In Celebration of the release of The Chocolate Maker’s Wife – here’s some background on the writing of the novel and what’s between the covers…

This is an edited excerpt of what appeared in the ARC copy of the novel.

Official release date: 18 February in Australia/NZ. Out in the USA and UK August 2019.

The Chocolate Maker’s Wife, a tale of tragedy, triumph and sensual delight in Restoration London, is my twelfth book. It’s also the fourth time I’ve used the same basic premise to explore humanity and history through fiction by focussing on women in trade. So many historical fictions are about the gentry and nobility and they’re fascinating. What captivates me even more is what ordinary folk – well educated or not, rich or poor – did to survive in business, sickness, health, love and loss. In previous novels, I’ve tackled a candle-maker-cum-courtesan, a brewer, a lock-pick/spy and due to a timely visit to Hampton Court in 2014, I’ve my latest book.

Not only was chocolate a decadent drink introduced to England from Europe – Spain (via South America) – around the 1660s, coinciding with the restoration of Charles II to the English throne and all that his reign heralded in terms of hedonism and decadence, but it was associated with a range of naughty behaviours and benefits. Touted for its health-giving properties, chocolate was also considered an aphrodisiac. While there were those who sought to ban it, there were many more who relished the wicked things it signified. Just like the new, bitter drink of coffee, entire “houses” were opened where men could gather and quaff, smoke and exchange news.

A chocolate house in Georgian times. Coffee and chocolate houses were popular, and served as clubs and meeting places for business (© TopFoto)
While this is a Georgian coffee or chocolate house, Rosamund’s in my novel would have been similar.

The new-fangled and troublesome (for king and court) profession of journalism was also burgeoning. The collision of new ideas, political protest and the ability to read what was happening as people’s literacy grew, spelled both dramatic change and disorder. Debates, gossip, plots, plans, arguments, gambling and all other manner of licentious conduct happened – and was encouraged – under the roof of the debauched, marvellous chocolate house.

As you can tell (because I could go on), I simply adore doing the research!

The Chocolate Maker’s Wife focusses on the first of these chocolate houses to open in London and with a woman at the helm. With great business acumen, young and lovely Rosamund – someone with a past both uplifting and utterly wretched – arrives in the capital. Rosamund makes a deal with the devil and learns all there is to know about chocolate, serving men who would both bed and wed her. Through chocolate and the people it brings into her orbit, her life undergoes an extraordinary transformation.

An 18th-century reproduction brass pot stands ready to dispense its liquid contents.
A glass chocolate pot – note the molinillo (the stick in the lid) and he handle out the side for pouring.

But one cannot serve “sin in a bowl” and expect their reputation to remain unsullied. Nor at a time when war is brewing, plots against the crown are thick, laws tightening, plague and then fire threatening, never mind lustful men and jealous women, can Rosamund expect to remain safe – especially when those plotting against her are the same who promise her security.

The Chocolate Maker’s Wife is filled with real historical figures, rich in historical detail and facts as well as a healthy dose of imagination and a great deal of luscious chocolate. I hope in reading it, like Rosamund, you’ll find damnation has never been so sweet.

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Happy 2019 – Here’s to lots of writing and reading (among other good stuff).

I can’t believe it’s already the 22nd of January and here I am, only now, putting finger to keyboard to write the first blog of the year. Forgive my tardiness – but happy new year to all of you, I hope it’s a great one, I really do, and that all your goals are, if not met, well and truly attempted. 🙂

Celebrating New Year’s Eve working with besties at my husband’s brewery and distillery, Captain Bligh’s in Hobart.

That’s my intention in 2019 – to try damn harder to meet a series of goals. The first is hopefully not hard. It’s to be as kind as I possibly can (I still believe there’s not enough kindness in the world so, in my own tiny way, want to help remedy that). My other ones are to read and review lots of wonderful books, finish the book I’m currently working on (it had the working title of The Sea-Witch of Caledonia, which the publisher didn’t like because it didn’t indicate it’s historical fiction enough – I agree. Anyhow, it’s now changed and I’ll let you know what it is once we’ve all agreed – it’s due out in 2020). Until a title is settled, I’m calling it “the Scottish novel” in a deliberate reference to THAT play LOL! Once that’s done and dusted (and it almost is), I’m commencing my next book, a foray back into medieval England and Europe tentatively titled (it won’t stay as this) The Whore’s Tale. It’s a companion book to The Brewer’s Tale.

