Archive for the ‘from summerhouse to summer read’ Category

My gallery of husbands has vanished

Not Mr S. He’s still very much here. Rather I’m at that strange moment when the novel is ceasing to be mine and ownership is transferring to readers. During the writing process Juliet Montague, Leonard, Freida, Mr and Mrs Greene, Charlie et al were mine alone. It’s an intimate and precious time but I don’t write just for myself, nerve-wracking as it is, I want my stories to be read and that means the book must be handed over to readers. At that moment, the characters aren’t mine any more, they exist in the imagination of each and every reader in hundreds and hopefully thousands of guises. There’s no longer one Juliet but a multitude. It’s exhilarating and terrifying and wonderful.

I shall sip a cold glass of something and watch the gliders and birds and the odd balloon over bulbarrow to calm myself.

balloon over Bulbarrow


You are cordially invited…



I would love it if you my lovely blog readers could come to the Official Launch of ‘The Gallery of Vanished Husbands’ on Sunday 4th August at the Art Stable in Child Okeford, Dorset (details are on the invitation below).

The new novel is structured like a gallery catalogue. It tells the story of an unusual woman’s journey through life, each stage hinged on a portrait. So to tie in with the theme my friend Kelly Ross thought it would be fun to hold the book launch at her wonderful bijoux gallery, The Art Stable, alongside with a special exhibition of portraits of women at every time of life.

The remarkable Henrietta Young is painting a new portrait of her daughter Clementine especially for the show. Her first portrait of Clemmie was painted in 1986 when she was only ten and won a prize at the National Portrait Gallery (Clemmie is the little girl in red on the invitation below). Henrietta painted another when her daughter was 27 and recovering from a serious illness while the latest picture is of Clementine as a mother herself.


The day should be really fun – as well as the book launch and portrait exhibition, James’s Cheese will be holding a tasting, the Gold Hill Organic Farm shop will be open selling their home grown produce as well as serving snacks and the resident glassblowers will be giving demonstrations.


Little S will also be there keeping his grandma’s busy and hunting out mischief.

Countdown to book launch!

I can’t quite believe it but ‘The Gallery of Vanished Husbands’ is out in the UK on August 1st and in the US on August 23rd. To celebrate here is a whole new look for the blog.

And, here are the two covers:

For the UK:

Gallery_CVFa min

And for the US:


What do you think? Both so different and yet gorgeous.

The birth of this book was so different from my other two. Finishing it was a little fraught – Mr S was away in Scotland shooting his movie Not Another Happy Ending – and I was in Dorset hoping that I delivered the manuscript before our first child. I managed. Just. Little S was born a week after I emailed off the first draft.

The edit took place with a very small person snoozing at my feet in his Moses basket or on my shoulder (rather tricky to type like that). The book feels oddly like a family affair.

At the book launch Little S will be nearly one with four teeth. I feel rather weepy and sentimental about the whole thing.