ALL SIX SPOTLIGHT BOOKS

Kerry Hudson: ‘This dazzling series shows that if the barriers can be vaulted there is true beauty to be had from the lesser-walked streets of literature. These works are both nourishing and inspiring, and a gift to any reader.’

 

A-Z BY BOOK TITLE

 

CORA VINCENT by Georgina Aboud

AB Reads, Instagrammer: ‘ 4/5⭐️A derailed actress gets a chance for a fresh start when a West End production is casting. To do so, she must come to terms with her past which is fraught with violence, in a country politically divided. I loved the writing in this one, even though it was only 50 small pages it sucks you right in, and one part sent shivers down my spine! You root for Cora and can’t help but admire her will to carry on in the face of adversity.’

Cathy Galvin: ‘Georgina Aboud’s stories are both startling and considered. Hers is an important new voice.’

Susannah Waters: ‘Wow. Writing of the highest order. Very few people put words together as beautifully as this.’

Tom Lee: ‘Georgina Aboud has a voice and vision all of her own. She writes prose of rare vividness and lyricism, moving effortlessly between rapture and melancholy, and making startling connections between the past and the present. In Cora Vincent she creates a character and a story that speaks strongly to where we are now.’

 

CRUMBS by Ana Tewson-Bozic

The Bristol Reader, Instagrammer: ‘Crumbs is genuinely dazzling in its portrayal of someone with psychosis. This story is challenging and immersive; the writer herself is diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder.’

AB Reads, Instagrammer:  ‘About a woman who is inducted into a computer cult when her game turns sinister, connecting her with psychic aliens and chemical conspiracies. Popping pills, she attempts to reach a heaven full of voices and gods by relinquishing all control of her sanity.’

 

THE HAUNTING OF STRAWBERRY WATER by Tara Gould

LoveReading UK, Liz Robinson: ‘This haunting book focusing on motherhood and post-natal depression is small enough to slip into a pocket, yet the 48 pages really do pack an emotional punch. A ghost story with a difference, The Haunting of Strawberry Water slips into thoughts and throughly provokes feelings.’

Mrs Cooke’s Books, Instagrammer: ‘This little gem of a book first caught my eye because of it’s cover and it’s enticing name; and I’m very pleased to say that it didn’t disappoint! “Strawberry Water” taps into a new mother’s insecurities and anxieties and examines the consequences of unleashing these demons. It illustrates the devasting effects of sleeplessness and how they can cause the ability to effectively lose control. With a tantalizing hint of the supernatural, I thoroughly enjoyed this eerie yet tense short story and look forward to reading more work by Tara Gould. The Haunting of Strawberry Water is powerful, creepy and deeply unsettling.’

AB Reads, Instagrammer: ‘ 5/5⭐️ This was my favourite! A haunting and raw exploration of a daughter’s non-existent relationship with her mother who left her aged one, and the effect that has on her when she becomes a mother herself. Chilling and honest, this is the mash up of supernatural and unconventional motherhood that I never knew I needed. If you only buy one of these editions, make it this one!’

Julia Crouch: ‘ A sensuous and strikingly visual story, this tale about motherhood is at once singular and universal. It taps into those equivocal feelings we all have about the conflicting burdens and joys of creating and supporting a tiny life, while showing us one woman’s particular challenges. It is a ghost story which, even in these supposedly rational times, we completely fall into.’

Jeff Noon: ‘Tara Gould knows an essential truth, that ghosts exist in the darkness of the mind. And that sometimes those ghosts can exit the mind and take up residence in the world. They need to be both real, and unreal, at the same time. It is a difficult task to pull off, and Gould tackles it superbly. This beguiling and unsettling story has a very powerful effect on the reader.’

Ian Breckon: ‘An eerily evocative snapshot of a young woman possessed by her own lost history, The Haunting of Strawberry Water takes what should be the most secure of bonds, the relationship between mother and daughter, and transports it to a new and terrifying landscape of the uncanny.’

Hannah Vincent: ‘Elegant and profound, this is powerful nature writing as much as it is a compelling ghost story, and an expertly handled meditation on the prickly nature of intimate relationships.’

Short Books and Scribes: The Haunting of Strawberry Water is a rather chilling story of a mental breakdown, of dealing with the trauma that comes with being a new mother particularly with a lack of support, how difficult it can be to cope. I thought it was fabulous.’

 

MEMORIES OF A SWEDISH GRANDMOTHER by Sarah Windebank

John McCullough: ‘Sarah Windeback writes evocative and moving poems that show a fine understanding of the effects of a broad range of forms. Whether remembering family or describing lovers, the surface of her phrasing brims with engaging physicality and an array of textures. At the same time, her rhythms conjure up a compelling intimacy that lingers after the reader has left the page’

 

STROKING CERBERUS: POEMS FROM THE AFTERLIFE by Jacqueline Haskell

Jane Monson: ‘These infinite themes are uniquely handled and dexterously narrated by Haskell. Stroking Cerberus is a stunning, original debut collection that encourages contemplation as much as it motivates the reader to explore and review where separations occur and opposites coalesce. This is a timely, intimate, but far-reaching narrative, and a necessary joy to get to know.’

 

SUMMON by Elizabeth Ridout

INTERVIEW WITH: Brighton Book Club with Anna Burtt

Dean Atta: ‘A rich mix of character study and personal narrative, which masterfully walks the line between imagination and truth.’

Patricia McCarthy: ‘Here is a fresh, strikingly original, distinctive first collection. The strong, gutsy poems – each a well-crafted entity in itself – demonstrate a striking young talent worth noting. In her already assured voice, with teasing overtones at times of Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton and Carol Ann Duffy, Elizabeth Ridout demonstrates her wide range.’

Peter Carpenter: ‘Elizabeth Ridout’s debut collection is a dazzling mix of daring and accomplishment.’

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