In the meantime, the re-issue of The Locksmith’s Daughter in B Format (see above) is about to hit the shelves, with a gorgeous new cover and all.

The Australian/NZ edition

My next novel The Chocolate Maker’s Wife is soon to be released (Feb 19-March 1st) in Australia with Harlequin/Harper Collins and 1st August in the USA and UK by William Morrow, which is both really exciting and utterly nerve-wracking. The different edition covers are a study in contrasts and both capture beautifully different episodes in the novel.

While I’m discussing my books, I also want to take this chance to thank the wonderful readers who’ve emailed me (and a few have come into the brewery to meet me which has been a complete thrill) and those fantastic bloggers who have reached out to talk to me and/or interview me about my books. It means the world and I am very humbled by your interest and enthusiasm. Thank you so darn much.

The US edition

So, I’m really busy writing – and not just novels, but my weekly column in the Courier Mail as well as an advice column for the magazine U on Sunday – both of which are such a privilege to do.

Which leads me to why I’ve been a bit remiss already with one of my NY’s resolutions – to review more books. In fact, I also fell behind terribly last year. It wasn’t that I wasn’t reading – I was, a great many incredible books. But what I’m finding is, when deadlines approach or I am in “the zone” writing, it’s hard for me to break away and review books properly. I feel really guilty about that because, as a writer, I know how much reviews can mean – especially good ones. I do intend to remedy my slackness (I have four reviews ready to launch – get ready – my reading year has commenced with a literary bang and some marvellous books!), but if I do fall off the book-reviewing wagon, please understand it’s because I’m beavering away on my own books – and that’s not a bad thing. Well, for me anyway!!!

So here’s to a year of good health, love, adventures of the real and lexical variety and to kindness for you all. Kindness to the self and others. Happy being, my friends and happy reading too!

Love,

Karen xx

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The Brewer’s Tale: How beer went from being suspicious to delicious

The wise Homer once famously declared: “Alcohol: the cause and solution to all of life’s problems.”

That’s Homer J Simpson of course, not THE Homer of Iliad and Odyssey fame. Even so, the yellow man with four fingers makes a very good point. When you examine the relationship society has with alcohol – from a social lubricant that makes an appearance at almost every occasion, to being held responsible for inciting lust, passion or facilitating terrible violence and reckless, foolish behaviour – what Homer says holds true. Alcohol can polarise people and behaviours. Yet, since time immemorial, through good times and bad, rites of passage from birth to death have been marked with the consumption of alcohol.

 

While alcohol continues to play an important part in many significant social and private events, in the era the novel, The Brewer’s Tale, is set, the 1400s, alcohol not only solved and caused many problems, it was also an essential ingredient in everyone’s lives.

 

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In medieval times, people didn’t have the drinking choices, knowledge or understanding of health that we do now. Water, which was often polluted and brackish, was considered dangerous – and it was. While other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks were available, in England before the 1400s, the main beverage consumed by young and not-so-young; particularly in the lower classes and religious houses, was a home-brewed ale. In the 1400s, people drank on average between 1.5 – 5 litres of ale a day (often on top of wine, sack, cider and mead). That meant that most people were at least a little inebriated most of the time. Ale was regarded as a safe means of quenching thirst.

 

Ale was drunk on rising, given to children, downed regularly by paupers and princes, nuns and priests, sailors and soldiers. People went to battle, farmed, birthed children, treated illnesses and injuries, made important policy and diplomatic decisions, married, died, cooked, cleaned, sewed and accomplished a range of tasks effected by the drink they consumed all day every day. It’s a scary thought!

 

Professor Lynn Martin, who has done a study on alcohol, sex and gender in history, claims that “normal” drinking was a very social activity in traditional Europe. “Normal” drinking is still considered a pleasant social activity in the Twenty-First Century. It’s the abnormal or excessive kind we read about in the media and which arouses grave concerns and causes many of those life problems to which Homer refers. What’s evident is that what passed for “normal” in the 1400s differs considerably from today.

 

The other huge difference between drinking now and in the past was that unlike the ales and beers of today, most of which are produced by big conglomerates who export their drink, or smaller craft brewers who are trying to diversify the market, ale was made overwhelmingly by women (called brewsters or ale-wives) and was localised.

