What: Read and Meet Book Group with special guest Lauren H. Brandenburg
When: 28th November 2019
Last month my book group “Read and Meet”, based at my local library were lucky enough to be given advanced reader copies of The Death of Mungo Blackwell to read. Our monthly meet up coincided with American author, Lauren Brandenburg’s trip to launch the book in the UK.
Lauren and her family joined us for a discussion of the book and some macarons.
Lauren talked about her career as a writer. She self-publishes a series of middle grade books for children as well as working with a mainstream publisher to publish her adult books.
She was very open about the parts of her own life that have inspired some of the things that happen to the main characters in The Death of Mungo Blackwell, Charlie and Velveteen Price. Financial hardships, downsizing and making a money by “picking” – buying things at flea markets to resell are all things the experienced that feature in the book.
The book is really about the search for contentment. What do people need to make them truely happy. Charlie and Velveteen seem to have everything at the beginning of the book – a city town house, expensive collections and clothes, private school. Velveteen thinks nothing of spending hundreds of dollars on macarons when she entertains her bookclub. Veleveteen is searching for “simplicity” – but what does that really mean?
The macarons come to represent both Velveteens past and future. The idea of the “Rooning” named after a day when Velveteen loses her composure and throws the macarons at someone (no spoilers!) becomes a metaphor for surviving difficulties that everyone can relate to. And has definitely inspired me to try and bake some of my own.
Lauren has created an entire world of characters in Coraloo and is already working on the follow up book which will tell the story of other inhabitants of the town and will be published next year.
The Death of Mungo Blackwell really is quite a lovely book. I totally fangirled over Lauren (we follow each other on Instagram so we are practically best friends! It’s not neceassrily a book I would have chosen just from the cover but I’m so glad I got to read it. It’s absolutely one of my 5 star books of the year.
My review of The Death of Mungo Blackwell is already up on the blog – the link is here
If you need a little stocking filler for the holidays then head to:
Waterstone’s: click here
Amazon.co.uk: click here