Radio 2 Book Club – First Book

This starts proper on Monday 11 Oct around 1745 on Simon Mayo’s Drivetime. The first book has been chosen Mr Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt.

July, 1964. In bed at home in Kent, Winston Churchill is waking up. There’s a visitor in the room, someone he hasn’t seen for a while, a dark, mute bulk, watching him with tortured concentration. It’s Mr Chartwell. In her terraced house in Battersea, Esther Hammerhans, young, vulnerable and alone, goes to answer the door to her new lodger. Through the glass she sees a vast silhouette the size of a mattress. It’s Mr Chartwell. He is charismatic and dangerously seductive, and Esther and Winston Churchill are drawn together by his dark influence. But can they withstand Mr Chartwell’s strange, powerful charms and strong hold? Can they even explain to anyone who or what he is? Or why he has come to visit? For Mr Chartwell is a huge, black dog. In this utterly original, moving, funny and exuberant novel, Rebecca Hunt explores how two unlikely lives collide as Mr Chartwell’s motives are revealed to be far darker and deeper than they seem.

You can download the first two chapters of the book from the Radio 2 website here and then you can get a taster of the book. This I must do, because I am not sure it is the sort of book I would necessarily pick up and when I am browsing for books I always read the first couple of pages to get a feel for it.

The Daily Telegraph have reviewed the book here and there are other reviews out there to be found if you do a Google search. I will probably listen again to the Radio 2 broadcast on Monday and revisit the website to see what others thought of the book.