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The #TFBookClub reads Exquisite by Sarah Stovell, set in the Lake District

9th September 2017

Thank you for joining us as we read Exquisite by Sarah Stovell, set in the Lake District. We hope you enjoy this psychological thriller, Sarah’s debut published novel. We will be talking through September and into October 2017, so if you are reading it, please come and join the dialogue!

Exquisite by Sarah Stovell

The #TFBookClub is your book club – we are here to help you discover new titles that will transport you to interesting locations via top literature for some exceptional #literarywanderlust! (and we will join the conversation too).

We will also be chatting to Angela Locke, who lives in the Lake District just like Bo Luxton, the successful author and one of the main protagonists in Exquisite. And oh yes, Angela runs Writing Retreats too, just like Bo. (You can now access this piece on our blogpost).

And we’ll be exploring beautiful Grasmere, once home to William Wordsworth and where Bo now lives a seemingly perfect life with her husband and children. But does this poetic landscape hide something darker…..?

So, lots to look forward to as we read this unsettling story – Exquisite by Sarah Stovell – together.

As you read, please come and chat and share your thoughts in several ways:

  • Here on our dedicated blogpost, leave your thoughts in the Comments section below
  • On FACEBOOK
  • On TWITTER using the #TFBookClub
  • On INSTAGRAM using #TFBookClub
  • On PINTEREST following this link (collaborative board)
  • And once you’ve turned the final page, we’d love it if you could write your own review, which you can do on tripfiction.com using the Add A Review tab. Help us to build the #TFBookClub and the TripFiction website!

REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO READING THIS BOOK TOGETHER!

Thank you to the team at Orenda Books for providing copies of the book for the #TFBookClub and don’t hesitate to tag using  @OrendaBooks and @Sarahlovescrime

And finally come and join team TripFiction on Social Media:

Twitter (@TripFiction), Facebook (@TripFiction.Literarywanderlust), YouTube (TripFiction #Literarywanderlust), Instagram (@TripFiction) and Pinterest (@TripFiction)

Tina and Andrew for the TripFiction team

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Comments

  1. User: Laura Chapman

    Posted on: 09/10/2017 at 8:50 am

    I wanted to join in with the conversation, but don’t want to read any spoilers! I am just over half way through the book and very much enjoying it. I haven’t, so far, found it to be a typical psychological thriller and I’ve managed to really grasp and form ‘relationships’ with the main characters which in some books, I find awfully hard as their characters annoy me! Excited to see how things plan out – I am hoping that in the next 100 pages or so, things really take off. So far, it has been very interesting, but possibly a tad too slow for me.

    Comment

  2. User: Jen Russon

    Posted on: 21/09/2017 at 9:58 am

    I’ve never been to the Lake District, but Sarah described it to be exactly the same as I imagined.
    I really did love this book. I didn’t have a clue what to expect, as the description is pretty vague.
    I thought the story was gripping, please make a sequel to this please!

    Comment

  3. User: Anne Thompson

    Posted on: 20/09/2017 at 5:42 pm

    If you are being picky the writer talked about parking in the layby at Oxenholme and watching the train, this would not happen in reality as it is all double yellow lines and you are not above the station to watch quite like it was described. The hospital she would actually have to go to is Lancaster as very little happens at Kendal in terms of accidents and emergencies. I too had issues with going sledging on the lower slopes of Helvelleyn and walked from Grasmere with small children!

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: Harriet Steel

      Posted on: 20/09/2017 at 10:29 pm

      I’m glad I’m not alone noticing this kind of thing! I didn’t know about the station or the hospital though. How lucky you are to live in the area. I’m always very sorry to leave after our annual week in Elterwater. This year we had our grandchildren – 3 and 1 – along with us so not much walking got done but they loved Wray Castle.

      Comment

  4. User: Sara Hill

    Posted on: 20/09/2017 at 10:47 am

    I have really enjoyed this book. From the very first page I wondered who was in prison and changed my mind once or twice as the story progressed. I thought the writing was good and the descriptions of the Lake District , Grasmere in particular were evocative. It surprised me to read about Bo’s destructive childhood but it was no wonder she she grasped at love when it came her way and that it turned into obsession. Her relationship with her husband was unhappy and although she obviously loved her children she needed much more.
    Alice Dark (great surname) had also had an unhappy childhood and was looking for real affection. I enjoyed this book so much I read it too fast and feel I must reread it very soon!

    Comment

    • User: Sharon Mead

      Posted on: 20/09/2017 at 9:49 am

      it is clever, but tbh I thought the cover was too “50 shades” style and prob would not have picked up the book based on the cover

      Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 20/09/2017 at 9:12 am

      I thought it was very subtle – I didn’t at first spot what it was until I happened to look at the cover a little more in depth… It’s great when you work out what it is, very stylish.

      Comment

    • User: Bev Bookless

      Posted on: 20/09/2017 at 7:24 am

      Yeah, clever.

      Comment

    • User: Harriet Steel

      Posted on: 19/09/2017 at 4:53 pm

      Ah, I’ve managed to enlarge it a bit now and it looks like a reclining woman’s body in profile, not a hillside.

      Comment

    • User: Harriet Steel

      Posted on: 19/09/2017 at 4:46 pm

      I’ll have to try and get hold of a copy for a better look, or buy new glasses!

      Comment

    • User: Bev Bookless

      Posted on: 19/09/2017 at 11:19 am

      The paperback version cover I think is good. If you look closely it is not what it first seems. Don’t want to give too much away.

      Comment

    • User: Harriet Steel

      Posted on: 18/09/2017 at 10:08 pm

      I have the Kindle edition so don’t really get the full effect but I think it looks stylish, more so in the black finished version than the one shown here on the blog which is presumably pre publication. What do you think? Harriet

      Comment

  5. User: Bev Bookless

    Posted on: 18/09/2017 at 5:29 pm

    I finished reading this book last night and enjoyed it. I found this an interesting read. Both Bo and Alice had experienced issues before with ‘infatuation’ (my word) with individuals, a teacher and another young writer. Both their names starting with Ch. I was not surprised with discovering who was in prison, it became apparent but then did wonder if there would be a final twist.
    Like Sharon the last line left me unnerved. Looking forward to Sarah’s next book.

    Comment

    2 Comments

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 20/09/2017 at 9:13 am

      The last line is certainly a “brrrr” ending!

      Comment

    • User: Bev Bookless

      Posted on: 20/09/2017 at 7:25 am

      The last line, me too.

      Comment

  6. User: Sharon Mead

    Posted on: 18/09/2017 at 10:37 am

    I have just finished this book and loved it! The last line made the hairs on my arms stand on end and gave me a proper spine tingling chill! A super read and loved trying to figure out if it was Bo or Alice who was unhinged. Thank you TF

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 20/09/2017 at 9:14 am

      You are so welcome, glad you joined us reading this. It kept up the pathos very well!

      Comment

  7. User: Harriet Steel

    Posted on: 18/09/2017 at 9:55 am

    Finished and I really enjoyed this page turner. Bo and Alice are interesting characters, both with abused childhoods. As their true selves are revealed through their relationship, I enjoyed trying to work out who was the unreliable narrator. The ending was clever and very filmic. I imagine the author may be hoping to sell the film rights! I thought she created a feeling of claustrophobia that suited her theme very well.
    As far as sense of location goes though, and this being Trip Fiction, I suppose I ought to mention it, I was less impressed. I’ve visited the Lake District fairly regularly for over thirty years and so it was no problem filling in the gaps but I did find the descriptions somewhat generic. I also had a problem with the mention of Bo taking her daughters across the fells to go sledging on the lower slopes of Helvellyn. With short winter day when it’s dark by four, I doubt it would be practical to walk there and back with young children and spend hours sledging as Bo describes, particularly as they’d already spent the morning playing Uno and baking.

