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Patrick Gale’s latest book comes out towards the end of the summer, and he will be with us on 31 August in association with  The Yellow Lighted Bookshop.

Take Nothing With You is a sad – and funny – comedy of resilience and survival, and a subversive homage to the novels of Noel Streatfeild and L P Hartley.

It came about because, on a visit to Weston-Super-Mare, he was struck by what a strange and melancholy place it would be to grow up in – but it rapidly developed into a nostalgic examination of his boyhood experience of the transformative powers of music, at the hands of inspiring teachers and in particular through holiday courses he attended at the International Cello Centre.

Fifty-something Eustace has cancer of the thyroid. While being given radioactive iodine therapy, which involves spending a little over 24 hours in a lead-lined hospital suite wearing only disposable clothes and with no possessions he doesn’t mind leaving behind, he listens to hour on hour of cello music recorded for him by his best mate, Naomi.

This sets his memories circling back to the 1970s and his eccentric boyhood and adolescence in his parents’ old people’s home in Weston-Super-Mare, and how his life was transfigured and his family’s stability shattered, by the decision to attend a recital by the glamorous cellist, Carla Gold.

Patrick will be talking about – and reading from – the book. Copies will be for sale on the evening, which Patrick will sign and dedicate.


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