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Harriet Evans in conversation with Joanna Quinn

September 26 @ 19:30 - 21:30


Join us to hear not one but TWO Sunday Times bestselling authors in conversation about their brilliant books. Harriet Evans will be talking about her magical and transporting novel, The Stargazers whilst Joanna Quinn will be talking about her sparkling, sweeping epic The Whalebone Theatre.

Whilst their books may have different settings and span different time frames, there is so much that connects both writers’ work: the intricacies and difficulties in families who keep secrets and leave so much unsaid and the physical places and spaces that bind people.

Here’s a little flavour of both books (no spoilers!)

The Stargazers

How can you ever know yourself when you were deprived of love as a child? It’s the 1970s, and Sarah has spent a lifetime trying to bury her disjointed childhood, the loneliness of her school days, and Fane, the vast and crumbling family home so loved – and hated – by her mother, Iris, a woman as cruel as she is beautiful. Sarah’s solace has been her cello and the music that allowed her to dream, transporting her from the bleakness of those early years to a new life now with Daniel, her husband, in their noisy Hampstead home surrounded by bohemian friends and with a concert career that has brought her fame and restored a sense of self.

The past, though, has a habit of creeping into the present, and as long as Sarah tries to escape, it seems the pull of Fane, her mother, and the secrets of the generations hidden there, are slowly being revealed, threatening to unravel the fragile happiness she enjoys in the here and now.

Sarah will need to travel back to Fane to confront her childhood and search for the true meaning of home.

The Whalebone Theatre

Cristabel Seagrave has always wanted her life to be a story, but there are no girls in the books in her dusty family library. For an unwanted orphan who grows into an unmarriageable young woman, there seems to be no place at all for her in Chilcombe, her family’s crumbling Dorset estate. But from the day that a whale washes up on the beach, and twelve-year-old Cristabel plants her flag, claiming it as her own, she is determined to do things differently.

With her step-parents blithely distracted by their endless party guests, Cristabel and her siblings, Flossie and Digby, scratch together an education from the plays they read in their freezing attic bedroom, drunken conversations eavesdropped through oak-panelled doors, and the esoteric lessons of Maudie their maid.

But as the children grow to adulthood and war approaches, it becomes clear that the roles they are expected to play are no longer those they would choose for themselves. And as they are drawn into the conflict, they must each find a way to write their own story…

Harriet Evans

Born and raised in Chiswick, Harriet Evans loved drama and reading from an early age. Having made her way into the publishing industry, Harriet worked for seven years at Penguin, before moving to Headline where she worked from 2003 to 2009. In the end, Harriet’s love of for writing won out over her publishing career and she enjoys being lucky enough to focus on her writing as a full-time novelist.

With a passion for women’s commercial fiction and a dedication to promoting its reputation, Harriet Evans is the author of a long list of bestsellers, including The Beloved GirlsA Place for UsGoing HomeLove Always and the award-winning The Garden of Lost and Found.

Joanna Quinn

Joanna Quinn was born in London and grew up in Dorset, where her debut novel The Whalebone Theatre is set. In 2013, while working for a charity, she began a PhD in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths University in London, and, as part of this, began to write a novel. The result was The Whalebone Theatre which was an instant Sunday Times bestseller upon publication last year.


  • There will be a signing after the event and both authors books will be available to buy on the night.
  • If there is a particular Harriet Evans title you would like us to guarantee availability of at the event, please email us at winstonebooks3@gmail.com so we can make sure we have it set aside for you.
  • There is disabled parking only at the venue itself, but there are a number of public car parks within walking distance of the Town Hall.
  • There is stepped access to the front of the building and a level wheelchair accessible entrance to the side. The Chamber is on the first floor, but can be accessed by a lift. Let us know if you have any additional needs and we will do our very best to accommodate you.


September 26
19:30 - 21:30
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Hunting Raven Books
01373 473111


Frome Town Hall
Christchurch Street West
Frome, BA11 1EB
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01373 465757