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Ale-making was a domestic industry or a by-product of other cottage-type businesses like baking or milling. The ale was flavoured with various spices and herbs as well as the woodsmoke used to cook the grain and was often sickly sweet. There was great variety in quality and taste.

 

Quantities made differed, but whatever was made had to be drunk very quickly before it soured, so it was sold or shared with neighbours (bartering likely happened in exchange for a brew) and impromptu parties erupted with the attendant fun, violence, accidents, propensity to curl up and rest the head and fire passion they still engender.

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People appreciated that a kind of magic occurred when water, grain and yeast came together. Though the term “yeast” was yet to be used, they understood that the frothy head that was produced must be preserved and transferred to each new brew. They called this “godisgoode”.

 

While almost anyone could brew, few were genuinely good at it. Woe betide the person who sold sour or tasteless ale. They not only attracted the wrath of the authorities and fines, but worse the fury of the townsfolk. Pilloring, dunking (called “cucking” – there was even a special “cucking stool” designed for this purpose), and all sorts of punishments were regularly meted out – mostly to women – sometimes even those who produced a fine ale or sold one. This was because women’s role in brewing and people’s dependence on what they produced and/or sold was regarded with suspicion. It was a double-edged sword. Women associated with alcohol-production, with brewing and sales, while providing something necessary to everyday life, were often resented and perceived as “disorderly”, as trouble-makers who were licentious, dishonest and needed to be reminded of (male) authority, God and the law.

 

imgres-4While some monasteries (and thus monks) were involved in large-scale production (relative to the era) and often sold their ale for a profit, brewsters and alewives played a really important role in the manufacturing and local distribution of ale up until around the 1500s, after which men slowly took over. Historian Judith Bennett attributes this to an interesting and quite complex notion. She argues, “When a venture prospers, women fade from the scene.” That is, once decent profits could be made from brewing and the scale of production grew, it became a male-dominated and very profitable (despite assizes and government controls which were strict) business. Men stepped in and women were eased out due to facts like intensive labour, dealing with authorities and workers (mostly men) and the capital needed to maintain and start a brewing business at this level. The only exceptions were a few widows and resourceful wives and daughters – most of whom inherited the business but also passed it over to male hands either through re/marriage or sale.

 

Another reason that women left brewing and which is directly related to the above is because of the additive hops. Before roughly 1420 in England, with some exclusions, the ale the women made contained no hops. This herb – from the same family as marijuana – came from Europe and when placed in a brew made the ale quite bitter but also preserved it. Preservation and thus hops was what changed the face of the brewing industry forever.

 

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Once hops was introduced as a regular part of ale/beer making, the product had a longer shelf-life. The new drink, called beer to distinguish it from ale, could be made in larger quantities, exported around the country and overseas. It was also cheaper to make, requiring less grain, so the overheads were fewer and the profits greater. Regarded with distaste and “unEnglish” by many at first, beer was gradually adopted as the preferred beverage. Initially, even the laws reflected the negative attitude towards the hopped ale, as those who made ale were forbidden from making beer and vice-a-versa. (Important to note that “ale”, as a description of a type of beer, didn’t come into use until the 1800s).

 

It was the ambivalent role of women in brewing – as makers of something essential to the diet of medieval folk – as bitches and “witches”, and the constant assertion of authority and control over them and their product through the presence of ale-tasters and taxes and guilds (the latter which virtually excluded them) that finally clinched the story for me.

 

I started to think, “what if a woman did succeed as a brewer in the medieval man’s world? What would she endure? What would she have to do to earn respect and make a living? Was it even possible in a time of plague, church corruption, powerful religious beliefs and strict gender roles? What would be done to prevent and/or punish her temerity?”

 

I began researching and uncovered so much fascinating information – not just about medieval times, of course, but brewing ale and beer.

 

From being indifferent to beer, I’m in its thrall. In awe of its colourful history and the dedication of contemporary craft brewers (mostly men), many of whom advised me in the writing of the novel – from the fabulous Bill and Lyn Lark, whisky makers extraordinaire, to Owen Johnson formerly of Moo Brew, Ashley Huntington of Two Metres Tall in Tasmania, Scott Wilson-Browne of Red Duck in Ballarat and many others who knowingly and unknowingly helped, I have a deep and abiding respect for the brewers who make something so suspicious and dimgres-5elicious (to paraphrase Lorenzo de’ Medici).

