It’s publication day for ‘Swimming Lessons’ by Claire Fuller – So here’s a #Giveaway to celebrate!

happy-publication-day

HUGE THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO ENTERED OR SHARED THE SWIMMING LESSONS PUBLICATION DAY POST, YOU’VE ALL BEEN WONDERFUL!

THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED AND THE WINNER HAS BEEN NOTIFIED.

swimming-lessons-by-claire-fullerIn case you hadn’t guessed from the MAHOOSIVE hint in the title of this post, Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller is published TODAY!

During November 2016 I had the privilege of reviewing an ARC for this title and it surpassed all of my expectations – my review is here.

As Swimming Lessons is easily one of the most wonderful books sitting on my shelf it would be my pleasure to offer someone else the opportunity to own a copy too.

So, here are the details of a little giveaway

the-giveaway

HOW TO ENTER

To be in with a chance of winning a brand new hardback copy of Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller, courtesy of Little Bookness Lane:

  • Just get in touch to let me know that you’d like your name thrown in the hat – either comment below, tweet #SwimmingLessons @BooknessLane, or send an email to littlebookness@gmail.com

RULES

  • This giveaway is open to followers of Little Bookness Lane (via Twitter or this blog).
  • Open Internationally – providing the Book Depository ships to your country please feel free to enter!
  • Entries will be accepted up to midnight on Friday, 27th January 2017.
  • One winner will be chosen at random and contacted shortly after the closing date for a postal address, so the Book Depository can ship their prize!

Oh, and should you need convincing why you need Swimming Lessons in your life the book summary is below…

book-summary-small

The second novel from the author of Our Endless Numbered Days, which won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize and was a 2016 Richard and Judy Book Club Pick.

‘Gil Coleman looked down from the window and saw his dead wife standing on the pavement below.’

Gil’s wife, Ingrid has been missing, presumed drowned, for twelve years.

A possible sighting brings their children, Nan and Flora, home. Together they begin to confront the mystery of their mother. Is Ingrid dead? Or did she leave? And do the letters hidden within Gil’s books hold the answer to the truth behind his marriage, a truth hidden from everyone including his own children? 

Click here to see the hardback in all its glory…

GOOD LUCK!

Book Review: Swimming Lessons, by Claire Fuller #SwimmingLessons

Publisher: Fig Tree (Penguin Books UK)

Publication Date:  26th January 2017

swimming-lessons-my-review

swimming-lessons-by-claire-fullerSwimming Lessons has  a distinctive grace – the enchanting quality of such exquisite writing is nothing short of an emotional ambush. It’s so tragically beautiful, flawless, magnificent even, I’m confident that when the cover is closed all of the words must huddle together in the dark to comfort each other.

Twelve years have passed since Ingrid disappeared from the Beach outside the Coleman’s home. It was 1992 when she stepped out of the house one day to never return from her swim, leaving a husband, two daughters and distorted memories of their family life in her wake.

So much time has elapsed and yet Gil thinks he sees her, his Ingrid, looking up at him through a book shop window where he tries to desperately retrieve the volumes his daughter has hastily donated. Before he can overthink anything, other than clutching a letter from Ingrid and the book he is holding at the time, he chases her down the street. But when he finds she has vanished he takes a nasty tumble and a trip to the hospital to deliriously recover from his ordeal.

Ingrid’s letters consume him. These intimate, soul searching letters that she creatively slipped between the pages of Gil’s precious book collection to join the random jottings already scrawled in the margins by their original owners, and keep them hidden from her children. Gil could probably tell you more about the minds of a thousand anonymous readers defacing his copies of literature than he could about his wife. But so much changed with the strokes of Ingrid’s pen.

Leading up to what would be her final swim on the Dorset Beach outside their home Ingrid tried to keep her head above water and she writes about their passion, the regrets, the betrayal, and the unexpected defeat of her efforts as her life frayed further around the edges. It would be as though her words were carved on her heart rather than paper.

Gil’s children have grown and are oblivious to the twelve year old mystery that is unravelling.  The younger daughter, Flora, continues to reach for the minutest optimism that all will be well, along with the memories of a delightful childhood, the trips to the beach, the misremembered moments they shared and can smile about. The eldest, and by far the more down to earth of the two, Nanette, recalls raising her unruly sister single-handed, taking on her mother’s role at the grand old age of fifteen and unselfishly sacrificing most of her life to the difficult circumstances imposed upon her.

Every raw and touching detail harvested from the Coleman’s turbulent lives is delicately mined with finesse, making Swimming Lessons quite possibly the most perfect book I have had the privilege of holding this year. Sometimes it’s not just about letting go but learning to, which is easier said than done on this occasion as I didn’t want to put this one down.

Rating: Sheer perfection/5

(I received an ARC of this title from the author and publisher with my thanks, and this is my unbiased review.)

swimming-lessons-book-summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

The second novel from the author of Our Endless Numbered Days, which won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize and was a 2016 Richard and Judy Book Club Pick.

‘Gil Coleman looked down from the window and saw his dead wife standing on the pavement below.’

Gil’s wife, Ingrid has been missing, presumed drowned, for twelve years.

