Saturday, 3 December 2011

My third novel, Jubilee, was published eighteen months ago. It was the first book I set locally and it meant a lot to me to be able to research by simply walking out of the front door. I remember one particularly glorious early June afternoon spent on a bicycle up on the Ridgeway itself. But in Jubilee I was trying to do more than write a homage to the countryside; I wanted to try something a little more unsettling. 
The Ridgeway above the Vale of White Horse
Here is the opening scene of Jubilee.


By the time the kitchen clock struck seven I knew that my cousin wouldn’t be coming back. I abandoned my rehearsal of the cool response I’d planned for her return: I always knew you were just mucking about, Jess . . .

While we waited for the men to finish searching the hedgerows and the white snaky curve of the Ridgeway path above us, I watched my aunt. Evie sat at the kitchen table twisting the fabric belt of her new dress as though she was trying to wring the anxiety out of herself. She caught me staring at her and managed to twist her features into something halfway to a smile. This attempt to reassure me made me feel even more frightened. ‘Come back!’ I shouted silently at my cousin. ‘It’s not a game any more.’


Jubilee is available in paperback and Kindle format.





8 comments:

Ann Weisgarber said...

I've always admired Eliza's ability to begin her novels with tension and tight writing. These passages show her gift and explain why her novels are international hits.

Look at how she begins "Playing With the Moon."

"Our second wedding anniversary. I'm about to tell Tom our marriage is over when he spots something in the sand."

And here's the first sentence from "Restitution."

"Even now I don't like leaving the house on foggy days, though soldiers are unlikely to jump on me in Richmond."

That's talent!

Len Tyler said...

As Ann says, all three are great openings, which really draw you into the narrative.

Eliza Graham said...

Thanks for the kind comments!

Aliya Whiteley said...

I love this moment of Jubilee - the reader knowing something awful has happened. A great read.

Tim Stretton said...

I don't understand why these books aren't much better known. All three are beautifully written with compelling storylines. Many worse writers are household names.

Frances Garrood said...

A brilliant opening, Eliza!

Harvee said...

Sounds suspenseful and like a good read!

Deborah Swift said...

Great extract and I loved Jubilee. Really gripping. Let's hope it gets a revival of interest for next years Queen's Jubilee.