I love ‘staying in’ with different authors here on Linda’s Book Bag and when it happens to be a publication day for their brand new novel, it’s very exciting. Today I’m thrilled to welcome Nicola White to tell me all about her latest release and I’d like to thank Rachel Nobilo of Serpent’s Tail books for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.
Staying in with Nicola White
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Nicola and thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
I rather think I know, but tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I’ve brought along my new novel, A Famished Heart. It’s just published so I’m eager to share the story.
I know A Famished Heart is out today so happy publication day Nicola. What’s A Famished Heart about?
It’s a crime novel based on a true story, but it is about the afterlife of a tragedy – the ripples that follow. It is told through three voices – the detective obsessed with uncovering what really happened, the sister of the dead women who escaped their fate and the priest who discovered their bodies.
It sounds fabulous. I’m so excited to have a copy waiting to be read on my TBR pile. How is A Famished Heart being received so far?
Although I live in Scotland, I’m originally from Dublin, and I’m thrilled to have received the support of Irish writers I really admire, like Liz Nugent (Unravelling Oliver), who called it “intriguing, compelling and highly entertaining” and Jo Spain (The Confession) – who described it as ‘Fabulous… very much in the vein of Tana French’, Crime fiction from Ireland is really soaring at the moment, so it is great to feel a part of that.
Those endorsements are wonderful. You must be absolutely delighted that authors Like Liz Nugent and Jo Spain love your writing. How exciting.
What can we expect from an evening in with A Famished Heart?
It’s a crime story with depth and character, and a certain gothic influence. The book has just been chosen as a ‘star pick’ by The Sunday Times Crime Club, who described it as a ‘terrific new gem of Irish noir’. Their review also included the line ‘The scene where the priest visits a massage parlour is worth the cover price alone.’ – not many writers can boast that! They also praised its ‘light touch’, so don’t fear that we will be too bogged in darkness.
I think A Famished Heart sounds exactly my mind of read.
What else have you brought along and why?
I think we should draw the curtains and stoke up the fire before we start, and maybe put on some music, something old and haunting, like uileann pipe music from the west of Ireland.
That’s a really atmospheric sound Nicola!
I’ve got a bottle of Redbreast Whisky, distilled in Dublin, to strengthen our nerves, and we can have some toast and honey when we get peckish. There’s a reason for the honey, but I can’t tell you – you’ll have to read the book to find out…
I’m not much of a drinker Nicola but I’m quite partial to toast and honey and of course, I’m utterly intrigued as to why we’re eating it. I cannot wait to sink my teeth into that toast and into A Famished Heart. Thank you so much for staying in with me to tell me more about it.
A Famished Heart
The Macnamara sisters hadn’t been seen for months before anyone noticed. It was Father Timoney who finally broke down the door, who saw what had become of them. Berenice was sitting in her armchair, surrounded by religious tracts. Rosaleen had crawled under her own bed, her face frozen in terror. Both had starved themselves to death.
Francesca Macnamara returns to Dublin after decades in the US, to find her family in ruins. Meanwhile, Detectives Vincent Swan and Gina Considine are convinced that there is more to the deaths than suicide. Because what little evidence there is, shows that someone was watching the sisters die…
Published today, 27th February 2020 by Serpent’s Tail, A Famished Heart is available for purchase here.
About Nicola White
Nicola White won the Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award in 2008 and in 2012 was Leverhulme Writer in Residence at Edinburgh University. Her novel The Rosary Garden won the Dundee International Book Prize, was shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize, and selected as one of the four best debuts by Val McDermid at Harrogate. She grew up in Dublin and New York, and now lives in the Scottish Highlands.
You can follow Nicola on Twitter @whiteheadednic and there’s more with these other bloggers too: