I’m helping my friend, Chloe Banks, celebrate the release of her debut novel, The Art of Letting Go. And she is even giving away a signed copy. All you have to do is tell us one little secret. So keep reading to find out about her new novel and how you can win a copy.
The Art of Letting Go tells the story of Rosemary, whose peaceful seclusion is disrupted by the man she was involved in a traumatic relationship with decades earlier; only this time he’s lying in a coma and Rosemary must decide whether to let him live, or let him go. In the midst of her secret dilemma she meets an abstract artist who is used to manipulating shapes and colours to make people see things differently. But what else is he manipulating? And can he help Rosemary see her own situation in a different light?
Probably my favourite quotation in all of literature is from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett: “If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” It’s such a beautiful sentiment from a wonderful children’s novel. I blame my love of walled gardens – of secret beauty in all its forms – on this book.
Many novels revolve around secrets. Secrets and misunderstandings are the mainstays of creating tension in literature. Whether it’s a wonderful (if tragic) secret such as a walled garden, or something more sinister – a dark past, hidden addictions – the real mystery can sometimes be why somebody is keeping something a secret, rather than the secret itself. And it’s that sort of mystery that my novel, The Art of Letting Go, is built around. Rosemary’s secret doesn’t seem that sinister – a past relationship that didn’t work out – but why is she keeping it a secret at all? If you’re curious, I’ll let you find out for yourselves!
As this is the last stop on my blog tour, I thought you might indulge me in some fun. Let’s share our secrets! Or at least, let’s share our embarrassing pasts or funny misunderstandings. Nothing heavy needed – in fact, it’d probably be simpler for Suzi if you didn’t confess to murder on her blog – tell me something fun or funny. At the end of the month I’ll pop the names of everybody who has left a comment on this post into a hat and draw one person out to receive a signed copy of my novel. If you really can’t think of a secret/misunderstanding to tell us about, and you’d still like a chance to win, how about telling us your favourite line from literature instead?
Here are a few quotations about secrets to get you in the mood:
“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” George Orwell, 1984
“Secrets have a way of making themselves felt, even before you know there’s a secret.” Jean Ferris, Once Upon a Marigold
And one from The Art of Letting Go for you, “He wasn’t flesh and blood, only colour and shape – a painting that had come to life. I knew I could tell him everything that had ever happened to me – everything I’d forgotten – and it would be like whispering to the wind. Secrets would never escape him because he wasn’t real; he was an imitation of reality, a child’s sketch of a man.”
So, come on, spill the beans! I’ll start if you like…
When I was a child I spent every day out in our garden in my own little world. Not only that, but I couldn’t go in for the night until I had been all round our (large) garden and said the same words to the same landmarks – the apple tree, the place where I’d buried a dead pigeon, the bush where the robin would sing – every single night. I had to say goodnight to certain bits of the garden or I was worried they’d feel lonely. I had plenty of school friends but my best friend, to whom I told all my secrets, was our old apple tree. And I’ve never told anybody that before! (I also had a similar ritual with parts of my bedroom before I could sleep at night, but I think that’s enough confessions for one day.)
Over to you.
Thanks, Chloe. Congratulations again on your release. Now let’s see if anyone has anything interesting to share!
Chloe Banks lives in a peaceful corner of the UK with her husband, son and a sense of childish wonder. She started writing for a dare and forgot to stop until it was too late. She is a prize-winning short story writer and a first-time novelist, represented by The Andrew Lownie Literary Agency.