March 10th: The Hiding Game with Naomi Wood

The Hiding Game is an intoxicating story of love and betrayal, set in the Bauhaus art school. Heady, gripping and unforgettable, Naomi Wood’s third novel explores the perils of secrecy in a changing and increasingly dangerous world. In Roaring Twenties Germany, Paul, Charlotte and Walter meet at the Bauhaus art school.

The trio form a close-knit group, in which passions and rivalries collide. But when Walter is betrayed, he makes a terrible mistake- a secret he will keep from Paul and Charlotte for as long as he can. As political tensions escalate and the Nazis gain power, Walter’s secret – hidden in notebooks, paintings and blueprints – ultimately threatens the very lives of his friends, with devastating consequences.

Shortlisted for The Historical Writers’ Association Gold Crown Award. Longlisted for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. Naomi Wood is also the author of Mrs Hemingway and The Godless Boys.

We will discuss the book on Zoom, and then Naomi will join us so we can ask questions. She will also be giving a fascinating potted history of women at the Bauhaus art school, explaining what happened there and the interesting (often quite unusual) practices they encouraged of the students.

March 30th: An Evening with Claire Fuller for Unsettled Ground

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.