WEDNESDAY 24th & THURSDAY 25th MAY – BOOK LAUNCH:-

THE VALENTINE HOUSE by EMMA HENDERSON

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We are pleased to announce our first Dual Book Launch Event at the Kew & the Sheen Bookshops on Wednesday 24th May at Kew and Thursday 25th at Sheen, both events are starting at 6.30pm. £2 entry fee, but the £2 ticket price is redeemable against the price of the book !!

Come and meet award winning author Emma Henderson for an informal talk about her latest novel. It is a deeply involving, intriguing novel telling the story of an English family through the generations and a memorable French woman, whose lives seem worlds apart yet which become inextricably connected.

Description: In June 1914, Sir Anthony Valentine, a keen mountaineer, arrives with his family to spend the summer in their chalet, high in the French Alps. There, for the first time, fourteen-year-old foundling Mathilde starts work as one of the ‘uglies’ – village girls employed as servants and picked, it is believed, to ensure they don’t catch Sir Anthony’s roving eye. For Mathilde it is the start of a life-long entanglement with les anglais – strange, exciting people, far removed from the hard grind of farming. Except she soon finds the Valentines are less carefree than they appear, with a curiously absent daughter no one talks about. It will be decades – disrupted by war, accidents and a cruel betrayal – before Mathilde discovers the key to the mystery. And in 1976, the year Sir Anthony’s great-great grandson comes to visit, she must decide whether to use it. Vividly evoking the dramatic landscape that so enthrals the Valentines, this deeply involving, intriguing novel tells the story of an English family through the generations and a memorable French woman, whose lives seem worlds apart yet which become inextricably connected.

Reviews:

I was totally seduced by this vivid, complex and enthralling novel — Fanny Blake, Woman & Home

A beautifully written, tender book, which rewards patient reading. — Antonia Senior, The Times

I love her writing! I totally loved Grace Williams Says It Loud. The Valentine House is another compulsive, original read told with a delicious wit, while remaining harsh and mysteriously life-affirming. How does she do it? — Helen Lederer

Henderson’s Grace Williams Says It Loud was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and this more than matches it. Gripping and poignant, it is also a passionate love letter to a landscape that has captivated the author — Elizabeth Buchan, Daily Mail

A lively, complex novel, and Mathilde is a splendid character — Anthony Gardner, Mail on Sunday

There are evocative descriptions of the grandeur and beauty of the alpine scenery as well as reminders of the dangers. Both stories are engrossing. The slow unravelling of the secrets is beautifully done with a clever building up of the tension. I was very impressed with the writing – intriguing plotting and yet there are deeper themes of love, identity and different cultures. 5 stars — Berwyn Peet, Nudge

Engrossing Boundless An intriguing tale of two cultures — France Magazine