I was contacted a few weeks ago by Diana Rendeki who belongs to the Thursday Book Club based in Ashford. She had picked my book The Return of the Courtesan for their next meeting and I was thrilled. I sent her an adapted version of a talk I gave recently at The Alderney Literary Festival about some of the real life characters that appear in my book: Titian, Pietro Aretino and Veronica Franco. It also gave some information about Venice in the sixteenth century, the setting for the historical part of the book. I also sent the group post cards of The Man with the Blue Sleeve and some pictures of Aretino and Veronica Franco. It was fun for me to be involved in this way. After all where would writers be without their readers?
The evening before they met Diana sent me this wonderful photo of a cake she had made.
I was so thrilled! There is the lovely Man with the Blue Sleeve sitting in a very beautiful black and gold gondola and floating above the delicate blue and gold bodice of the courtesan. I don’t think any book I have written has ever inspired a cake before. And since I am a devotee of cake I felt envious of their meeting…
They then also sent me this photo of the group on the night and gave me written feedback about the book:
Diána: “I loved every single page of this beautiful novel. I am glad that I recommended it to the Book Club Members; it was lovely to hear from them that they enjoyed it and treasured it as much as I did.”Rachel C.: “Fabulous book, off to Venice in June.”Steph: “A fantastic read, I liked the combination of the old and the present day, as I read I kept thinking about how the different stories would link together. Made me want to visit Venice sooner rather than later! “Barbara: “I enjoyed it but always struggle when there are so many “time zones” in a book.”Alison: “I was swept up in the beautiful setting, history and story lines. I was sad when it ended – great book.”Clair: “This book was so refreshingly different, it was so rich it was like drinking fine wine, full of colour, culture and heart warming characters that you really rooted for!”Maddy: “I really enjoyed this book! It was a beautifully written look at humanity and all that binds us together. Loved it!xx”Lindsey: “I thought the writing was so evocative of the time and place – I was lucky enough to visit Venice last summer and that really helped me to picture some of the scenes. A thoroughly absorbing read. “
It was altogether a lovely experience for me to be involved with them. So hurrah for book clubs, the Thursday Book Club in particular and a big thank you to Diana for getting in touch with me in the first place.
Are you in a book club?