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Welcome to the new Website!

As you will notice if you've been here before, we've just had a make-over! Hope you enjoy the new layout, let me know what you think.

Croeso i Nut Press! Welcome to Nut Press!

This is the online home of writer Kathryn Eastman.

It’s full of book reviews, chocolate tasting, adventures with squirrels, a lot of tea drinking, and a snoring pussy cat, among other things.

Oh, and very occasionally, some writing gets done.


Author Interview: Helen Lederer #HelensLosingIt Blog Tour

Welcome to the final stop on Helen Lederer’s Losing It Blog Tour! You’ve read the review, Losing It was launched last Thursday and is currently out in the world in a bookshop near you, so now it’s time to talk to its author. I’m thrilled to welcome the lovely Helen Lederer to the Nut Press today.

I now know which Millie favours but what about you, Helen: Margarita or Mojito, followed by a bottle of wine, or no messing around and straight to a bottle of wine? Mojito can be festive and slow down the inevitable graduation to a bottle of plonk when one starts realising the cost of the individual cocktail and the item taken to get the pith of a fruit into a glass… give me the WINE!

Millie has an humiliating episode in a hotel lobby thanks to some shapewear. Should we squeeze ourselves into those things, or let it all hang out (while still being fully dressed, obviously!) and embrace the bodies we have? Well a certain ballast underneath a dress for evening wear can enable getting out of the house at times? But I say no to the girdle on top of waist clincher and corset… what if one was in a car accident – what would the paramedics make of it all? Read more

Book review: The Ship by Antonia Honeywell

Antonia Honeywell’s debut novel The Ship was the first book chosen for the Curtis Brown book group, a new online book group I’m a member of this year. The Ship proved to be an excellent choice because it offered so many topics for discussion, not least what we would have done when faced with the same choices. Here’s what the book’s blurb says:

WELCOME TO LONDON

BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT

Oxford Street burned for three weeks. The British Museum is occupied by ragtag survivors. The Regent’s Park camps have been bombed. The Nazareth Act has come into force. If you can’t produce your identity card, you don’t exist.

Lalla, sixteen, has grown up sheltered from the new reality by her visionary father, Michael Paul. But now the chaos has reached their doorstep. Michael has promised to save them. His escape route is a ship big enough to save five hundred people. But only the worthy will be chosen.

Once on board, as day follows identical day, Lalla’s unease grows. Where are they going? What does her father really want?

WHAT IS THE PRICE OF SALVATION?

When the novel opens, we’re in a future London which is both frightening and claustrophobic. I think I was actively taking big gulps of breath while reading the first couple of chapters. I know that I would have really struggled in Lalla’s situation. Where Lalla’s world once extended to the new banks of the Thames and Regent’s Park, it’s become confined to the flat she shares with her parents, which feels more panic room than home, despite or perhaps because of its bolted front door and the restrictions on their movements, and the British Museum, where Lalla’s mother, Anna, takes her most days.

The British Museum seems to serve as their one escape and they use it as Lalla’s classroom, home away from home and playground but I also believe that Anna has another reason for going there. As I got further into The Ship, I couldn’t help thinking back to the time that Lalla and Anna spent there as one of Anna preparing her daughter for what she feared was yet to come; doing what little she could with the scant resources left to prepare her daughter for a life beyond the four walls of their flat or the British Museum, and this could be another reason why Anna seems to delay their departure for as long as she does. (Although there’s a valid argument for saying she stops short of voicing her concerns to Lalla, which would have benefitted her most of all. But perhaps she was afraid of being ‘overheard’ by someone?) Read more