#Review 4* Hag-Seed by @MargaretAtwood @PenguinRHUK #LiteraryFiction #HogarthShakespeare

cover
Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
Synopsis:
LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2017

Selected as a Book of the Year – Observer, Sunday Times, Times, Guardian, i magazine

Felix is at the top of his game as Artistic Director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival. His productions have amazed and confounded. Now he’s staging a Tempest like no other. It will boost his reputation. It will heal emotional wounds.

Or that was the plan. Instead, after an act of unforeseen treachery, Felix is living in exile in a backwoods hovel, haunted by memories of his beloved lost daughter, Miranda. Also brewing revenge.

After twelve years, revenge finally arrives in the shape of a theatre course at a nearby prison. Here, Felix and his inmate actors will put on his Tempest and snare the traitors who destroyed him. It’s magic! But will it remake Felix as his enemies fall?

My review:

Before I write this review, I have a little confession to make. Well actually two confessions. Firstly, this is my first book read, by Margaret Atwood. I know, I am ashamed of myself! But to be fair, I didn’t discover Steven King until my 20s! Secondly, I have not read The Tempest by William Shakespeare, of which the novel is largely based. The only Shakespeare, I have read is Romeo And Juliet & Macbeth. These being from my school days! There we go, Abby leaves confessional!

The novel opens with Felix, the artistic director of the Makeshiweg festival, being betrayed and uprooted from his position. I would like to say this is the only emotional pain in Felix’s life, but sadly it is not. Having lost his wife in childbirth and daughter 3 years later to meningitis. Felix is in deep emotional pain.
He vows revenge upon Tony, whom has betrayed him!

“Tony and Sal must suffer”

Felix packs up his belongings and retreats to a shanty cottage in the woods. Where he remains in exile for quite sometime…. Whilst in exile he begins to have delusions of his daughter. They empower him to seek vengeance and Felix becomes an internet stalker, of the men who have wronged him. On year nine of exile, he applies for a job at the Fletcher Correctional facility. Under the secret identity of Mr Duke, he applies for the role of running the literacy program delivered to the inmates.

Felix is accepted for the position and his role involved assignments and producing a play. Of which he chooses The Tempest, guiding and aiding the inmates to fully understand the play. I found Felix to be charismatic yet troubled and charming and likable. I began to root for Felix on his journey towards revenge. By running the program Felix meets new people, who improve his life and help him heal.
But not before he has, had his revenge……

I really enjoyed this novel and can see the huge appeal of the book to book groups. There is room for the debate of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and also the character is Felix and what guides his vendetta. I really enjoyed how cleverly written the novel is and I look forward to The Handmaids tale, which is also on my book shelves! 4*

MA
Margaret Atwood
Authors Links:
Twitter: @MargaretAtwood
Website: http://margaretatwood.ca/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3472.Margaret_Atwood
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MargaretAtwoodAuthor/

 

Q&A with @SpookyMrsGreen Catherine Green #Author of #VampireOfBlackpool

The Vampire of Blackpool NEW
Vampire Of Blackpool by Catherine Green

Q&A:

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) I am a British paranormal romance and contemporary English Gothic author, inspired by the seaside and our favourite holiday resorts here in the UK. My new novel, Vampire of Blackpool, is set in a place where I spent lots of time as a child, and continue to visit regularly now with my own children.

A contemporary English Gothic story, it tells the tale of vampire Meredith Hanson, her love interest Samantha Morris, and her rival, the vampire hunter Ryan James. The novel is strictly for an adult audience, and my vampires do not sparkle!

The vampire, the witch, and the hunter battle it out in a contemporary Gothic adventure in Northern England.

Meredith Hanson lives in Blackpool, the former Victorian holiday hotspot of Northern England. She masquerades as a reclusive author, feeding on the blood of unsuspecting tourists without remorse. Her life takes on new meaning when she meets a young witch in a local pub one evening. Despite Meredith’s cold demeanour, she finds herself oddly fascinated with Samantha Morris, and falls into an accidental relationship with the girl. It is at this time that a vampire hunter arrives in Blackpool. He is tough, he is determined, and his next target is an ancient vampire that has been spotted in the tourist town. He intends to bring her down and destroy her to save the lives of innocent humans. Will he succeed? Or will the experienced vampire seductress be the cause of his undoing?

The Vampire of Blackpool is available to order in paperback and eBook formats via Catherine’s website www.catherinegreenauthor.blogspot.com or you can find it in Amazon and other eBook stores.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?

A) I suppose the story began to surface all those years ago when I was a child. I have been fascinated with the paranormal world ever since I first learned to read, and I would always sense something “other” as I went about my daily business. Blackpool is such an intriguing place, full of vibrant personalities, an unpredictable shoreline, and the mix of old and new architecture. It seemed the perfect place for a vampire to hide, and the ideal hunting ground for fresh, human blood. I think it was already in my mind, waiting to be written, and I used NaNoWriMo as the time to do so.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) Oh, I have lots! More recently I enjoyed reading She Wolf by Elizabeth Morgan – Scottish werewolves, need I say more?! I am keen to read other British paranormal novels, because most of what I previously read was by American authors. My first experience of the genre was the Nightworld series of vampire novels by L.J. Smith when I was a teenager. They set my imagination well and truly alight! I then moved on to Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, and found my way to the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K Hamilton.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) Oops, I already mentioned a teenage one in the previous question! As a child I loved reading books by Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. I was obsessed with the original Mallory Towers series, and the Famous Five. My favourite Roald Dahl stories were Matilda and The Witches. As I got older I enjoyed books by Judy Blume, and the Anastasia Krupnik series by Lois Lowry.

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) Putting my paperback novels on the bookshelf next to the collections by my favourite famous authors! I keep moving them around, and positioning them so that every time I walk past the bookcase, I smile to myself and enjoy a little moment of pride.

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) Definitely my friends and my mum! Although she doesn’t enjoy paranormal stories, and she finds my novels quite scary, my mum will always buy a new release and talk about the books with me, even if she can’t always read them all the way through. I received inspiration for Vampire of Blackpool when I visited the town with my close friend Joanna, and she helped me to compose titles for my Redcliffe novels series. And then there is my “wifey,” Natalie, who helped create the absolutely stunning artwork that you see on the novel, and always has encouraging words on days when I struggle.

Catherine Green aka SpookyMrsGreen
Catherine Green
Author Links

Author of British paranormal romance series The Redcliffe Novels, Catherine Green was raised on books from a young age, and has happy memories of Saturday mornings spent in her small local library, devouring the contents of the shelves. Catherine has always been fascinated by the supernatural world, and it feels natural for her to write about vampires, werewolves, witches and other mystical creatures in her contemporary stories.

If you sign up to Catherine’s newsletter, she will send you a free copy of her Redcliffe short story, It’s Complicated, to introduce you to her fictional supernatural seaside town in Cornwall, England.

More recently, Catherine released her contemporary English Gothic novel, The Vampire of Blackpool. These novels will show you the darker, sexier side of our favourite British seaside resorts!

You can find Catherine in the following places:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpookyMrsGreen
Author blog: http://www.catherinegreenauthor.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter page: https://twitter.com/SpookyMrsGreen
The Pagan Housewife Blog: http://spookymrsgreen.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/spookymrsgreen/

*Thank you for taking part in the Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your writing career.