Monday 17 July 2017

The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase #BlogTour @evepchase @MichaelJBooks @GabyYoung

From the present day . . .

Applecote Manor captivates Jessie with it promise of hazy summers in the Cotswolds. She believes it's the perfect escape for her troubled family. But the house has an unsettling history, and strange rumours surround the estate.
to the fifties . . .
When teenage Margot and her three sisters arrive at Applecote during the heatwave of '59, they find their aunt and uncle still reeling from the disappearance of their daughter, Audrey, five years before.
The sisters are drawn into the mystery of Audrey's vanishing - until the stifling summer takes a shocking, deadly turn. Will one unthinkable choice bind them together, or tear them apart?
Step back in time for a richly evocative mystery, where the beauty of a Cotswolds summer is vividly contrasted with the violence which shatters it.

The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase was published by Michael Joseph in hardback on 13 July 2017.

I'm really happy to host the Blog Tour for The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde. You can read my thoughts about the book, and I'm also pleased to welcome Eve Chase to Random Things, she's talking about the books that are special to her in My Life in Books.

The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde is a dual-time story that features Applecoat Manor; a house in the Cotswolds that holds many secrets within its walls. I always enjoy novels that span different eras and this one is particularly well written. It's a rich and vivid story, populated by expertly crafted characters in the modern day and back in the 1950s.

The very short prologue draws the reader instantly, set in 1959 and featuring four young sisters with blood on their hands. The scene is set and the tension is immediate.

Eve Chase cleverly leaves her readers hanging on as she then takes up the modern-day story, fifty years later. Jessie and Will, with Will's teenage daughter Bella from his first marriage and their own toddler Romy are viewing Applecote Manor with a view to leaving London, and taking Bella away from increasing temptation. Relations between Jessie and Bella are strained and things don't get easier after the move as the two women are forced to spend so much time on their own as Will continues to work in London.

The story goes back and forth and I must admit that it was the story of the four sisters in the 1950s who go to stay with their Aunt and Uncle at Applecote Manor that held me captive. Their cousin mysteriously disappeared some time ago and they soon become entrenched in what happened to her.

The two timelines are cleverly interwoven as Jessie also becomes more and more interested in the rumours that surround her new home.

Eve Chase has written an evocative and haunting story that I raced through. Secrets, family loyalties and mystery, this is an atmospheric and intriguing story that I'd highly recommend.

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and invited me to take part in the blog tour.

My Life in Books ~ Eve Chase

I wasn’t an early reader but once I started I didn’t stop, moving rapidly from book to book like a hungry bee between flowers, loyalty continually switching. 
I vividly remember sitting on the itchy carpet beneath the table in my local bookshop, reading Anne of Green Gables and eating a slab of chocolate. They never once asked me to leave, or buy anything. I loved them for that. 

I then moved on to the local library and started working my way through their shelves. Here I discovered The Diary of Anne Frank, still one of my favourite all time books: her voice, so alive on the page, inspired me to think that perhaps I too could write one day, that a young girl’s voice mattered. 
I also adored prolific authors because it meant there was always more to read: Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie, who I read and reread, even if I already knew the murderer. (I liked going back and spotting the clues.) 

At home with my three brothers, Tintin was a constant companion. We all roared with laughter at Haddock, and Herge is still my favourite childhood author. Total genius. Tintin in Tibet is my favourite – utterly flawless. It has everything – peril, an amazing setting, friendship, heroism, a bittersweet ending. 

With the confusion of adolescence came Judy Blume – who else to turn to? – Shirley Conran’s Lace – ‘Which one of you bitches is my mother?’ the line remains unbeaten – and Virginia Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic, the twisted incest gothic that me and my girlfriends passed furtively from one to another like a religious tome, its pages folded and refolded at key shocking scenes. 

I stumbled across The Works of Oscar Wilde – a bloody massive book, I’ve still got it - and read it from cover to cover, enchanted. 
I caught my love of Jane Austen, in particular Pride and Prejudice, off a devoted English teacher.
Thomas Hardy’s Tess bewitched me, fused in my mind with Polanski’s amazing film. 
Similarly A Room with A View with Helena Bonham Carter. 

In my twenties, after studying English Lit at university and wrestling with the dusty canon, my tastes became more American - their novels felt lemon-sharp and dynamic. 

In recent years, I’d say some of my all-time favourite books – I have many more that I love, far too many to mention here - include Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges are Not The Only Fruit, Kate Atkinson’s A God in Ruins, Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections, Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up The Bodies. All of them have changed me as a writer and a reader, and completely transported me to a different place between their pages. 

Since reading only stops when you’re dead, this is a list in progress - I’m not done yet! And I like to think that if the afterlife exists, it’s going to have a damn good library.

Copyright Eve Chase 2017 

Eve Chase always wanted to write about families - ones that go wrong but somehow survive - and big old houses, where family secrets and untold stories seed in the crumbling stone walls.
Black Rabbit Hall and The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde are just such stories.
Eve is married with three children and lives in Oxfordshire

Follow her on Twitter @evepchase

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