times he has worked as a radio journalist for the BBC, a business writer for major corporations, and as a photographer. He currently lives in Hampshire with his wife and three children.