Venue: St Peter's Church, Oundle PE8 4AL
Time: 7.45 - 8.45pm
Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but instead of giving them to him, she hides them in the thousands of books he has collected over the years. When Ingrid has written her final letter she disappears from a Dorset beach, presumed drowned, leaving behind her beautiful but dilapidated house by the sea, her husband, and her two daughters, Flora and Nan.
Twelve years later, Gil thinks he sees Ingrid from a bookshop window, but he’s getting older and this unlikely sighting is chalked up to senility. Flora, who has existed in a limbo of hope and grief, imagination and fact, wants answers. She returns home to care for her father and to try to finally discover what happened to Ingrid, not realising that what she’s looking for is hidden in the books that surround her.
Scandalous and whip-smart, Swimming Lessons holds the Coleman family up to the light, exposing the mysterious truths of a passionate and troubled marriage.
“Powerful, pleasing and pleasurable, Fuller’s second novel looks set to continue her stealthy march on success.” The Times
'Thrilling, transporting, delicately realised and held together by a sophisticated sense of suspense...more than matches the power of Fuller's debut... Powerful, pleasing and pleasurable.' Sunday Times
“As in her gorgeously harrowing Our Endless Numbered Days, Claire Fuller returns to the territory of a mother’s disappearance and a father’s lies with bewitching and page-turning results. If anything, Swimming Lessons is an even more complex puzzle box of a book, excavating darkly knotted family secrets, intricately cruel betrayals and layers of ambiguous loss. Fuller is so clear eyed, poised and psychologically shrewd in the unfolding of her tale, you will be kept guessing until the final penetrating sentence. An extraordinarily smart and satisfying read.” Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife
Claire is a novelist and short fiction writer. For her first degree she studied sculpture at Winchester School of Art, specialising in wood and stone carving. She began writing fiction at the age of 40, after many years working as a co-director of a marketing agency. She has a Masters (distinction) in Creative and Critical Writing from The University of Winchester.
Her short stories have been published in many literary journals and shortlisted in prizes. Baker, Emily and Me, won the 2014 BBC Opening Lines competition and my story, A Quiet Tidy Man, won the Royal Academy and Pin Drop short story award 2016.
Claire is the author of Swimming Lessons (published 2017), and Our Endless Numbered Days (2015) which won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize for debut fiction and was a 2016 Richard and Judy Book Club Pick, and was a finalist in the ABA (American Booksellers Association) 2016 Indies Best Book Awards.
Tickets £8 (£6), £1 off early bird tickets bought before 29th September, available from the Oundle Box Office, 4 New Street, Oundle.
Open hours: 10.00am – 4.00pm Mon to Fri: Tel 01832 274734, online at www.oundlefestival.org.uk
Any queries call Helen on 07743988181 or email firstname.lastname@example.org