About the author
Settled in Dorset since 2006, Gail Aldwin has lived in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Spain. Her work includes a collection of short fiction Paisley Shirt which was longlisted in the Saboteur Awards 2018. Gail’s poetry pamphlet adversaries/comrades (which is based on the theme of siblings) was published by Wordsmith_HQ in March 2019. Gail is currently working on a second novel called This Much I Know. It uses the voice of six-year-old Mikey to share his experience of living with his parents in south London. Leonard is a new arrival to the community with odd behaviours but Mikey gravitates towards him sensing his isolation. When vigilantes attack Leonard believing him to be a paedophile, everything in Mikey’s world changes.
In 2017, Gail was awarded a residency at Brisons Veor to facilitate a period of time dedicated to new writing. She received a Mairi Hedderwick bursary to attend a never-to-be-forgotten writing retreat at Moniack Mhor, Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre in 2016. Examples of Gail’s poetry and short fiction can be found online at Words for theWild, Ink, Sweat & Tears, and Cabinet of Heed.
About the book
The String Games, Gail’s debut novel is published by Victorina Press and was written as part of creative writing studies with the University of South Wales. Sara Gethin, author of Not Thomas who endorsed the novel says:
This is a gripping novel, where Gail Aldwin skilfully explores the dynamics of a splintered family coping with a truly awful event, and sensitively explores the repercussions of a burden of guilt unfairly shouldered by a child. Aldwin delves into the murky world of teenage manipulation, questions what makes a bad mother and asks whether forgiveness for a horrific act is ever possible. An insightful, engaging novel, The String Games breaks the reader’s heart and leaves them turning the pages ever more quickly to get to the truth of what really happened.
Reviews include this one from book blogger Being Anne:
It’s ultimately a story of hope and forgiveness, fresh starts and new beginnings: it’s quite beautifully written and I enjoyed it very much.
I’m very grateful to my publisher Victorina Press for entering my novel into The People’s Book Prize. The String Games is now on the longlist and depends on public support to get to the next stage. The People’s Book Prize is a national award that finds and promotes new and undiscovered work. One of the the organisation’s aims is to work towards the complete eradication of illiteracy. This is something very important to me as, following years of working with parents and children to build their literacy skills, there is still a need in communities for further input. In this longlisting, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect match: an opportunity to gain a wider readership for The String Games and support a cause close to my heart. The competition is decided by public votes so if you could spare a minute or two to vote for The String Games, this would make me very happy.
To cast a vote for The String Games, go to the webpage.
When four-year-old Josh is abducted and murdered during a family holiday in France, Nim, aged ten, becomes an only child. To cope with the tragedy, Nim reinvents herself but continues to carry a burden of unresolved grief. As an adult she returns to France determined to find out more about the circumstances of Josh’s death. How will she deal with this new information and what are the implications for her future?
You can buy the book here. To try to win a signed copy, posted to anywhere in the world, simply leave a comment below by midnight on Wednesday. The winner will be announced next Friday.