We are proud that East Anglia is buzzing with distinguished authors.
Here are a few suggestions of their books to enjoy.
In a luxury lodge on Botswana’s sunny plains four friends, once known as the Wild Girls, reunite for a birthday celebration. Arriving at the lodge a feeling of unease settles over them. There’s no sign of the promised party. There is no phone signal. They’re alone, in the wild. Phoebe Morgan’s latest book is an atmospheric thriller of secrets, lies and betrayals. Phoebe ran a "how to get published" workshop at our 2019 Festival.
Howard and Kitty have moved to Lodeshill from London; now their marriage is wordlessly falling apart. Jamie has lived in the village all his life and dreams of leaving it, while Jack, a vagrant farm-worker arrives in the village, bringing change. All four of them are struggling to find a life in the modern countryside.
At Hawthorn Time, shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2015 is a heartbreaking exploration of love, land and loss.
In 1649, Jan Brunt, a Dutchman, arrives in England to work on draining the Great Level, an expanse of marsh in the fen country. Here he meets Eliza, whose love overturns his ordered vision and whose act of resistance forces him to see the world differently. Jan flees to the New World, where the spirit of avarice is raging. One spring morning a boy delivers a note that prompts him to remember the fens, and confront all that was lost there.
In At the Field's Edge: Adrian Bell And The English Countryside, Richard Hawking brings Adrian Bell’s prescient, beautifully written, and still timely observations about the ecology, economy and culture of the British countryside to a new generation of readers. Largely neglected, Bell’s voice is one we should listen to, coming from one of our greatest writers about farming and rural life. If we pause at the field’s edge with him for a moment, we get a lesson in aesthetic appreciation and about what is disappearing from the countryside.
Before handbags there were tie-on pockets where women carried pencils, thimbles or a lover's picture. Barbara Burman and Ariane Fennetaux have researched the story of this essential accessory of 18th and 19th century life in museums and private collections, letters, accounts of court cases and newspaper advertisements. Pockets were worn by duchesses and country gentry, prostitutes and washerwomen, and immortalised in a children's nursery rhyme.
Kate Keeling moves to Haverscroft House in an attempt to salvage her marriage but Haverscroft’s dark secrets will drive her to question her sanity and her husband, and fatally engulf her family unless she can stop the past repeating itself. In this modern gothic tale, S.A. Harris plays on the expectations of the role of women, the manipulation of their mental health and the risks they will take for their children. It will grip you from the start, and keep you guessing till the end!
In this biography of Eglantine Jebb, Clare Mulley, who has been a frequent speaker at our festival, tells the story of a woman who, though not particularly fond of children herself, nevertheless dedicated her life to establishing Save the Children. Eglantyne Jebb was a brilliant, charismatic, and passionate woman, who moved between drawing-rooms and war zones and was not afraid to defy the law.
Under tennis courts in the ruins of a great abbey archaeologists find the remains of St. Edmund, once venerated as England’s patron saint. Politicians, archaeologists and a reclusive monk all get involved, with St. Edmund himself looking on. Simon Edge mixes ancient and modern, poking fun at Westminster culture and religious cults in a beguiling comedy.
From Liz Trenow, best-selling author of The Last Telegram and The Silk Weaver, comes The Secrets of the Lake (May 2021) inspired by her Suffolk roots and the mysterious local legend of the Wormingford. The novel features a young woman in the 1950s, exploring how traumas of war reverberate through succeeding generations and how a community is rocked by the disappearance of a young Down’s Syndrome boy.