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Daisy Waugh was our Guest Editor in September 2013 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing.
Daisy Waugh is a journalist and travel writer. She has worked as an agony aunt and as a restaurant critic. She was a teacher at a girl’s school in Northern Kenya and has also written a weekly column from Los Angeles about her attempts to become a Hollywood scriptwriter. Daisy and her family of five live in London.
Click here to read the 'Ask the Author' feature on Daisy Waugh.
Author photo © Paul Stuart
Sir Ecgbert Tode of Tode Hall has survived to a grand old age - much to the despair of his younger wife, Emma. But at ninety-three he has, at last, shuffled off the mortal coil. Emma, Lady Tode, thoroughly fed up with being a dutiful Lady of the Manor, wants to leave the country to spend her remaining years in Capri. Unfortunately her three tiresome children are either unwilling or unable (too mad, too lefty or too happy in Australia) to take on management of their large and important home, so the mantle passes to a distant relative and his glamorous wife. Not long after the new owners take over, Lady Tode is found dead in the mausoleum. Accident? Or is there more going on behind the scenes of Tode Hall than an outsider would ever guess....? In the traditions of two great but very different British writers, Agatha Christie and P.G. Wodehouse, Waugh's hilarious and entirely original twist on the country house murder mystery comes complete with stiff upper lips, even stiffer drinks, and any stiffs that might embarrass the family getting smartly brushed under the carpet...
December 2014 Book of the Month. Set in 1913 and 1933 in Colorado and Hollywood amid the miners’ strike and unrest and later the opulent life of the film industry. At the centre of the tale is an unsolved murder which eventually is solved in quite an ingenious way. Our murdered victim was a strong supporter of the labour movement and there is lots of fascinating detail of that period, of the poverty and hunger plus the lives of prostitutes in the 1913s. It is based on a real event.
September 2013 Book of the Month. Hollywood in the late 20s, its glory days of glamour, wealth and decadence contrasted against New York in 1911 and the hardship of the immigrants. This is a very absorbing work indeed, quite a change for this author, bigger and more ambitious than is her norm, a lovely period beautifully portrayed in an evocative, gripping read. The Lovereading view... Daisy Waugh's latest novel, set in the heady days before the 1929 Wall Street Crash, is an engaging story of love, fame and glamour and how far you are willing to go to get it. On the surface Max and Eleanor Beecham are a sucessful society couple but under the surface their business and personal lives are a dysfunctional mess - but can an invite to the year's most glamorous party give them a chance to change? A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'Daisy Waugh’s book, Melting the Snow on Hester Street, is one of my favourite books of the year. The writing is very elegant and cinematic - I had such a strong sense of the glamour and hedonism of 1920s Hollywood when I was reading it; how people were seduced into feeling that they were invincible, then how brutally they were destroyed by the horrifying, slow-motion implosion of the Wall Street Crash. There's also a lesser-known true story woven into the plot about the illegal exploitation of immigrants in New York, forced to work in inhuman conditions to feed the excesses of the age. It is unimaginably shocking and tragic, yet so startling close to the news stories about exploitation that we still read today.I found myself really rooting for the two main characters, Max and Eleanor - although they are very flawed people who have made mistakes, their love for each other and their family made me feel that they deserved some kind of redemption. It’s been compared to The Great Gatsby, which is definitely praise it deserves! But in the final realisation that out of desolation comes strength, there’s a close link to Tender is the Night – there is an enduring lesson for everyone in this haunting, elegantly written novel.' - Claire Palmer, Assistant Editor, HarperFiction
April 2013 eBook of the Month. Daisy Waugh's latest novel, set in the heady days before the 1929 Wall Street Crash, is an engaging story of love, fame and glamour and how far you are willing to go to get it. On the surface Max and Eleanor Beecham are a sucessful society couple but under the surface their business and personal lives are a dysfunctional mess - but can an invite to the year's most glamorous party give them a chance to change?
A bittersweet love story set in the 1920s that's historically accurate in both time and place and beautifully crafted in terms both of its writing and its story. But will the world's most desired film star and his lost love have their Hollywood happy ending?
This author, who started her writing career with light frothy capers, has matured. Astute, feel-good, irresistibly readable, this is a tale of village infighting wonderfully observed. Full of true-to-life characters, a scenario you care about and large dollops of comedy, it’s a tale of modern rural life delivered with charm. You’ll love it. Did you know she is Auberon’s daughter, so Evelyn’s granddaughter? Comparisons: India Knight, Adele Parks, Allison PearsonSimilar this month: Claudia Carroll, Lou Wakefield.
A hooker. A mistress. A murder. This town was built on sin.The town of Trinidad, Colorado was a tough place to be a woman in 1913. But it was the best place in the West to find one, if you had the cash.Honeyville, they used to call it.A murder throws Inez and Dora together - two women from opposite sides of town, in a town built for men. Against all odds, the well born girl and the high class hooker are drawn together in friendship...But this is a town that is rotten to the core, and beyond the rustling of silk skirts, the dancing and laughter, deadly unrest is building...Welcome to Honeyville - a town living by its own rules, where nothing is quite as it seemsA STORY INSPIRED BY A LOST CHAPTER IN AMERICAN HISTORY
A timely, intelligent and important book for fans of LEAN IN and Caitlin Moran: why do modern mothers allow themselves to suffer from so much guilt? Mothering skills are now scrutinised, measured, judged, discussed and disapproved of like never before. The bar is set so preposterously high, it's impossible, at least in the early years, not to feel like a long lost loser: and honestly, mothers only have themselves to blame... Motherly love is ferocious, intense, fathomless, unconditional and absolute. Daisy will add a dusting of reality to the sickly sweet bake-your-own rubbish by covering topics such as breast pumps, other children, sleepovers, swearing (yours and theirs) and contagious diseases. It's time to burn the maternity bras and Daisy is the first at the stake to exclaim, 'Enough! Life is short. Mothers adore their children. But they're people too. And that is more than just a mother.'
Rich. Beautiful. Damned.Sumptuously evoking the Golden Age of Hollywood, a time when money is built on greed and love can be a trick of the light, Daisy Waugh's stunning new novel is a compelling portrait of love, fame, and survival.It is the blistering summer of 1929 and Hollywood's glamorous set appear to have it all. Everybody everywhere is living the Hollywood dream, including the elegant and charming, high-society couple, actor and actress Maximilian and Eleanor Beecham. But beneath the sophistication and glamour their insecure and unhappy marriage is on the brink of divorce and their finances are teetering on a knife's edge after a series of failed films.When the creditors come in to take possession of the house, it seems all is lost and they have nowhere to turn but into the arms of their waiting lovers.But when they receive an invitation to one of the legendary weekend house parties at Hearst Castle - which they know will be filled every Hollywood big-shot around - they cannot resist one last shot of making it in the film industry. With gossip, glamour, scandal and decadence the party is the epitome of the Golden Era, but for Maximilian and Eleanor the time has come to make a decision that will change their future.Will they sacrifice everything for fame and fortune or can Eleanor and Maximilian learn to love each other again?