'Coles Book Club' event - 20th Oct 2016 @ 7pm - Susan Fletcher - Let Me Tell You About a Man I Knew - A Novel
This is our first 'Coles Book Club' event, it's an opportunity to meet the author of the book you've just read. From time to time we'll be offering our customers a title we've selected, at a discounted price, for you to read and then come along to the 'Coles Book Club' for an evening with the author - it's an opportunity to discuss the book with other readers, ask the author questions about the book, have a glass of wine and a general natter about books - just like a book club.
Buy the 'Book Club' book for the discounted price of £10 (it's a lovely hardback - srp £14.99) either here online, or in the shop in Bicester. Enjoy reading it and then come along to the bookshop on 20th October and meet the author Susan Fletcher for an evening of discussion. And of course, get your book signed on the evening.
A little about the book: 'Let Me Tell You About a Man I Knew' - Provence, May 1889. An old monastery sits at the foot of Les Alpilles Mountains amongst wheat fields, herbs and olive groves. For years, the fragile have come here and lived quietly, finding rest behind the shutters and high, sun-baked walls.
There’s a new arrival at Saint-Paul-de Mausole, and with him comes tales of his savagery, his paintings, and his copper-red hair. From her small white cottage, Jeanne Trabuc can see him: how he sets his easel amongst the trees, the irises and the fields of wheat, and paints in the heat of the day.
As the Warden’s wife, Jeanne knows the rules; she knows not to approach the patients at Saint-Paul. But this troubled and intense man, a mystery at every turn, can’t be ignored. Despite the supposed dangers, Jeanne follows him; she watches and she waits.
'Let Me Tell You About A Man I Knew' is a book about passion, adventure and the brevity of life. But it’s also a study of a marriage, and how love alters over time. Through Jeanne’s friendship with the painter at Saint-Paul she comes to know who she is, what she truly feels – and, at last and with certainty, what she wants for the rest of her life.
A note from the author about the book: A snowy, dark weekend in Amsterdam in 2013 - and I found myself standing before a painting from the Van Gogh Museum. It was an olive grove, late in the day. The trees were in full leaf; the grass was scorched to the colour of earth. It was painted, I read, during the artist’s stay at an asylum in rural Provence. I stood by this van Gogh painting, as if warming myself.
As I did, a thought came to me: had van Gogh been alone as he painted this? For these olive groves could not have been painted from a distance, as some of his cornfields had been. I felt certain that his easel had been planted amongst these trees, that he’d left the safety of the asylum’s grounds in order to paint them. If so, how had this been allowed? A disturbed and self-harming patient, walking out on his own? As I stood there, I wondered if he’d been accompanied. And with that, I began to imagine it: a warden – modest, quiet, hard-working – by the artist’s side.
At home, I began to research. There had, indeed, been a warden at the asylum in Provence – Charles Trabuc. But he’d also had a wife. And intriguingly, van Gogh had painted them both. It was on seeing Jeanne’s portrait – her high-necked dress as if being restrained, and the soft, sad kindness to her face - that I felt my new novel settle around me. I knew, with certainty, whose story I would tell.
Whilst I’ve used van Gogh’s letters, art and numerous biographies as a basis for this novel, Jeanne’s tale is all my own. It is her year, as I imagine it – her year of knowing this extraordinary man and how it altered her.
Van Gogh spent a year living in London, starting in Brixton, South London, and from here he would walk to his offices. He painted for just ten years; sold only one painting in his lifetime and yet he would leave an indelible mark, thanks in part to the 800 or so letters he wrote to his brother, Theo.
About the Author: Susan Fletcher was born in 1979 in Birmingham. She graduated from the UEA Creative Writing Course and now lives in Stratford-upon-Avon. Her first novel Eve Green won the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Betty Trask Prize, the Author’s Club Best First Novel Award and the Richard and Judy Summer Read. Her second novel, Oystercatchers was published to great critical acclaim
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It was the most impressive packaging that I have EVER SEEN!!! An ocd person's dream...