 

Finally, there’s my husband, Stephen who, inspired by my research and delight in all things brewing, shared his formidable knowledge with me as well as started his own craft brewery, Captain Bligh’s Ale and Cider in Hobart (and yes, you can visit the brewery if ever you are here and also taste some of his delicious beer jams as well!). I even enjoyed being his “brew bitch”, assisting him and having a hands-on experience.

 

Homer may have been talking about beer in the present when he joked that it caused and solved all life’s problems, but it holds true for the past as well. Only for women, the problems outweighed the solutions. That is, until The Brewer’s Tale…

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The Inspiration behind The Brewer’s Tale: or What Was I Drinking?

Authors often get asked where their inspiration for writing a particular story came from. Some people have been very curious as to what motivated me to write a tale about a medieval brewer and all things brewing – particularly when they discover I don’t drink beer. The simple answer as to what inspired me is, curiously, a glass of whisky; one I tossed back in a wonderful bar in Hobart during a very dark period in my life.

 

 

Only days before, my beloved friend, the writer Sara Douglass, the person my husband, Stephen, and I had moved to Tasmania nine and a half months earlier to care for, had died. On top of her loss, I was also coming to terms with the changes my own cancer diagnosis had wrought upon my life, the numerous operations I’d had and the ones still facing me. Then, there was survivor guilt. I was still here; Sara was not. I was empty and felt terribly alone and sad.

 

In the weeks leading up to Sara’s death, I’d been unable to conjure a word or creative thought. It appeared I was losing not only my closest friend but my creative heart as well. Determined to continue after she died, I took my sister and her friend (another Karen) from the USA (both of whom had come south to console me) to the famous whisky distillery and bar, Lark, on the Hobart waterfront for a drink. A visit to Tasmania is not complete without a trip to Lark. But I had an ulterior motive as well.

 

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This place, like so many others around Hobart, had become a special part of my husband’s and my shared life with Sara. Not long after arriving in Tasmania, Stephen and I introduced Sara to the joys of a locally made Whisky liqueur – Slainte. Made by Lyn Lark, Bill Lark’s (the then owner of Lark and man known as the “godfather of whisky”), wife, it’s like nothing I’ve ever tasted. It’s pure golden sweetness followed by a warm caramel heat that coats your throat before delivering a small kick below the heart. It’s magic. The first time Stephen and I tried it, we knew Sara would love it, and bought her some. We were right. Thereafter, Sara and I referred to Lyn as a “goddess” and swore what she made was ambrosia. Stephen would ensure there was always some for Sara and, Bill, in a spirit of generosity, not only discounted what we bought, but gave Sara a bottle for free with every order as well. She’d have a dram or three every night with all those toxic medications she took. That a simple drink could bring so much pleasure amidst so much pain….

 

 

Photo of Sara Douglass and Karen Brooks

It seems fitting somehow that the first time I returned to this place after Sara died, a place that though Sara never graced its cosy rooms nonetheless brought her so much comfort and joy, I found a story – the basis for The Brewer’s Tale. It was there, waiting for me, and I accepted the gift of its presence gratefully.

 

Listening to the husky-voiced barmaid, Becs, explain the origins of whisky to my sister and her friend, I asked her to pour them some Slainte. Finishing my drink and enjoying the sensations that raced through my body, I started to think about women producers of alcohol in what is a male-dominated field. I vaguely recalled knowing (but I don’t know how I knew) that what Lyn was doing shouldn’t be seen as a rarity, but a harkening back to historic practices, a reclaiming of old and familiar territory if you like. Sort of a recovery of women’s space and talents.

 

Then, it hit me. Right in my very core, a tale took root and before I’d left Lark it had blossomed.

 

Instead of being a story about a whisky brewer, I knew (and my research confirmed) it would have to be about a female ale brewer – but no ordinary one, this would be about a woman at the vanguard of beer production in the United Kingdom, someone who had the sass and flair to succeed in what was a man’s world.

 

So, the medieval brewer, Anneke de Winter, was born: smart, kind, beautiful, she’s overcome some terrible obstacles, but when the book starts, little does she know her real trials – trials of the heart, head, body and of being a businesswoman – are only just beginning.