A possible sighting brings their children, Nan and Flora, home. Together they begin to confront the mystery of their mother. Is Ingrid dead? Or did she leave? And do the letters hidden within Gil’s books hold the answer to the truth behind his marriage, a truth hidden from everyone including his own children?

BUY THE BOOK

swimming-lessons-author-profile

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Claire Fuller’s debut novel, Our Endless Numbered Days, was published by Tin House in 2015 and went on to win the Desmond Elliott prize in the UK and was a finalist in the ABA Indies Choice Award, an IndieNext pick, and chosen as a Goodreads Debut Spotlight.

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P.S. Look out for my publication day post on 26th January 2017 where I will be running a little giveaway to celebrate this wonderful book!

PAPERBACK RELEASE DAY TODAY! Our Endless Numbered Days, by Claire Fuller

Our Endless Numbered Days - Feature image

Hi, everyone!

I hope you’ve had a truly wonderful Christmas.

I’m so glad you’ve taken a little break to stop by, as the lovely folks at Penguin contacted me earlier this month to ask if I would like to share my review of Our Endless Numbered Days to coincide with its paperback release date today. It goes without saying that I’m delighted to oblige! I read this book back in March 2015 and I still recall it’s haunting quality.

Well, after this post it’s bye for now. Here’s wishing each and everyone of you a happy and peaceful New Year – hope to see you in 2016!

All the best,

Wendy sig


Publisher: Fig Tree (Penguin)  |  Publication Date: Paperback 31st December 2015

Our Endless Numbered Days - My Review

“What’s a Hutte?” I asked. “A magical place in the forest,” my father said with a catch in his voice. “Our very own little cabin, with wooden walls, and wooden floors, and wooden shutters at the windows…”

Our Endless Numbered Days Paperback CopyLittle Peggy would have quite innocently followed in her father’s footsteps to the end of the world and back again. Never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined what that could come to mean…

Her keen survivalist father had allowed her to camp at the bottom of the garden of their house in London, live in a rickety tent and cook over an open fire. He’d even shown her how to live off the land.

With her famous Germanic pianist mother, Ute, away from home, she had left her husband in sole charge of their daughter, which meant that Peggy could enjoy this ‘outdoor’ life even more; not having to bathe, foraging for food and the mock drills in case of dire emergency.

At just ten years old she unwittingly exchanged the comforts of her home in London for a remote and uninviting wilderness, a place her father explained would be a haven for their family and that her mother would be joining them soon.

But their short stay in ‘die Hutte’ stretched into nine long years and differed greatly from the sanctuary her father had promised.

There was just the two of them, as her father cruelly told her that the rest of the world did not exist anymore and that they were the only survivors. Trusting him as she did, she believed every word he spoke, that is until she became mesmerised by a mysterious wild man called Rueben whose name had been etched in their cabin…

Leaving home as a child in 1976 and returning as a young woman in 1985, Peggy has to confront a whole new set of challenges. Even though the story moves backwards and forwards through both time periods it’s seamlessly blended.

This incredible portrayal of Peggy’s difficult journey into adulthood under ‘gut-kicking’ circumstances is written in the most incredible way. Even with its disturbing undercurrent, which started as a trickle being dripped into the chapters, it’s a book I would highly recommend. I just had to keep on reading until I discovered how she arrived home again, if she would be safe and what would happen to her.

It’s one of those books you will read that will hold your attention until the very last page, and will continue to linger in your mind long after you’ve closed its haunting cover.

5/5

(This review was written after reading my own hardback copy of this title in March 2015.)

Our Endless Numbered Days - Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

WINNER OF THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE 2015

‘Fuller handles the tension masterfully in this grown-up thriller of a fairytale, full of clues, questions and intrigue.’ – The Times

‘Extraordinary…From the opening sentence it is gripping’ – Sunday Times

1976: Peggy Hillcoat is eight. She spends her summer camping with her father, playing her beloved record of The Railway Children and listening to her mother’s grand piano, but her pretty life is about to change.

Her survivalist father, who has been stockpiling provisions for the end which is surely coming soon, takes her from London to a cabin in a remote European forest. There he tells Peggy the rest of the world has disappeared.

Her life is reduced to a piano which makes music but no sound, a forest where all that grows is a means of survival. And a tiny wooden hut that is Everything.

BUY THE BOOK

Our Endless Numbered Days - Author Bio

(Courtesy of Author’s Website)

I’m a novelist and short fiction writer. For my first degree I studied sculpture at Winchester School of Art, specialising in wood and stone carving. I began writing fiction at the age of 40, after many years working as a co-director of a marketing agency. I have a Masters (distinction) in Creative and Critical Writing from The University of Winchester.

My first novel, Our Endless Numbered Days is published in the UK by Fig Tree / Penguin, by House of Anansi in Canada, Tin House in the US, Editions Stock in France, Keter Books in Israel, and will be published in Italy, the Netherlands, Taiwan, and Turkey in the coming months.

It won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize for debut fiction, and was nominated for the Edinburgh First Book Award.

My second novel, Swimming Lessons, will be published in the UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) also by Fig Tree / Penguin at the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017.

I am represented by Jane Finigan from Lutyens & Rubinstein.

I live in Winchester with my husband and two children.

CONNECT WITH CLAIRE FULLER

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