Friday 30 November 2018

The Thing About Clare by Imogen Clark @imogenclark BLOG TOUR @ed_pr #MyLifeInBooks #TheThingAboutClare

A dying wish. A devastating secret. Should the truth really stay buried?
The four Bliss siblings have a loving but complicated bond, but when their mother, Dorothy, dies seemingly without a will, this relationship is put to the test. As the mourning siblings try to make sense of the situation, one of them is caught with a secret: before she died, Dorothy entrusted her favourite daughter with her will and a letter—and told her to destroy them both.
Of course it was Anna their mother turned to for this mission. Miriam, the eldest, is far too sensible; Sebastian, the baby, too sensitive; and Clare, the middle child, has always been too rebellious to rely on, and long ago cut herself out of her siblings’ lives.
But what Anna finds in the documents could change everything. Do the other siblings not deserve to know what it is about them that their mother was so desperate to hide? And if it is revealed, will the Bliss family ever be the same again?

The Thing About Clare by Imogen Clark was published by Lake Union Publishing on 1 November 2018. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

I adored this book and am delighted to welcome the author here to Random Things today as part of the Blog Tour. She's talking about the books that are special to her in My Life in Books.
Do look out for my review of The Thing About Clare which will be published on the blog very soon.

My Life in Books - Imogen Clark

When We Were Very Young – AA Milne

I am a huge believer in reading out loud and one of my very earliest memories is of my mum reading me the delightful poems from this book. I can still recite lots of them although I don’t remember ever consciously learning them. We must have read them so often that they just stuck! I loved all the Winnie the Pooh books but if I had to choose one . . .

Mary Poppins – PL Travers

There are so many childhood books that stay with you through life but I settled on this one because there was something so enticing about an adult behaving in such a surprising way. I was reading these books in the 1970s when children were disciplined differently to today and didn’t question things as much as they do now so the idea of a grown up being both strict but also ignoring the rules appealed to me enormously.

Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

I have to confess that I saw the amazing ITV series and fell in love with Charles and Sebastian long before I read the book but when I did finally turn to the original I was entranced not only by the beautiful prose, which will forever be read in my head by Jeremy Irons, but also how very compelling complicated families can be. The relationship between the four loving but deeply damaged siblings are exquisitely drawn and I was fascinated by all of them.

Case Histories – Kate Atkinson

I adore Kate Atkinson but particularly her earlier work. I love the way we ramble around in her character’s heads seemingly without point and yet the plot still races along. Her characters are so lifelike too. I swear that if Jackson Brodie ever asked me out for dinner I might just faint from excitement! I saw Kate Atkinson speak about the series and she said she had no outline and just followed her characters to the end. This is the way I like to write too so it was very encouraging to hear.

Dark Matter – Michelle Paver

I don’t normally read scary books so I’m not quite sure what drew me to this one. Basically, once you get beyond the set-up there is one character on his own in one room in the dark. Not the most obvious ingredients for a gripping read and yet it drew me right in and kept me there (always with the lights on) until I was left as a gibbering wreck at the end. It was a few years ago and the memory of it still haunts me now.

This Charming Man – Marian Keyes

To the opposite end of the scale next. I listened to it rather than read this book which meant that I kept bursting into seemingly unprovoked laughter as I walked down the street. It tickled me so much. Marion Keyes’ characters are so well observed and her wonderful turn of phrase
just captures them perfectly but what I also like is how you stumble across heart-breakingly poignant moments in and amongst the humour.

We Need to Talk about Kevin – Lionel Shriver

Two things struck me about this book when I first read it. First, how could a man capture the essence of what it is to be a mother so accurately. I know now that Lionel Shriver is a woman but I didn’t when I read it. The other thing was how refreshing it was to read about someone who struggled with being a mother. It is such an honest portrayal. I felt that it captured the things that some mothers think but dare not say, such as how hard it can be sometimes to put your own needs on the back burner. I learned later that as well as not being a man, Lionel Shriver has no children. Maybe that’s why her picture of motherhood is so interesting?

The Silkworm – Robert Galbraith

I could have chosen any of the Cormoran Strike books but I picked this one because it’s about writers. I often wonder how long JK Rowling’s pseudonym would have gone undetected if it hadn’t been leaked. I like to think that we still wouldn’t know. There is so much to love about this series. The plots are rich and the clues carefully planted but just as in the Harry Potter books what I think she does brilliantly here is paint characters. I feel I know them all so well that if they walked into the pub I would recognise them at once.

Circling the Sun - Paula Mclain

I love fiction about real people. Put them in an interesting location and period of time and I’m hooked. Paula Mclain does this with all her books but I chose this one because it’s set in Africa and that means I get to learn and travel all at once. The lifestyle in the ‘Happy Valley’ seems so unlikely these days that it makes it all very intriguing. A bunch of rich, white people retreating out of the African heat to the hills, drinking themselves stupid and conducting inappropriate love affairs has been written about before but here we see it through the eyes of an outsider, Beryl Markham who went on to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. Beryl is feisty and determined but with a vulnerability that appealed to me and I also enjoyed pretending, just for an hour or two, that I was drinking gin on a dappled lawn somewhere in the Rift Valley.

This Must be the Place – Maggie O’Farrell

I love all Maggie O’Farrell’s books but I picked this one because of the idea of just walking away from your life and starting again somewhere new. The fact that Claudette was famous in her previous existence just adds to the intrigue. Again the book is driven by its rich characters but the way in which it leaps around in time and location means that we slowly get to the bottom of what is driving Claudette through those around her. There are also chapters just listing items belonging to her to be sold at auction and in those few words of description, O’Farrell manages to convey so much about Claudette’s former life. It’s very clever.

Imogen Clark -November 2018 

Bestselling author Imogen Clark writes contemporary women’s fiction about the secrets that hide at the heart of the families that she creates. She lives in Yorkshire with her husband and children (who hopefully have no such secrets to tell!)

Imogen’s first book POSTCARDS FROM A STRANGER reached the top of the Amazon Kindle Charts in both the UK and Australia. Her second book THE THING ABOUT CLARE will be released on 1st December. Book 3 is currently under wraps but will hopefully appear next summer.

Imogen initially qualified as a lawyer but after leaving her legal career behind to care for her four children, she returned to her first love - books. She went back to University, studying part-time whilst the children were at school and graduated with a BA in English Literature with First Class Honours.

Imogen’s great love is travel and she is always planning her next adventure. 

If you’d like to connect then please visit her website at where you can also download a FREE heartwarming short story, The Bucket List, when you subscribe to her email list. 
Imogen can also be found on  Twitter @imogenclark 

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