Beer Mo

 

Doing the research and starting the writing process brought a healing I never expected. It’s wasn’t quick and nor would I want it to be, but it was a sweet and tender ache that brought with it unexpected bouts of sadness followed by moments of sheer joy – joy in the power of words and imagined characters to transport you beyond your own life and propel you into times and places otherwise denied. This is something Sara knew as well and used after her initial diagnosis and towards the end. It might be escapism, but it’s also a blessing. I like to believe, perhaps indulgently, that Sara made sure that my muse, my mojo, returned that day and gave me a wonderful tale to tell – Sara and Lyn Lark’s marvellous drink, Slainte.

 

So whisky was the inspiration for my ale tale and in a weird and wonderful way, it seems appropriate. After all, it started with a drink and, as the adage goes, no great story starts with someone eating a salad.

 

 

 

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Meet My Character: Blog Hop

This is an unusual blog for me as I don’t often write about my books (a situation that will change as I am upgrading/changing my website soon – watch this space!) but the notion came via a lovely invitation from the wonderful writer, Josephine Pennicott, author of the fabulous Poet’s Cottage and Currawong Manor as well as award-wining crime novels. This is a “meet my character blog”, where I answer questions about a character from one of my books or a work in progress. I have chosen to discuss the lead character in my latest novel, The Brewer’s Tale which is published by MIRA, Harlequin. I really hope you enjoy learning a little more about her – thank you for the opportunity, Josephine!

My latest novel

My latest novel

 

1.) What is the name of your character?

When the reader first meets her, she’s called Anneke Sheldrake but due to circumstance, she undergoes a slight name change, taking her mother’s family’s name and hoping it gives her some anonymity and autonomy as well as the ability to put the past behind her.

2.) Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

She is most definitely a fictional person but her life-story is grounded in historical research and fact. Some women had incredibly tough and poignant lives and Anneke’s, with all its trials and tribulations, reflects that.

3.) When and where is the story set?

It’s set in early Fifteenth Century England, commencing in the fictional town of Elmham Lenn (on the east coast of England and loosely modelled on Bishop’s Lynn (now King’s Lynn) and Cromer) before moving to Dover, then Southwark. In order to be authentic, I not only read many, many books, articles, spoke to brewers and distillers and poured over old maps, my old life as a cartographer came in handy after allbut in the final stages of editing, travelled to the United Kingdom. At one stage, I wandered along the Thames, walking in my characters’ footsteps. I stood on the banks of the river, in Southwark, in approximately the place Anneke ends up living, which is in a dwelling called “The Swanne”. Lo and behold, when I turned my back upon the river to see what was built there now, what did I see but this…

The modern day "The Swan", Bankside,  Soithwark

    A modern day pub called “The Swan”. I confess, I welled up and then went had a drink (or two) to celebrate! How amazing is that – not that I was drinking –  but the serendipity of it all?

 

 

 

 

4.) What should we know about him/her?

Medieval beer barrels

After her father drowns at sea, and Anneke and her young siblings are left orphans, she is forced to make a living in order to keep her family together, so turns to what once made her mother’s family in The Netherlands prosperous, brewing ale. This not only drives her into competition with nearby producers but more significantly, the local priory who dominate the market and do not like others impinging on their trade. Beyond being an excellent and ethical brewer, Anneke is loyal, brave, smart and lovely – inside and out. But she finds being a female brewer tarnishes her reputation and exposes herself and those she loves to terrible danger.

 

5.) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

The main conflict comes in the form of people and organisations with power – familial, social, financial, class, political, those who don’t like seeing a single, talented and lovely woman succeed – so the people representing these forces come in various shapes, sexes and sizes, from family relations to bailiffs, ale-conners, sheriffs, and the church.

There is much that “messes up” her life, and in this regard, despite so much happening, it reflects what women of that era endured. But there is always hope and love and friendship  as well.

 

6.) What is the personal goal of the character?

To be ethical and successful; to be loyal in love and life, to care for those for whom she is responsible and to not let injustice, in any guise, win.Different kinds of beers

 

7.) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

It’s called The Brewer’s Tale. It was its working title (drawing inspiration from Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales – it even features the Wife of Bath as a character)  and that never changed. You can read more about it at Harlequin’s website (which also features a video with me discussing this and my next novel)   http://www.harlequinbooks.com.au/product/9781488742620  or just Google the title.

 

8.) When can we expect the book to be published or when was it published?

It was published by MIRA, Harlequin October this year!

