Thursday, 1 July 2010

Two excellent authors living nearby!

It’s unusual to have spoken to the authors of the books I read, but two recent reads have turned the unusual around. Mercedes Claraso, is from Catalan and has lived in Scotland for many years. I know her as a member of my writing group in Dalkieth. She writes wonderful poetry and it adept at writing short stories which get right into the psychology of the characters. She has written and published several books and I had the good fortune to read The Hawthorne Hedge. It’s a story of two men’s lives - Alan and Peter, both losers in their own ways. They, their families, wives and lovers are richly revealed and help the protagonists understand themselves and they reach some kind of redemption. Very well written with a certain ‘old fashioned feel about it.
I’ll be back for more of her work.

The Art of Friendship is written by Erin Kaye who comes from Northern Ireland and now lives in North Berwick. We have a mutual friend and shared some emails recently. She has written several novels – all published in Ireland. This is the first book published in the UK. It is set in N. Ireland (Ballyfergus – Larne) and is about a year in the life of four girl friends. At the start of the book, I thought I was in for another ‘bad mother’ story in the vein of ‘We must talk to Kevin’ (which I had read recently.) However, this was only one thread in the plot.
The story gives a rich portrayal of each friend’s character, their secrets and the problems they face. Erin sets up a series of difficulties and the friendships are threatened. By courageously facing up to the problems, they are overcome and the friends make up. This book is a real page turner, Erin pulls you in and keeps hold of you till the end.

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