You Let Me Go

After her beloved grandmother Rozenn’s death, Morane is heartbroken to learn that her sister is the sole inheritor of the family home in Cornwall—while she herself has been written out of the will. With both her business and her relationship with her sister on the rocks, Morane becomes consumed by one question: what made Rozenn turn her back on her?

When she finds an old letter linking her grandmother to Brittany under German occupation, Morane escapes on the trail of her family’s past. In the coastal village where Rozenn lived in 1941, she uncovers a web of shameful secrets that haunted Rozenn to the end of her days. Was it to protect those she loved that a desperate Rozenn made a heartbreaking decision and changed the course of all their lives forever?

Morane goes in search of the truth but the truth can be painful. Can she make her peace with the past and repair her relationship with her sister?

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Author Q&A
1. What would you consider to be your Kryptonite as an author?
The more I thought about this question, the more interesting it became. I think I’m prone to overcomplicating things when I write and I have to keep pulling myself back and asking what really matters here. What does the character want? What’s stopping them from getting it? Why does it matter? If a protagonist doesn’t want anything in particular, how can we feel much connection with them or care about them? I think unlocking the want is the best way I can find my writing resolve.

2. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Start now, don’t waste time! When I first started working as a 20-something I didn’t own my own PC (it was the eighties). With hindsight I should have just got on and bought one and started writing. It can be a long apprenticeship before writers produce anything worth publishing and I wasted some years.

3. What book do you feel is under-appreciated? How about overrated?
There are plenty of books I read which should have wider audiences. Michigan-based author, Kris Riggle, is fantastic at drilling into women’s lives and families and what makes and breaks them. I thought THE WHOLE GOLDEN WORLD was a really great read. I don’t like to down-talk other people’s books. Authors’ fortunes go up and down so much: a reader who’s flavor of the month one year can be forgotten the next. On the other hand, some enduringly popular books that don’t personally appeal to me have very wide and loyal readerships and it’s instructive to work out why this is.

4. Favorite childhood memory involving books?
I remember the beautiful smell of a new book: how wonderful it was to open wrapping paper at Christmas or on a birthday and see a shiny new paperback (sometimes hardback) waiting to be read. I used to store my books all around the house and usually went to bed with them, too. I still do this today, although it’s more likely an iPad with an eBook on it than a print book nowadays, as we are officially out of bookshelf space.

5. If you could dine with any literary character, who would it be and why?
I’d like to catch up with Anne Elliot from Jane Austen’s Persuasion, a year into her marriage, perhaps, and see how content she is in her married life with Frederick Wentworth.

6. What fantastical fictional world would you want to live in (if any) given the chance?
I wouldn’t mind a voyage on the Dawn Treader. At the moment, travelling anywhere new sounds pretty good. Magical places would be wonderful.

 7. Did you want to be an author when you grew up?
I can remember going on French and German exchanges and learning stock phrases in both languages, mainly concerning my family and where we lived. The other important phrase I learned was when I grew up I wanted to be an author. I was always clear in my mind about that but I knew I’d have to do it from a position of financial security so I worked in marketing and public relations, eventually taking on more writing and editing projects. By the time I had children I was freelancing from home and it was easier to insert some fiction-writing hours into the day, so I took advantage of that opportunity.

8. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Curious. Sometimes brooding. Prevaricating.

9. What is your most unusual writing quirk?
I do tend to panic just before a book comes out and hope that something happens to stop publication so that nobody reads it. I believe this is a bit weird.

 10. What’s one movie you like recommending to others?
I’ve just rewatched the 2011 version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy with, among others, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Tom Hardy. Even though I’ve read the novel several times as well as having watched the film when it first came out, and also the BBC series, I still found myself picking out things I hadn’t noticed before: little clues and insights. I was actually supposed to be having an early night when I rewatched the film but could not pull myself away. The acting is just so perfect: you are there in the dingy 1970s offices where everything is happening in people’s heads and yet conveyed in myriad subtle gestures and words that mean more than they seem to mean. It’s ultimately all about the pain of being betrayed.

 11. If you could own any animal as a pet, what would it be?
A real-life Pegasus who could fly me to other times and places. I’ve always longed to see what my part of Oxfordshire would have looked like a hundred years ago, for instance. Preferably I’d have a Pegasus who doesn’t need mucking out or hay replenishment and who gets along with our Scottish terrier, who has fixed ideas on other critters coming to live in our household.

12. Have you ever met anyone famous?
For our local literary festival I interviewed Jenni Murray, renowned British broadcaster of many years and best known as the presenter of Woman’s Hour on BBC radio and for not suffering fools gladly. Interviewing such a famous interviewer was a knee-knockingly terrifying prospect. She was actually very kind and even if she was rolling her eyes internally, she didn’t show it. She was so interesting, too, when we chatted about our families in the ‘green room’, i.e., the space behind the civic centre stage where they store bits of scenery and chairs.


 Author Bio –

Eliza Graham's novels have been long-listed for the UK's Richard & Judy Summer Book Club in the UK, and short-listed for World Book Day's 'Hidden Gem' competition. She has also been nominated for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.

Her books have been bestsellers both in Europe and the US.

She is fascinated by the world of the 1930s and 1940s: the Second World War and its immediate aftermath and the trickle-down effect on future generations. Consequently she's made trips to visit bunkers in Brittany, decoy harbours in Cornwall, wartime radio studios in Bedfordshire and cemeteries in Szczecin, Poland. And those are the less obscure research trips.

It was probably inevitable that Eliza would pursue a life of writing. She spent biology lessons reading Jean Plaidy novels behind the textbooks, sitting at the back of the classroom. In English and history lessons she sat right at the front, hanging on to every word. At home she read books while getting dressed and cleaning her teeth. During school holidays she visited the public library multiple times a day.

Eliza lives in an ancient village in the Oxfordshire countryside with her family. Not far from her house there is a large perforated sarsen stone that can apparently summon King Alfred if you blow into it correctly. Eliza has never managed to summon him. Her interests still mainly revolve around reading, but she also enjoys walking in the downland country around her home and travelling around the world to research her novels.

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