Blog 2018-09-03T19:14:27+00:00

WORD OF MOUTH BLOG

Latest news and literary food moments

C.S. