Eloise Williams

Seaglass

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Lark’s anger is getting out of control. Her mother is ill, her little sister has stopped talking and Lark has fallen out with her best friend. Faced with a family holiday in a caravan park, Lark escapes to explore at the first opportunity. Taking her sister, Snow, with her, the two soon discover a ruined cottage in the woods which has an eerie atmosphere. Glimpses of a mysterious girl in a green dress increase Lark’s feelings of unease and when this figure appears in Snow’s drawings, Lark fears for her sister’s safety.

Eerie and atmospheric, ‘Seaglass’ is a chilling ghost story which will grip the reader from the outset. As the tension grows, there are some truly spooky moments designed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

The story is enhanced by vivid descriptions of the countryside and seashore. The mood of the plot is frequently echoed in by the weather- the drifting fog hiding mysterious figures, the squall at sea, the snow at the story’s chilling climax- and references to wildlife and Welsh traditions add colour and detail.

Full of strong characters, ‘Seaglass’ is a story about relationships- the complexities of family life, the ups and downs of friendship, the suspicion and prejudice often offered to strangers. Lark is feisty, yet torn by worries for her family, her loneliness and anger constantly simmering beneath the surface.. Mam-gu is a wonderful character- a strong matriarch, yet one who is shown to be vulnerable as her role in the unfolding tale becomes clear. The complexities of family relationships and the ease at which misunderstandings can damage relationships are also explored as the story reaches its emotional conclusion.

‘Seaglass’ is powerful and absorbing, unsettling and moving. Not the thing to read at bedtime!

Seaglass Eloise Williams

Firefly Press ISBN: 978-1910080801

Cardiff Book Festival

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Today, I went to Cardiff for their Book Festival to hear Eloise Williams talk about her latest book, 'Gaslight'.

Set in the dark streets of Victorian Cardiff, 'Gaslight' is a thrilling adventure- full of secrets and action. 

Found half drowned, with her her mother missing, Nansi has no one to turn to. Taken in by 'Pernicious' Sid- a manipulative criminal- at the Empire Theatre, she works for him by a mix of acting and thieving. Desperate to earn enough money to find her mother, Nansi makes the best of things, constantly planning for the future. 

When Constance and Violet appear at the theatre, Nansi is forced to become part of a crooked psychic act. These new comers bring secrets and danger with them and an overheard conversation forces Nansi to run for her life - and to discover who she really is.

'Gaslight' is a great read- full of tension, excitement and action. Nansi is a brilliant character- feisty,  loyal and spirited- who the reader really engages with and is cheering on all the way! I also loved gentle Bee.

Cardiff is a great setting for the story, atmospheric and rich in detail of the theatre and life. 

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Once we had all warmed up with her, Eloise started her session with a reading from near the beginning of the book. She is a talented performer, bringing the book vividly to life with great enthusiasm and expression. 

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Explaining how she had come to be an author, Eloise told us it started with 'lies and stories'! She went from lying to reading and creating and imagining! Winning the Bard of the Eisteddfod at her primary school, Eloise went on to drama school and became an actress. From there, writing books was an extension of the story telling and her first book, 'Elen's Island', set in West Wales, was in her words 'quite safe' and about what she knows.

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'Gaslight' was a move away from this and having ventured into darker things, she hinted that her next will be darker yet! I can't wait to read it!

Eloise finished the session by encouraging us all to create a picture and develop a story of our own. I'm off to finish writing mine now..!

Gaslight Eloise Williams

Firefly Press ISBN: 978-1910080542

Elen's Island Eloise Williams, illustrated by Gabby Grant

Firefly PressISBN: 978-1910080207