Hello everyone and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. So on Thursday this week, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to attend the book launch for Kate Hamer’s latest novel, ‘The Doll Funeral’. Today I’m going to be posting about the event, and also sharing an exclusive extract from the novel with you. Keep reading…
About ‘The Doll Funeral’
‘The Doll Funeral’ was released on 16th February 2017. It is Kate Hamer’s second novel, following on from the success of her debut ‘The Girl In The Red Coat’.
‘The Doll Funeral’ Book Launch
Photo credit to Kate Hamer.
I attended the book launch on Thursday 16th February (which was also the release date for the novel) at Waterstones in Cardiff. I was lucky enough to be invited by Hamer herself and the Faber & Faber team, so thanks so much for that opportunity! For those of you who don’t already know, I love Hamer’s writing – I reviewed ‘The Girl In The Red Coat’ here and an ARC of ‘The Doll Funeral’ here.
The event itself was fairly intimate, featuring lots of Hamer’s friends and family. There was also a launch held the night before in London, which I imagine would have been a bigger and less intimate event. I really liked the atmosphere; it felt a lot more personal and there were lots of opportunities to talk to new people.
Hamer herself read an extract from the novel (which I’m going to be sharing with you below) and then signed both copies of my books and had a good chat with me.
I must say, Kate Hamer is such a lovely, kind and genuine author. She was extremely thankful to me for posting reviews of her novels and supporting her work, which was really refreshing to hear. She seemed very glad that I had attended, and of course I’m so glad that I did too. She signed lovely messages in my books which I will treasure for a long time. Thanks so much!
Here is an exclusive extract from ‘The Doll Funeral’, which I’m very glad to be sharing with you all.
August 20th, 1983
My thirteenth birthday and I became a hunter for souls.
I knew the moment that Mum called me something was going to happen. I heard it in her voice.
The open eye of the hall mirror watched as I came downstairs humming a nervous tune, my yolk yellow birthday blouse done right up to the neck and my brown cord skirt flicking against a knee scab.
The light from the open kitchen doorway, where my parents waited, puddled onto the dirty carpet in the hall.
On the Formica table was the birthday cake. It had white icing and smarties. A big triangle wedge had been cut out and the sharp carving knife lay close by, pointing into the gap.
I blinked. I’d expected punishment for some minor crime committed, a cup broken or left unwashed. The back door left open or closed or whichever way my father currently ordained its status. But instead my Mum and Dad had turned into dolls or puppets, or so it seemed. Hard lines had appeared, running from their noses to their chins. Mum’s cheeks were blotched with anxious red paint; corkscrew curls exploding from her head. Dad was strung stiffly behind her in his grey felt jacket. His arm came up and swiped at his nose. Mum jiggled, her shoes clacking menacingly on the lino.
Her jaw opened. ‘Ruby. Now, we don’t want you to create a scene or start trouble but it’s time you knew.’
From behind her Dad said, in that furred up voice of someone who’s kept quiet for a bit, ‘Yes. Thirteen is old enough.’
Between us the smarties had started to leak sharp colours as if they’d flown and got trapped there and were now slowly bleeding to death.
‘Ruby, there’s something we’ve been keeping from you all these years,’ Mum said. She paused then spoke in a rush. ‘It’s that you are not our natural child. We didn’t give birth to you.’
‘Which explains a lot…’
His voice got snapped off by my mother. ‘Stop it, just for this once, Mick. Leave the girl alone’. She turned to me. ‘Ruby, you were adopted when you were four months old. You are not our child – d’you hear me?’ She turned. ‘Honestly, Mick, I don’t think she’s taking it in.’
But I was.
I ran into the garden and sang for joy.