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 20/09/2017 at 9:16 am

      Interesting thought on location. I read it whilst in the Lake District, mainly in Patterdale and didn’t think beyond what I was reading or occasionally looking up to watch walkers, imagining they might just be the characters from the book #3Deffect!

      Comment

  8. User: Anne Thompson

    Posted on: 17/09/2017 at 9:57 am

    As a Lake District resident I was interested in the geographical aspect, which on the whole was pretty accurate, it was an interesting read which always kept you wondering what was going to happen next. I was a little disappointed with the ending though.

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 20/09/2017 at 9:17 am

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Hopefully it felt like a good overall read for the #TFBookClub and thank you for joining us!

      Comment

  9. User: Melanie Daniels

    Posted on: 16/09/2017 at 2:23 pm

    I just finished reading this book and I LOVED it! Such a pacey, gripping thriller that really kept me guessing until the end with lots of twists and turns. It’s been a long time since a book has made me keep on reading until the early hours, but this one did. A fantastic read, I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with next!

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 20/09/2017 at 9:17 am

      That is so good to hear, yes, we await with bated breath her next novel!!! Thank you for joining us!

      Comment

  10. User: Harriet Steel

    Posted on: 16/09/2017 at 7:18 am

    I’m a few chapters in and really enjoying this. The writing is very good and I like the author’s vivid but unobtrusive style. The two main characters are well drawn and there a plenty of hints of dark things to come. I’m looking forward to reading more on the plane home from Bologna. Perfect timing!

    Comment

  11. User: Janine Phillips

    Posted on: 15/09/2017 at 7:20 pm

    I read this book in one sitting and just loved it. Well written and a very clever storyline.

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 20/09/2017 at 9:18 am

      Sounds as though it was a good choice for you! Thank you for joining us!

      Comment

  12. User: Pat Stubbs

    Posted on: 12/09/2017 at 12:10 pm

    Best book I’ve read for a while. Brilliant characters and I just couldn’t put it down.Love the way it is written – nice to read some proper english for a change. Great tension and I wasn’t completely sure who was in prison till the end!! Look forward to her next book.

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 20/09/2017 at 9:18 am

      So pleased to hear your lovely positive response. Thank you so much for joining us!

      Comment

  13. User: Bev Bookless

    Posted on: 12/09/2017 at 9:30 am

    I am about a third of the way through the book now and finding it a page turner. I like the different styles and the language is a delight to read. I am particularly enjoying the way Sarah is using the outdoors and walking, enjoying the environment in the narrative to help with creativity. It is how I find the Lake District; inspiring.
    I live in Northumberland, not on the coast but Sarah used that location well to portray atmosphere.

    I am getting a feeling of foreboding reading this. I am interested to hear how others feel about it. If a story creates feelings in me I see that as a good sign and I am thoroughly enjoying it so far.

    Comment

  14. User: Melanie Daniels

    Posted on: 11/09/2017 at 9:12 pm

    I’ve read the first few chapters of this book and am hooked already! I love the writing style and the two main female characters both really appeal to me in their very different ways. Looking forward to seeing where the plot takes me next. Thanks for my free copy!

    Comment

  15. User: GILLIAN CORBITT

    Posted on: 11/09/2017 at 2:53 pm

    Love the Lake District,and know it well,so am very enthusiastic about starting this book .Grasmere is a favourite place of mine .Many thanks to Orenda Books for supplying the copies.

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: tripfiction

      Posted on: 20/09/2017 at 9:21 am

      Yes, a BIG shout out to Orenda for offering us the opportunity to read the book.

      Comment

  16. User: Laura Chapman

    Posted on: 10/09/2017 at 8:01 pm

    Excited to start this. I have around 5 books on the go at the minute, non which I really feel encouraged to continue reading. Hopefully going to start this one next weekend.

    Comment

  17. User: Bev Bookless

    Posted on: 09/09/2017 at 4:54 pm

    Just started to read this book, off to the Lake District for a holiday in a few weeks. Already hooked after reading the opening pages. I wonder who is writing it!

    Comment

Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021