Fiction - new or old - that we think is well worth reading
The Year without Summer by Guinevere Glasfurd
We think: A convincing vision of the past
The Year Without Summer is the story of six separate lives, connected only by an event many thousands of miles away. The year is 1815 and Indonesia's Mount Tambora explodes in a cataclysmic eruption, killing thousands. As the ash cloud rises and covers the sun, the seasons will fail. The narrative weave stretches from Switzerland, where Mary Shelley finds dark inspiration as thousands of famine refugees stream past her door, to Suffolk, where the ambitious and lovesick painter John Constable struggles to reconcile the idyllic England he paints with the misery that surrounds him. Rebellion is in the air.
We were lucky to have Guinevere speak at one of our Literary Lounge events about her first novel, The Words in My Hand, which tells the reimagined true story of Helena Jans, a Dutch maid in 17th century Amsterdam who has an affair with the philosopher Rene Descartes. - and we look forward to welcoming her back before too long!