As I file my latest rejection (actually quite a nice one, writing lovely don’t like the book kind of one) I thought I would share with you some of the successes of my fellow travellers along the wordsmith’s path.
First up is The Drowning of Arthur Braxton by Caroline Smailes which is currently waiting for me behind the till at my local (independent) bookshop. This is Caroline’s sixth book and was published only last week. So get your first edition now!
Arthur Braxton runs away from school. He hides out in an abandoned building, an Edwardian public baths. He finds a naked woman swimming in the pool. From this point on, nothing will ever be the same. The Drowning of Arthur Braxton is an unflinching account of the pain and trauma of adolescence, of how first love can transform the most unhappy of lives into something miraculous.
During one long, hot summer, five-year-old Pea and her little sister Margot play alone in the meadow behind their house, on the edge of a small village in Southern France. Her mother is too sad to take care of them; she left her happiness in the hospital, along with the baby. Pea’s father has died in an accident and Maman, burdened by her double grief and isolated from the village by her Englishness, has retreated to a place where Pea cannot reach her – although she tries desperately to do so.
Then Pea meets Claude, a man who seems to love the meadow as she does and who always has time to play. Pea believes that she and Margot have found a friend, and maybe even a new papa. But why do the villagers view Claude with suspicion? And what secret is he keeping in his strange, empty house?
Nora has come home to the Sussex coast where, every dawn, she runs along the creek path to the sea. In the half-light, fragments of cello music crash around in her mind, but she casts them out – it’s more than a year since she performed in public. There are memories she must banish in order to survive: a charismatic teacher with gold-flecked eyes, a mistake she cannot unmake. At home her mother Ada is waiting: a fragile, bitter woman who distils for herself a glamorous past as she smokes French cigarettes in her unkempt garden.
In the village of Bosham the future is invading. A charming young documentary maker has arrived to shoot a film about King Cnut and his cherished but illegitimate daughter, whose body is buried under the flagstones of the local church. As Jonny disturbs the fabric of the village, digging up tales of ancient battles and burials, the threads lead back to home, and Ada and Nora find themselves face to face with the shameful secrets they had so carefully buried.
One day, Nora finds a half-dead fledgeling in a ditch. She brings him home and, over the hot summer months, cradles Rook back to life.
Finally, though not a novel, this is the first book I bought by a fellow blogger and twitter friend. I have cooked almost all the recipes and not one single one has been duff (something that in my experience thus far only Good Housekeeping, Delia Smith and a handful of other cookery writers can claim).Prepped by Vanessa Kimbell is one of those rare cookery books that is a delight to read and a pleasure to use. I also love the way that it is divided up by flavour. My copy is divided up by bookmarks for our favourite recipes!
To all the others, like me, collecting rejection slips I hope to be able to include you in the next list 🙂