Come and join us in the Crowded Bed

Next Wednesday (February 28th @ 7.30pm) we are hosting an evening with Mary Cavanagh, Abingdon resident and author of "The Crowded Bed". We would love for you come along and join us at the shop for what will be a splendid evening.

Some of you will know that Nicki and I attended the launch of The Crowded Bed at the Ashmoleum back in January. However, since then, we've been watching excitedly as Mary has been garnering some impressive reviews which - to be honest - most authors would give their eye teeth for.

Here's a taster - received in an unsolicited note to her publisher Transita:

"Sunday morning I opened the book and finished it at 19:15; I am going to buy it to read again in a month to taste again the texture of it. I laughed; I cried; I sat stunned by the depth of treatment of many of humankind’s blackest deeds: incest, alcoholism, bullying and betrayal. The systematic destruction of motherhood by fear; the familial structures being denied; religious and racial differences of the times and the social blindness of observers all being treated so wittily and sometimes cynically, this book reveals an intensity rarely shown by a first timer...I can honestly say that I rarely give up food for a book but today I did so. Is she a 21st century Susan Hill, I believe so."

And how about this one:

“Mary Cavanagh's characters and their motivation are completely convincing, and she writes with relentless pace. To say this book is a page-turner barely does it justice. One simply cannot put it down.”

(There will also be an extra frisson to the event, courtesy of David Baddiel in the Times over the weekend. It's a very funny piece (which you can still read here) though hardly a conventional book review, but after reading this, hop over to dovegreyreader and see what she thought of the book - and the brouhaha.)

I'm coming to realise that - along with harbouring secret writing desires, as I'm sure many bookshop owners do - the big dream of a bookseller is to discover someone and have them in the shop before they "go large". Crockatt & Powell believe this passionately with their recent launch of Catherine O'Flynn's What Was Lost, and I have to say that Nicki and I really believe this to be the case with The Crowded Bed.

Mary's own story is also compelling. A first-time author who only started writing in her fifties when her children left home, the event next Wednesday will be part celebration of her writing achievement, part chance to meet someone who is a delightful author, and part inspirational about achieving your goals. So please contact us to book your ticket...


  1. Yes, we're all hoping that Mary's novel might be the breakthrough book for Transita. It certainly deserves it.

  2. I knew the minute I started reading this that it had massive potential and I will be mortified if it sinks without trace.Good books shouldn't and I don't think this one will.Have a great evening with Mary and I'll be there in spirit, please put out a chair for me!Mine's a nice glass of red by the way.

  3. A glass of Tatachilla Growers Grenache Mourvedre Shiraz will be poured ready, in your honour. If it's still there by the end of the evening, I may have to deal with it appropriately of course...

  4. What a success the evening was - with standing room only at the back! Congratulations!