Born: London, 1999

Currently lives: Grandparents’ apartment in Dubrovnik’s old town

Current job: Manager of The Welcoming Bookshop

Favourite book: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – loved it as a child, and it’s still a favourite comfort read.

Favourite pastry: Bucnica – fast food Dubrovnik style – butternut squash and cheese strudel, served with a dollop of sour cream.

Dream way to spend Sunday afternoon: eating a roast dinner with her family.

Greatest extravagance: Books. Then more books.

Most pressing problem: How to get through the working day without catching Covid again.

Quality most valued in a friend: Loyalty

First kiss: Aged fourteen at a school disco with a boy she didn’t fancy but didn’t want to be unkind to.

Contents of her handbag: Antibac liquid, antibac wipes, mask, packed lunch – homemade by her gran, purse, phone, lip gloss… and another bottle of antibac, just in case.

The story so far:

After finishing her degree in English Literature, Claire was offered a job at top London bookstore, Foyles. While she absolutely loved working there, she was saving hard to follow her dream of travelling the world, working as a volunteer on literacy programmes. When Covid struck she was one of the first casualties. Long Covid followed, which it took her fifteen months to recover from and left her terrified of catching the disease again. Seeing that life was passing Claire by, her grandmother Fran, a Dubrovnik resident, put her forward for the bookshop job, which made Claire feel that she had to take it.