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Calcot’s ‘Meet-the-Author’ lunch dates resume this autumn

PUBLISHED: 09:47 02 September 2016

Dinah Jeffries © Jenny Stewart

Dinah Jeffries © Jenny Stewart


The popular series of ‘Meet-the-Author’ lunches, hosted by Calcot, near Tetbury is set to return this the autumn, featuring two novelists who live in the Cotswolds.

The Silk Merchant's DaughterThe Silk Merchant's Daughter

Dinah Jeffries and ‘The Silk Merchant’s Daughter‘ alongside Kate Riordan and ‘The Shadow Hour’

Monday 26th September

Kate RiordanKate Riordan

Interviewing each other as they jointly address their September audience, Dinah Jefferies and Kate Riordan will also give short readings from their latest novels - the third one by each writer.

This will be a reunion for Calcot and Dinah Jefferies who was previously a ‘Meet-the-Author’ guest speaker in May 2014 when she presented her debut novel, ‘The Separation’. On this occasion, she will be introducing ‘The Silk Merchant’s Daughter’ set in French Indochina in 1952 and around the half-French, half-Vietnamese 18-year-old Nicole. While her older and beautiful sister, Sylvie takes control of their father’s silk business, Nicole is given an abandoned silk shop in Hanoi. Away from her sheltered colonial upbringing, she starts to see the cruelty of French rule and her family’s part in it. Torn between filial loyalty and fear of impending war, Nicola seeks solace first in Mark, a charming American trader and then Tran, a Vietnamese insurgent. Which side will she choose?

Dinah Jefferies was born in Malaysia and moved to England at the age of nine. She worked in education, lived in a commune and exhibited work as an artist before deciding to follow her dream of becoming a writer after losing her retirement fund in the financial crash. To motivate herself, Dinah stuck Post-it notes around her house saying, ‘You will write a best-seller!’ Indeed her second book, ‘The Tea Planter’s Wife’ became a number one Sunday Times bestseller.

The Shadow HourThe Shadow Hour

Also calling Gloucestershire ‘home’, writer and former journalist, Kate Riordans’s first novel was published after she moved to the Cotswolds from London. Now living near Stroud, Kate had previously worked at the Guardian and then at Time Out where she went on to be the deputy editor of the lifestyle section. She then became a freelance writer so that she could focus on writing fiction. Her first book, ‘Birdcage Walk’ was published in 2012 and then three years later, her second novel was published in the US as ‘The Girl in the Photograph’ and in Canada as ‘Fiercombe Manor’.

With a Cotswold setting across a 45-year span - moving between 1877, 1910 and 1922 - a tragic train crash at the heart of the story, Kate Riordan latest book, ‘The Shadow Hour’ is a dual narrative that’s full of secrets and intrigue. From the terrible day of the crash in 1910, an intricately woven story rolls out: backwards to the 1870s for Harriet’s story of revenge and seduction as a young governess and forwards to the 1920s, when she persuades her granddaughter Grace to leave home and take up where Harriet left off 44 years earlier.

Anna PasternakAnna Pasternak

Anna Pasternak and ‘Lara - the untold true love story and inspiration for Doctor Zhivago.”

Monday 31st October

‘Lara’ is the heart-breaking story of the passionate love affair between Boris Pasternak and Olga Ivinskaya which lies behind Dr. Zhivago. The two met in 1946 at the literary journal where she worked and their relationship would last for the remainder of their lives. Yet Olga paid an enormous price for loving her ‘Boria’, becoming a pawn in a highly political game and being imprisoned twice in Siberian labour camps because of her association with him and his controversial work. Her story is one of unimaginable courage, loyalty, suffering, tragedy, drama and loss.

Drawing on both archival and family sources, Anna Pasternak reveals for the first time the critical role played by Olga Ivinskaya in Boris Pasternak’s life and argues that without her it is likely Doctor Zhivago would never have been completed or published.

Writer Anna Pasternak is the great-granddaughter of Leonid Pasternak, the impressionist painter while Nobel Prize winning novelist Boris Pasternak was her great-uncle.

Calcot’s ‘Meet-the-Author’ September and October lunches begins at 12 noon for 12.30pm and the ticket price of £29.50 per person includes a two course lunch and a glass of wine. For further enquiries and/or to make a reservation, please call:The Reservations team at Calcot Manor on Tel: 01666 890391 or e-mail:


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