posted Jun 19, 2009, 8:54 AM by Vu Nguyen
updated Jun 19, 2009, 9:19 AM
This title is in stock
May 2009 Book of the Month.
A lovely book full of nostalgia and warmth. Jessie’s story is set in
the 1970’s and finds her coping with a family life that is breaking
down around her. In the letters she finds from Edith, a female explorer
in the 1930’s we find another life, very different from Jessie’s, but
still coping with the same worries and relationship problems. This will
make you laugh and cry and laugh a bit more. Thoroughly enjoyable.
'Edith's house interested us from the beginning'
and inviting, Jessie and Margaret are drawn to their reclusive
neighbour's house. It offers an escape from the dreary summer of 1977
and their fragile family life, into a world they can only dream about.
When the house suddenly burns down at the same time as their mother
moves out to live with her new boyfriend, and their father develops an
unhealthy crush on a woman in their street, life seems bleak for the
Escaping the claustrophobia of family life isn't easy, until the
story of an eccentric and beautiful female explorer from the 1930s
unfolds in a series of letters. In these letters she tells stories of
far-flung places, secrets, doomed love and adventure. Her determination
to live life to the full, risking everything cares about, holds untold
consequences for all of them.
About the Author
was born and raised in Ilford, East London. In the mid nineties, after
years of singing into hair brushes and working in dead end jobs, she
found fame as lead singer with the pop band Sleeper and went on to
record three top ten albums and eight top forty singles. She is now a
full time author and mother of two.
Photograph © Debra Hurford Brown
Below is a Q & A with this author.
What's the first book you remember reading : The Snow Queen
by Hans Christian Anderson. I rented it from the library every week for
months when I was about six. I remember finding it scary each time I
read it but loving it just the same. The imagery is quite creepy and
claustrophobic and for as long as I can remember, I've always hated the
snow. I think it must be partly down to this fairy tale.
Where do you write?
At home at the kitchen table, or on the sofa with laptop balanced on my
knee. We have an attic room in our house that was meant to be a work
room for me, but I'm married to a drummer who owns three drum kits.
They take up all available work space.
What's your "writing day" like?
It really varies. Before I had kids I used to be very relaxed about it.
I'd wander down to the local coffee shop around ten, buy a latte and a
paper, come back, open the computer, answer email, Google for a bit,
then write for the afternoon as soon as I was into the flow. These days
I start writing the minute I'm kid free and barely look up from the
computer until they're back. Time is much more precious now and I have
to be able to switch into work mode right away. I wrote a lot of Worldwide Adventures while my youngest was napping. The one rule I've always stuck to is to try and write 1000 words a day.
songs and writing novels are very different, do you prefer one to the
other? Songwriting comes in sharp bursts and can be incredibly quick
from start to finish. We had hit songs that took less than an hour to
write and I always felt that the best songs came when I didn't over
think them. Writing a novel it's a much slower burn and the refinement
process is very much longer. I can't pick between them. It's thrilling
to write a good tune but coming to the end of a novel feels like you've
climbed a small mountain.
Who do you most admire and why? Tyra Banks for giving America's Next Top Model to the world.
If your house was burning down what would you save?
Apart from husband kids and cat, not much. Photos, perhaps, or the
guitar I always played in Sleeper. I'm insanely sentimental, but more
about places than mementos and material things. On reflection it would
probably have to be my daughter's Peppa Pig tea set. It's her favourite