Cheers and thank you!
Beer Mo

 

 

Now it is my turn to nominate another author to introduce you to their character. It is with great pleasure, that I would like to introduce you to Sheryl Gwyther.

Sheryl Gwyther_image1Sheryl is a children’s author and artist who has written many books, such as the wonderful Secrets of Eromanga, as well as Secrets of Eromanga

plays and short stories and is actively involved in the writing community and very generous with her time and support. I know she is juggling many writing balls at the moment, so I’m looking forward to discovering which of her characters she decides to let us meet.

 

Over to you, Sheryl!

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Book Review: Wool by Hugh Howey

Like quite a few readers and writers before me, I have a confession to make. I tend to avoid self-published books – generally, at any cost – for a whole variety of reasons that blur the professional and the personal. I like my books validated by a publisher, editor, copy editor, marketing team and everything in-between. I figure if they invest in something, then it’s good enough for me. Of course, us readers know that isn’t always true – some professionally published stuff doesn’t make the grade either but, in my experience, that happens a great deal less often than with self-published work. I know, I have read quite a few in an effort to give them an opportunity to both shine and prove me wrong. Up until now, I haven’t been….

Then I read Wool. On the recommendation of two people (one a fabulous writer – OK, it was Anthony Eaton – the other was his lovely wife, Imogen, thanks, Tony and Min!) whose taste and judgement I bow to, I bought and read Wool by Hugh Howey and, in doing so, every negative preconception I ever had about self-publishing has been turned on its head. Not only can Howey write (and then teach a few of us with more novels under our belt how to), but also Wool is one of the finest science-fiction books (no, dammit, forget genre, it’s just one of the best books) I have ever read. I am not kidding. It is absolutely brilliant. I want to sing it from the rooftops, shout it from the car as I drive down the street, blab it all over my website, blogs and FaceBook pages – well, I am doing the last bit 🙂 Read this book!

I am not the only one who feels this way either. What started off as a self-published novella of 12,000 words, about a post-apocalyptic world where humans are confined to a place called the Silo, and the levels they exist upon, their roles within these spaces and the laws and punishments meted out are strictly regulated, in less than 12 months, it has become a publishing sensation. Fans in the USA begged Howey to write more in this world. He did. Thank goodness. Now, Wool – or the Wool Omnibus, which is what I read and which is made up of five novellas that when read together make for one utterly compelling story, is available. It’s a tale about humanity, or lack thereof, power, totalitarianism and a range of deeply philosophical and ethical questions. But don’t think for a moment this book is preachy – on the contrary, by focussing this epic tale on a few characters whom we quickly grow to love, admire and loathe, Howey has made this wide-ranging and fabulous story incredibly personal as well. You invest in both the plot and the people who inhabit the Silo. So much so, I was crying, catching my breath, laughing, and despite being exhausted, unable to put the damn book down.

Upon finishing it, I felt something I don’t often feel on completing a novel (for good and bad reasons): I felt satisfied. The ending is perfect. I don’t need the tale to continue (or even particularly want it to, which is always a good sign for me – when, like Oliver, I want more. But here, I feel it’s also indicative of just how right Howey has paced this), even though a great deal of what occurred within will resonate with me for a long time. Nor do I feel cheated. Reading Wool wasn’t only a marvellous fictive experience; I also received a lesson in how to write. Howey paces this book perfectly, maintains suspense, ups the ante at every opportunity, the emotional cost, the sacrifice and consequences. Nothing is laboured. Thank you, Mr Howey.

If you think I’m raving too much, well, not only did Random House in the UK pick this tale up and is publishing hardback versions, but Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox are optioning the rights for the movie. Credit to Howey, he is keeping the book rights in the USA for himself.
But before all you self-publishing gurus go mad, consider this also: not only is Wool a joy to read as a story, it is also mistake free. Grammar, syntax and punctuation (apart from one minor error I picked up – and that’s much less than appears in my professionally published books!) has been honed and painstakingly corrected. It reads beautifully in that regard as well. The language is wonderful, evocative, moving and polished to a shiny perfection.

I think you get the picture – Wool is a literary, sci-fi reading treat, a genuine surprise and pleasure. It is not “fad” literature or jumping on any literary bandwagon (as many are wont to do). It acknowledges its roots in an old and proven genre and then takes it forward. Magnificent. Really.
Make sure you don’t miss out.

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