Isabel Ashdown - Author
Isabel Ashdown was born in London in 1970 and grew up in East Wittering, a seaside village on the south coast of England. She now lives in West Sussex with her family.
Her debut novel, Glasshopper, was published to much critical acclaim, and was named as one of the best books of 2009 by the London Evening Standard and the Observer Review. Her second novel, Hurry Up and Wait, was recently listed as one of Amazon’s ‘Top 100 Customer Favourites for 2011’.
Isabel is currently working on her third book, a novel set on the Isle of Wight in the 1970s.
Speaking to Writing Magazine, she says of the location: “For my next novel, I’ll be spending much of the year travelling back and forth to the Isle of Wight, where the story will be set. I love the research part of writing, the little discoveries which grow into the bigger ideas. I’m a huge fan of the island; it features in Glasshopper, and much of Hurry Up and Wait was written whilst staying in an old coastguard cottage at the foot of Tennyson Down. Some locations possess a special quality, a gentle energy in the air that makes me want to write; the Isle of Wight is one of those places.”
For more information about Isabel Ashdown and her books, please visit www.isabelashdown.com
Portsmouth, 1984. Thirteen-year-old Jake’s world is unravelling as his father and older brother leave home, and his mother, Mary, plunges into alcoholic freefall.
Despite his turbulent home life, Jake is an irrepressible teenager and his troubled mother is not the only thing on his mind: there’s the hi-fi he’s saving up for, his growing passion for Greek mythology (and his pretty classics teacher), and the anticipation of brief visits to see his dad. When his parents reconcile, life finally seems to be looking up. Their first family holiday, announced over scampi and chips in the Royal Oak, promises to be the icing on the cake – until long-unspoken family secrets begin to surface.
An extract from Glasshopper won the 2008 Mail on Sunday Novel Competition with judges Fay Weldon and Sir John Mortimer describing Ashdown’s writing as “magnificent”.
Mail on Sunday: “By the worthy winner of the 2008 Mail on Sunday Novel Prize, Glasshopper is an intelligent, beautifully observed coming-of-age story, packed with vivid characters and inch-perfect dialogue.”
The Observer Books of the Year 2009: “A tender and subtle novel about alcoholism that explores difficult issues in deceptively easy prose.”
London Evening Standard Best Books of 2009: “A disturbing, thought-provoking tale of family dysfunction, spanning the second half of the 20th century, that guarantees laughter at the uncomfortable familiarity of it all.”
Hurry Up and Wait
It’s more than twenty years since Sarah Ribbons last set foot inside her old high school, a crumbling Victorian-built comprehensive on the south coast of England. Now, as she prepares for her school reunion, 39-year-old Sarah has to face up to the truth of what really happened back in the summer of 1986.
In her eagerly anticipated second novel Mail on Sunday Novel Competition winner Isabel Ashdown explores the treacherous territory of adolescent friendships, and traces across the decades the repercussions of a dangerous relationship.
Daily Mail: “With strong characters, a cleverly constructed story and masses of period detail, this vivid evocation of life in 1985 is a fine second book from a writer who first won The Mail On Sunday novel competition.”
Amazon: Named as one of Amazon’s Top 100 ‘Customer Favourites in 2011’.
Easy Living: “A powerfully compelling examination of the volatile and often toxic nature of adolescent relationships.”
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