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Isabel Ashdown Books In Order

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A Quiet Winter (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Isabel Ashdown is a British contemporary crime and suspense author who made her name with her debut novel “Glasshopper” published in 2009. She went to the University of Chichester and got her bachelor’s in English before she attained her Masters in Creative Writing at the same institution. While she was still a student at Chichester, she submitted an extract from her debut novel that went on to win a national writing competition. More recently she has had two Amazon bestsellers in the thrillers “Beautiful Liars” and “Little Sister” that also made the shortlist for the 2018 and 2019 Dead Good Reader Awards. She has also taught creative writing at several institutions and festivals around the country and worked with individual students as a Royal Literary Fund (RLF) Fellow at the University of Chichester. As an RLF fellow, she was charged with helping her students make their writing to be as good as it could be. Isabel runs the “Reading Round” that is a community under the Royal Literary Fund. The group brings together readers that have a love for the written word and like to discuss it with others with similar passions.

Prior to becoming an author, Isabel was a product marketing executive. She gave up her job in upper management to go chase her passion in fiction writing. Though she was a late bloomer when she attended university for her creative writing degrees, she managed to graduate with distinction from Chichester. Since she became a full-time author, she spends most of her days writing her novels. When she is not writing, she loves to volunteer at the Pets as Therapy charity in a nearby school. She currently lives in Sussex with her husband, their two children and dogs Leonard and Charlie. Isabel loves interacting with fellow authors and in this regard, she has membership in the Society of Authors. She also attends the Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival, where she has reserved the Orion Incident Room for her biannual creative writing workshop. While she was born in London and brought up on the south coast, she currently makes her home in West Sussex.

Isabel Ashdown novels show an interest in the dynamics of relationships and family. She got her big break when in 2008 she won a novel completion organized by Mail on Sunday. The competition’s judges that included Michael Ridpath, Fay Weldon, and the later Sir John Mortimer described her work as magnificent. Given the encouragement she needed, she published Glasshopper in 2009 and the novel was so successful that both the London Evening Standard and the Observer Review had it in their best book of the year lists. Since then she has gone on to write several novels and a novella “A Quiet Winter.” She has also been a creative writing tutor in a variety of settings that have included the University of Brighton, Harrogate’s Crime Writing Festival and West Dean College. Her work with college students and beginner writer festivals and workshops is meant to provide mentorship and education on the craft and process of authorship.

Isabel Ashdown’s “Glasshopper” is a compelling read that tells of a 13-year-old boy named Jake and his mother. Jake’s story is set in the 1980s while his mother’s weaves through the 1960s. Told in a multipoint of view it starts with the story of Jake’s mother and then to the present where Jake is watching his world unravel. His older brother and father leave the family home and in the mid of the despair, his mother slowly becomes an alcoholic. Jake has doubts about his paternity and while he shrugs these off while in the presence of other people, when he is alone it haunts him like an invisible specter. As the story shifts between Mary and Jake, we come to realize that she came from genteel roots. The story also follows Jake on his journey from the streets of Portsmouth right down to southwest France where he uncovers the secrets of his family. The novel is a hopeful testimony to the optimism and resilience of youth and a poignant study of the dangers of alcoholism to any family.

“Hurry Up and Wait” by Isabel Ashdown opens two decades since Sarah Ribbons was last at her alma mater, a Victorian built crumbling edifice on the English south coast. She is now 39 years old and is preparing for a school reunion though she is yet to come to terms with what happened all those years ago. In 1985, she was celebrating her fifteenth birthday in the suburban house she lived in with her father right by the sea. She was about to start her final year at High School yet she still had not managed to figure out whether Kate and Tina were her fierce opponents or closest allies. For the moment, they were all competing for the attention of Dante, a new boy at school which made the two girls her opponents. But then her father falls ill and since there was no one to take care of her, she has to go live in Amber Chalks with Kate’s family. Kate has youthful parents and they could not be happier to have her live in their liberal home where the two friends/opponents get to watch TV in Kate’s bedroom and eat off trays. They had been having such a great time until things take an ominous turn totally destroying everything.

“Summer of ’76” is the brilliantly told story of Luke Wolff, a seventeen-year-old boy who has just completed his high school studies and is looking forward to college in Brighton. It is summertime and he is spending time with his parents and his four-year-old sister on the Isle of Wight. His father is a teacher and his mother is a homemaker which makes this quite an ordinary family. But nothing is as it seems given that Luke is friends with Martin who everyone thinks is quite weird. Luke likes a girl named Samantha that is currently the girlfriend of Len his ex-best friend. Luke finds a job at a park and this serves two purposes of getting him closer to Samantha who also works there and puts money in his pocket which will come in handy when he joins college. But as the weather becomes hotter people around Luke are behaving very strangely. His father and mother seem to be arguing a lot and Simon his father’s friend seems to have something to do with it. Could it be because he drinks a lot and comes home late or could there be something else?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Isabel Ashdown

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