I know many of you have been waiting in anticipation for the date of our talk with Tracy Chevalier, and here it is! Book tickets early, we will sell out quickly!
About the book…
It is 1932 and Violet Speedwell is a “surplus woman” – one of millions of English women unable to marry since World War I decimated a generation of potential spouses. Looked down on by the press, tolerated with gentle exasperation by families, these women live at a time when society has rigid expectations of what a single woman might do with her life. Violet is about to challenge those restrictions.
Choosing to leave her cantankerous mother and take up an office job in the cathedral city of Winchester, Violet searches for new friends and a new community. She unexpectedly discovers one in a volunteer group of “broderers” – women who are embroidering cushions and kneelers for the city’s magnificent cathedral.
While Violet finds friendship, support and creative fulfillment in the group, she also encounters condescension and prejudice. And in the background, fascism grows on the Continent and Hitler comes to power in Germany… In large and small ways, Violet must learn how to stand up for herself in a world that is still hostile to independent women.
About the author…
“I was born in October 1962 and grew up in Washington, DC, where my father was a photographer for the Washington Post. It’s a strange place to live if you’re not involved in politics. After graduating with a BA in English from Oberlin College in Ohio, I moved to London, and have lived there ever since, with my British husband and son. I now have dual nationality, but my accent is still American. I worked for several years as a reference book editor, which taught me a lot about research, accuracy, and the importance of editing as part of the writing process. I put these lessons to use when I did an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. I then juggled freelance editing with writing until my second novel, Girl with a Pearl Earring, began to do well, and I was able to write full-time.”