Published by Endeavour Press
ebook : 13 December 2016 | Paperback : 23 January 2017
approx. 254 pages
Having very much enjoyed both of Jane’s previous books The Cheesemaker’s House and The Faerie Tree (both reviewed on this blog – please click the titles to see the review if you are interested). it is a pleasure to be taking part in Jane’s blog tour for her third story. I’m just about to start reading the book as I haven’t been able to read in time for this tour, so my review will follow separately. In the meantime, I have a guest post from Jane on the setting of Another You.
Studland’s Literary Past by Jane Cable
With a setting as beautiful and fascinating as Studland Bay it’s hardly surprising I’m not the first writer to be drawn there. An isolated peninsular of land with the sea on one side and Poole Harbour on the other, as soon as you step off the ferry from the ritzy resort of Sandbanks you know you’re in another world.
The story for Another You grew out of Studland’s own history and the book could not have been set anywhere else. It opens on the 60th anniversary of a rehearsal for D-day which went tragically wrong and which sets up a series of chance meetings destined change the life of Marie, my heroine, as they help her to rediscover her confidence and maybe even to find new love.
During the first part of Another You Marie is reading Far From the Madding Crowd. I wanted to give a nod to the Dorset heritage of an author I very much admire. Thomas Hardy lived in nearby Swanage from 1875-76 and in his books he called the resort Knollsea. Knoll is actually an area to the east of Studland and in my imagination at least Hardy knew the area well.
From the beginnings of the twentieth century Studland became famed as a favourite holiday destination for the literary world and at one point was known as Bloomsbury-By-The-Sea. From 1909 to 1913 Vanessa and Clive Bell and Virginia Woolf holidayed in Studland, but the main creative outputs from this period were paintings, most notably Vanessa’s series of Studland Beach, one of which hangs in the Tate Gallery.
However there is also a fascinating literary rumour about one of Bloomsbury’s patrons, Lady Ottoline Morrell, who rented a holiday home called Cliff End Villa just below the Bankes Arms. Lady Ottoline famously had an open marriage, a long term affair with Bertrand Russell and a fling with Aldous Huxley. But her affections were not tied to the intelligentsia and she confessed a relationship with a stone mason to one of the writers in her circle, DH Lawrence. Lawrence apparently didn’t like Ottoline over much and it’s thought she was the inspiration for Hermione Roddice in Women in Love. But more importantly her liaison with the tradesman is rumoured to have set Lawrence along the line of thought which would eventually lead to Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
Far more innocent are the stories of Enid Blyton. Blyton holidayed around Swanage Bay for many years from the 1930s although it’s doubtful she visited in wartime because the peninsular was a closed zone. At least some of Blyton’s books were created near Studland and the area was certainly an inspiration for many of the Famous Five stories and the first two novels of the wonderful Adventure series which were particular favourites of mine as a child.
But Studland’s most famous literary link by far is with the Noddy books as it is claimed that Christopher Rone, the village policeman in the 1940s and 50s, inspired PC Plod. Indeed Plod himself opened the new police post in the village in 2002, much to the delight of local children. Rone had died twelve years earlier but reputedly dined out on the story that he was Toytown’s policeman with a huge degree of pride.
A more tenuous literary link with Studland is that HG Wells’ ashes were scattered from a boat off Old Harry Rocks. Not a bad end for the remains of a writer who loved the sea.
About the book:
Sometimes the hardest person to save is yourself…
Marie Johnson is trapped by her job as a chef in a Dorset pub and by her increasingly poisonous marriage to its landlord.
Worn down by his string of affairs she has no self-confidence, no self-respect and the only thing that keeps her going is watching her son, Jude, turn into a talented artist.
But the 60th anniversary of a D-Day exercise triggers chance meetings which prove unlikely catalysts for change.
First there’s Corbin, the American soldier who she runs into as she’s walking on the cliffs. He is charming and has a quaintness about him, calling her an ‘English rose’.
Then there’s George the war veteran, who comes to dine at the pub, and his son Mark. George fascinates Marie with his first-hand accounts of the war, whilst Mark proves helpful in making sense of the pub’s financial situation.
And there’s Paxton. Another American soldier with an uncanny resemblance to Corbin. Young, fit and very attractive, Marie finds him hard to resist. But little does she know Paxton is also battling some inner demons.
As the heat of the summer intensifies, so do the issues in Marie’s life.
Why is Corbin so elusive? Why is the pub struggling to make ends meet? Why has Jude suddenly become so withdrawn and unhappy?
Can she help Paxton open up and begin to deal with his pain?
Or will she be shackled to the pub and her increasingly spiteful husband forever?
But as events unfold, Marie finally realises that she is not trapped, but stuck, and that it is down to her to get her life moving again.
Perfectly blending the complexities of twenty-first century life with the dramatic history of World War Two, Another You is a charming tale that will warm your heart.
About the author:
My latest book, Another You, has just been published by Endeavour Press. It follows forty-something chef Marie when chance meetings on the 60th anniversary of D-Day help her to escape from the hell of her broken marriage and to find new love.
“A fascinating exploration of how the past can affect the present. The language in this book is so fresh and vivid that it sweeps the reader up and away and deposits her on the beautiful Studland Bay where this story is set.” Rosanna Ley
“Brilliantly interweaves the Second World War with the present day” Holly Kinsella
My first novel, The Cheesemaker’s House, was published by Matador in September 2013 and tells the story of Alice, who moves to Yorkshire following the breakdown of her marriage and meets her new neighbours from the present and the past. It was a finalist in the Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist competition and won Words for the Wounded’s independent book of the year award in 2015.
“I really loved the authorial voice – it really drew me in. But more than that I loved the fact that the initial mystery posed is one that I could not think of a possible solution for, so that really got me hooked.” Sophie Hannah
“The gift here is to make you want to read on.” Jeffery Archer
My second book, The Faerie Tree, is a second chance novel also published by Matador. This time the mystery revolves around a couple who meet twenty years after a brief affair only to discover that their memories of it are completely different.
“Will keep you guessing right up until the end and maybe even beyond it.” Claire Dyer
“Well written, absorbing and original. Read and enjoy.” Margaret Graham