Work

https://twitter.com/SuzeLavender https://twitter.com/Annieksnowroses https://www.facebook.com/SuzeLavender/?ref=bookmarks https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/with-love-for-books-14626323 https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/29148122-suzanne https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/46780725-anniek https://plus.google.com/u/0/108289270387325642684 https://www.facebook.com/lavender.smith.750 http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/pdp/profile/ADAJ62S65XLVH/ref=cm_cr_dp_pdp https://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/amzn1.account.AEWOFGDZJMGNMC36BUAXVIQPDVRQ?ie=UTF8&ref_=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_pf
Review Request Sign up for Newsletters Tips and ideas Write for us

Follow by Email

Monday, January 1, 2018

Gaslight by Eloise Williams - Book Review, Guest Post & Giveaway


Review by Anniek

It's 1899 and Nansi lives in Cardiff. Being a young girl in these dark times isn't easy. Nansi had a dreadful accident on the same day her mother disappeared. She was fished out of the water at the Cardiff docks and never saw her mother again. Nansi now lives with her uncle Sid in a theater and she has to work to earn money. Sid promised her that he'll set aside some of the money Nansi makes for her, so he can hire an investigator to search for her mother. Nansi has to steal from the rich and has to participate in obscure theater shows that are nothing more than scams.

Nansi's never questioned Sid's story until recently. Sid doesn't treat the people at the theater very well and Nansi even has to share her closet room space with someone else. Nansi has a big heart and she's always looking out for other people. Being disobedient will come at a price, but Nansi is done with waiting around for Sid to do something. Will Nansi ever be reunited with her mother?

Gaslight is a beautiful story about family and friendship. Nansi dreams about what her life would be like when she'd be with her mother again and I loved her determination to find out the truth. Nansi is in some ways a typical young girl. She can be naive and too trusting, but she's also incredibly clever and resourceful. I connected with her right from the start and I was wishing for her to have the life she deserves.

Gaslight is a beautiful and intriguing book about family secrets. The cover is stunning and it matches the dark atmosphere of the story perfectly. I know that Suze absolutely loved Gaslight, so I couldn't wait to start reading and then I found it hard to stop, because I desperately wanted to find out what would happen to Nansi and the search for her mother. Gaslight is an enchanting story that grabbed me from beginning to end. Eloise Williams is a new author for me and after reading Gaslight I can't wait to read more of her books.

Advice

If you love to read captivating stories that are suitable for both children adults I highly recommend Gaslight.

About Eloise Williams




Eloise used to be an actress but she’s alright now. Leaving behind the scars of her appearance as part of a fence at the Minack in Cornwall (where everyone skinny-dipped and she wore pants and vest) and shrugging off the screaming fans of her spellbinding portrayal of a flickering flame at the Barbican (where she unintentionally pirouetted into an audience member’s lap), Eloise has moved as far West in West Wales as it is possible to be.

Ensconced in Pembrokeshire, she studied for an MA in Creative and Media Writing at Swansea University and this time she got a 'D' for Distinction, instead of the 'D's she was more accustomed to at school.

Now holed up in the teeniest, tiniest cottage by the sea that she could find, Eloise lives with her long-suffering artist husband and her loyal (when-on-a-lead) dog, Watson Jones. Eloise’s life is made up of writing, salt and strange vowel sounds. She collects sea glass, sagely pretends to know about the tides and accidentally sings Welsh songs out loud on the beach. She sometimes pulls a serious face for photographs and does great windswept scarf.

Eloise is also to be writer in residence for three months at Oriel y Parc visitor centre in the Pembrokeshire National Park from April 2016.

Eloise's debut for 7+, Elen's Island, was published by Firefly Press in 2015 and went on to be picked out by Booktrust at Number 6 in their Advent Calendar of bookish treats for Christmas 2015. Her next (slightly older) upper middle grade novel, Gaslight was published in 2017, also by Firefly, and is a dark and atmospheric mystery set in the morbid, death-obsessed world of the Victorian theatre, because hey - you can take the girl out of the theatre, but.... you can follow her on Twitter - @eloisejwilliams.

Links

Website

Guest post

What inspired me to write Gaslight
By Eloise Williams


As I run lots of creative writing workshops with young people I get asked what inspired me to write ‘Gaslight’ a lot. I’m not sure I can answer the question entirely correctly. I try, but my answer keeps changing because it was inspired by a multitude of things.

Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’, Hans Christian Anderson tales, the film of ‘The Red Shoes’, theatre in all its forms, the Victorian child’s boot that washed up on the shore in front of me, Cardiff – the city I was born in and love, to name but a few.

The name ‘Gaslight’ came, I thought, from an inspired idea to play with shadow and light, to set the book firmly in the Victorian era with its name, a symbol of hope in the dark world I was about to create. It was only after I’d chosen the title that I happened upon an illustration that I’d first come across as a six or seven-year-old child and realised the idea had been there for most of my life.

The picture was, of course, the lamppost in ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, a symbol of magic and of other worlds, the very thing that had taken me away from real life and into a land of stories, the door to my imagination and to the imagination of millions of others, a place where good conquered evil and children had the power to right all wrongs. I’d been cooking up some of this story since I’d first gone to Narnia almost forty years ago.

