Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller/ Online

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Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller

Looking for something different to do this month? What could be more exciting than exploring new ideas and worlds with their creators? At the Hungerford Bookshop, they are believers in opening up book discussion and giving their customers access to the many brilliant authors out there. Take a look at some of the acclaimed writers we have hosted over the years. Their events are usually  held at one of the fantastic (and often historic) local venues in Hungerford and ticket prices often include money off the title being discussed and a glass (or two) of wine.

If the life you have always known is taken from you in an instant? What would you do to get it back?

Twins Jeanie and Julius have always been different from other people. At 51 years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation and poverty. Inside the walls of their old cottage they make music, and in the garden they grow (and sometimes kill) everything they need for sustenance.

But when Dot dies suddenly, threats to their livelihood start raining down. Jeanie and Julius would do anything to preserve their small sanctuary against the perils of the outside world, even as their mother's secrets begin to unravel, putting everything they thought they knew about their lives at stake. Unsettled Ground is a heart-stopping novel of betrayal and resilience, love and survival.

It is a portrait of life on the fringes of society that explores with dazzling emotional power how we can build our lives on broken foundations, and spin light from darkness.

This is an informal evening to learn about Claire's writing, hear her read from her new novel, ask questions and hear some songs from the book played by Henry Ayling.

Claire Fuller’s first novel, Our Endless Numbered Dayswon the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize, her second, Swimming Lessons was shortlisted for the Encore prize, and her third, Bitter Orange was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. Claire also writes flash fiction and short stories. Many have been published, and she has won the BBC Opening Lines short story competition, and the Royal Academy / Pin Drop prize. Her fourth novel, Unsettled Ground, set in a fictional village on the North Wessex Downs, and will be published on March 25th.

Visit their website for other authors

April 1st: Jeffrey Archer Live Book Talk for Turn A Blind Eye

Jeffrey Archer talks about his newly released book Turn a Blind Eye - the third instalment in the gripping story of Detective Inspector William Warwick, by the master storyteller and Sunday Times number one bestselling author of the Clifton Chronicles. William Warwick, now a Detective Inspector, is tasked with a dangerous new line of work, to go undercover and expose crime of another kind: corruption at the heart of the Metropolitan Police Force. His team is focused on following Detective Jerry Summers, a young officer whose lifestyle appears to exceed his income.

But as a personal relationship develops with a member of William's team, it threatens to compromise the whole investigation. Meanwhile, a notorious drug baron goes on trial, with the prosecution case led by William's father and sister. And William's wife Beth, now a mother to twins, renews an old acquaintance who appears to have turned over a new leaf, or has she?As the undercover officers start to draw the threads together, William realises that the corruption may go deeper still, and more of his colleagues than he first thought might be willing to turn a blind eye.

You will be able to ask questions after the talk. Your ticket includes a signed copy of the book.

Online

In a devastating moment of clarity, Margery Benson abandons her dead-end job and advertises for an assistant to accompany her on an expedition. She is going to travel to the other side of the world to search for a beetle that may or may not exist.

Enid Pretty, in her unlikely pink travel suit, is not the companion Margery had in mind. And yet together they will be drawn into an adventure that will exceed every expectation. They will risk everything, break all the rules, and at the top of a red mountain, discover their best selves.

This is a story that is less about what can be found than the belief it might be found; it is an intoxicating adventure story but it is also about what it means to be a woman and a tender exploration of a friendship that defies all boundaries.

Rachel will be in conversation about Miss Benson’s Beetle to Emma from the bookshop. Readers will have the chance to ask the author questions.

Rachel Joyce is the author of the Sunday Times and international bestsellers The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Perfect, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, The Music Shop and a collection of interlinked short stories, A Snow Garden & Other Stories. Her new novel, Miss Benson’s Beetle, is out in paperback on April 1st. She moved to writing after a long career as an actor, performing leading roles for the RSC, the National Theatre and Cheek by Jowl. She lives with her family in Gloucestershire.

The gripping story of an epic battle at sea, from one of Britain’s most acclaimed historians of war. In August 1942, beleaguered Malta was within weeks of surrender to the Axis, because its 300,000 people could no longer be fed. Churchill made a personal decision that at all costs, the ‘island fortress’ must be saved.

Operation Pedestal describes catastrophic ship sinkings, including that of the aircraft-carrier Eagle, together with struggles to rescue survivors and salvage stricken ships. Most moving of all is the story of the tanker Ohio, indispensable to Malta’s survival, victim of countless Axis attacks. In the last days of the battle, the ravaged hulk was kept under way only by two destroyers, lashed to her sides.

Max Hastings describes this as one of the most extraordinary tales he has ever recounted. Join us on Zoom at 7:30pm on May 17th for a presentation that includes video from the Imperial War Museum, followed by the opportunity to ask Max questions live.

Tickets £25 (includes a signed copy of the book – get in touch if you would like a dedicated copy). Access only £5