On Sunday, I ventured out of the duvet to the East Riding Festival of Words – thanks to an early Christmas present – and what a day!
I love literary festivals; the bookish atmosphere, listening to the authors’ views about their books and finding out more about them. I planned to go to one event, a talk by Lucinda Riley but the range of authors and topics was too tempting; I saved energy and increased my meds to go to three talks in succession. There was a full day option but common sense kicked in to remind me there are limits to pushing my health.
The House of Fiction: From Pemberley to Brideshead, Great British Houses in literature and life by Phyllis Richardson
First, Phyllis Richardson gave a talk on her new book House of Fiction: From Pemberley to Brideshead, Great British Houses in Literature and Life. Time rapidly whizzed by; it was a topic I could have listened to for hours which is why I have a copy on order. Somehow, I need to find the time to read it between my other books. Houses and location play an important role in fiction. The All Souls Trilogy would not have the same appeal if the Bishop house did not have a personality of its own, Harry Potter needed Hogwarts and Nancherrow created the magic in Rosamunde Pilcher’s Coming Home. These were not discussed but it focused on the well known literary houses of Walpole’s Strawberry Hill, Bronte’s Parsonage, Menabilly and Castle Howard. Apart from Jane Eyre and Rebecca I confess I have not read the authors mentioned but they are on my reading list, I promise.
Next there should be a similar book about the role of libraries in fiction or bookshops.
Lucinda Riley Moon Sister: From the Scottish Highlands to the Alhambra
I love the Seven Sisters series; the concept of seven stories based on the star constellation, The Pleiades grabbed me along with the stunning hard back edition. The midnight blue cover decorated with gold stars drew me to the first book without reading the blurb and by the end I was hooked. Interviewed by her son Harry, it was interesting to hear Lucinda Riley talk about her career, writing style and the fictional seven sisters. Each book is a perfect blend of a present day and historical story as the heritage of the sister is revealed. The Moon Sister is the fifth book and shares Tiggy’s tale. Watch this space for the book review. Even more exciting was having copies of two books signed for my forever shelf.
Emma Burstall and Harriet Evans: Houses by the Sea
The last event was a discussion about the importance of the location by the sea with Harriet Evans, Emma Burstall and Cassandra Parkin as well as writing styles and short readings from their latest novels. I have read Emma Burstall’s Tremarnock series based in Cornwall and a couple of books by Harriet Evans but it was refreshing to hear from an author I had not heard of, Cassandra Parkin. Luckily, The Wildflowers and Underwater Breathing have been added to this week’s library stash.
It was a well organised day and I am grateful for all those involved as I know from experience the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to produce a wonderful event. I can’t wait until next year.
Time to snuggle back under the duvet and read or sleep.