My other love from about the same age was the theatre. It has always fascinated me. When I was young my parents took me to see ‘The King and I’ at the London Palladium starring Yul Brynner. Of course, at the time I had no idea who the cast were, I just saw them as being the characters they were playing.

I remember the effects of the lights, the beautiful jewel colours of the sumptuous costumes, the dances, the story, the smell of dust, the roar of the crowd, the atmosphere. Of course, I also remember vividly the part where Anna tries to bow to the king and her hooped skirt rises up to show her bloomers – I’m not pretending I was all that cultured in my youth – but I was completely caught up in the magic of the whole experience.

Little wonder that this feeling of being spellbound made me determine then and there that I was going to become an actor, a dream I pursued and realised until I decided to change career path only a few years ago.

I went to college at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, which is situated in the gardens of Cardiff Castle, to take a degree in Drama in my early twenties. It was while I was there that I studied Victorian Theatre.

One particular winter’s afternoon, I was sat in the lecture room listening to the tutor telling us about the lives of the great Victorian actors, writers, theatre-managers, and looking out of the window into the gardens beyond the river. I began to imagine a girl wandering there in the mists that had begun to rise with the twilight. She was a Victorian girl, she was in trouble because of the river, she was going to make the theatre a part of her life as much as it was a part of mine. This girl came to be Nansi many years later and after many incarnations, but it was at that moment her character was born.

Cardiff is a beautiful city and really the book couldn’t have been set anywhere else. It’s a place I know so well. I was born there and lived there for much of my adult life.

My Grandad, Arthur Warren Howe – known as Warren - was from Cardiff. His father was a ship’s pilot and his mother played the piano for the silent movies at the Empire Cinema, which was formerly the Empire Theatre, and features largely in the book. They lived on Clarence Embankment and watched the regattas from their bedroom window. The docks area of Cardiff and the theatrical history of Cardiff must be running through my veins I think.

So, a mixture of things inspired me to write the book and they keep widening as I keep realising links to different areas of my life and how they have influenced me subconsciously. We put so much of ourselves into our stories that sometimes it is difficult to dissect the exact mechanics of how the pieces came together. All I can say for certain is that I filled the story with things that I adore and things that have made me who I am, and I wrote it from the heart, with passion, memories, thrills, spills and love.

I hope you are as excited by reading it as I was by writing it.

Giveaway

Winner of Wales Arts Review Young People's Book of the Year 2017


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback copy of Gaslight and a beautiful book cover necklace. One runner up will get a signed paperback copy of Gaslight.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

43 comments:

  1. This books sounds absolutely brilliant!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Victorian era is perfect for children's books!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Gaslight sounds like a beautiful, must-read children's story.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love the time this is set in. Such a fabulous cover and it sounds like a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing your review and I enjoyed the guest post. I'm always curious where authors get their inspiration for their stories. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  5. this looks an absorbing and interesting read - just my type of book xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds a very interesting book, sounds very mysterious and enthralling

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love the idea of this book and it's the sort of book I love reading. Victorian novels take us back to a time and place that we haven't experienced and I like that.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This sounds like a fun story.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I. LOVE. THE. COVER. The title is really good and the plot draws you in! So all in all, MUST READ! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Firstly I love books set in Wales. Myself and my daughter have read some of Eloise books and know we would like this one.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love the cover and it sounds good too.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This book sounds great, my niece would love it

    ReplyDelete
  13. https://plus.google.com/u/0/116323573693055422688 for follow us I accidently put my twitter

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for the review & giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Reading....the stepping stones' to knowledge!

    ReplyDelete
  16. The story sounds so amazing I would love to read this book.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This sounds like a really interesting and intriguing read.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This sounds like such an unusual read!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Sounds lovely. What a gorgeous cover.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great title - and sounds like a great read

    ReplyDelete
  21. It looks and sounds magical. I love it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Lucy Barlow @jazzrecluseJanuary 8, 2018 at 7:14 PM

    Like the sound of this. I am looking for an alternative read for the 11 yr old, but am wondering wether she might enjoy delivering this to her 8 yr old sibling instead

    ReplyDelete
  23. This sounds really good and I love the cover design.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love books set in Victorian times and this one looks amazing. I think my daughter and I would both enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete
  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  26. This book seems amazing and the cover is stunning so I'd love to try this out! Great job! Fingers crossed! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. This looks great, I have followed you on Amazon and will look for you on Goodreads, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oooh, this has echos of the Black Book of Secrets... intriguing.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'd love to have a read before bedtime.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks for the competition - sounds like a good book! x

    ReplyDelete
  31. Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the competition.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I want to know about those family secrets.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Do love the cover, that draws me in. Haven't been to Cardiff for years but everyone spoke to me as if they knew me, even random strangers in the street. A very friendly place, wouldn't get that where I live.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Love that cover it looks and sounds magical. I'd love to get absorbed in this.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I do love the cover to and congrats on the book! I admire someone who can write so beautifully!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I would like to give thanks for all your really great writings, including Gaslight. I wish the best in keeping up the good work in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I'm half-Welsh so stories set in Wales have a special meaning for me. Eloise's tale of being a flickering flame & ending up in the audience reminded me of when I was cast as a tree and had to stand still for so long under the hot lights that I fainted on stage!

    ReplyDelete