Saturday, February 10, 2018

"Where the Wild Cherries Grow"

After a childhood spent acting professionally and training at a theatre school, Laura Madeleine changed her mind and went to study English Literature at Newnham College, Cambridge. The author of The Confectioner's Tale, she now writes fiction, as well as recipes, and was formerly the resident cake baker for Domestic Sluttery. She lives in Bristol, but can often be found visiting her family in Devon, eating cheese, and getting up to mischief with her sister, fantasy author Lucy Hounsom.

Madeleine applied the Page 69 Test to her latest book to reach the US, Where the Wild Cherries Grow: A Novel of the South of France, and reported the following:
From page 69:
The dress is too loose now. It made me look like a child, masquerading in adult clothes, which would not do.

I have not been into Mother’s room since the day they took her away. I couldn’t help lingering at her dressing table, where she used to brush my hair. I took a string of pearls from her drawer, a pair of matching drops for my ears. I suppose we shall have to sell her jewellery to pay our debts. But not tonight.

Timothy made a face when I called at his room to say goodnight just now. He is not used to seeing me dressed like this. He clung to my neck when I kissed his forehead.

‘You smell like Mama,’ he whispered, and I held him all the tighter. Her perfume still lingers on these pearls, the scent released as they warm against my skin.
While this page isn’t representative of the rest of the book, it is representative of the some of the book. In this section, we see Emeline approaching one of her darkest moments, when, unable to cope with devastating loss, she does something that will change the course of her life forever…

The first quarter of Where the Wild Cherries Grow is written in fragments of Emeline’s diary from this time, alternating between chapters featuring a young solicitor, Bill Perch, in London during the summer of 1969.

In the above extract, it is February 1919, on the cold marshes of the Norfork coast. Emeline’s whole world feels both empty and grey and as violent as the North Sea storms. I wanted her section of the book to crack open halfway through the telling, for light and warmth and life to come filtering, then flooding through. But for those sections you’ll have to read on.
Visit Laura Madeleine's website.

--Marshal Zeringue