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The Other Side of Mrs. Wood: Virtual Author Event with Lucy Barker

Thursday, July 6 at 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Join us for a virtual event with Lucy Barker to celebrate the release of The Other Side of Mrs. Wood, a tale of rival mediums in Victorian London.

In Barker’s witty debut, two mediums engage in a battle of wits in 1873 London…Barker—who doesn’t stint on revealing the tricks of the supernatural trade—balances a comic sensibility with a real concern for the weight of her characters’ secrets and problems so that Violet, a figure of fun at the beginning, becomes a character deserving of the reader’s concern as the novel proceeds. The novel is set in a sumptuous—and sometimes sumptuously ridiculous—world full of colorful characters, where rooms are ‘crammed with taxidermied animals and silent clocks,’ crumbs cascade ‘from mouths to bosoms to carpets,’ and ‘illusion is everything.’ The plot unfolds at a leisurely but satisfying pace, and a twist at the end should tickle readers. A sly literary sleight of hand.”

Mrs. Violet Wood is London’s premier medium, a woman of supreme ambition whose unique abilities have earned her the admiration and trust of London’s elite. Mrs. Wood is indeed a clever and gifted seer—her skill is unmatched in predicting exactly what her wealthy patrons want to hear from the beyond.

But times are changing. First, a nosey newspaperman has begun working to expose false mediums across London. Many of Mrs. Wood’s friends—and, yes, some of her foes—have fallen to his merciless accusations. Worse yet, though Mrs. Wood’s monthly séance tables are still packed, she’s noticed that it’s been harder to snare coveted new patrons. There are rumors from America of mediums materializing full spirits…How long will her audiences be content with quivering tables and candle theatrics?

Then, at one of Mrs Wood’s routine gatherings, she hears that most horrifying of sounds—a yawn. So when a sweet girl with an uncanny talent for the craft turns up at her door, Mrs. Wood decides that a protégé will be just the thing to spice up her brand. But is Emmie Finch indeed the naïve ingenue she appears? Or has Mrs. Wood’s own downfall come knocking at last?

Lucy Barker was the runner-up for the Curtis Brown First Novel Prize with an early partial draft of The Other Side of MrsWood. She holds an MA in Victorian Studies from Birkbeck College and has a passion for uncovering the real lives of women from this period. Always a dreamer, Lucy has written stories her whole life, and is a Curtis Brown Creative and Novelry alumni. Born in Sussex, she lives in rural Hampshire with her husband, two young children and dog.

Please register; Zoom links will be sent out before the event.


Thursday, July 6
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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860-673-9712 ext 4
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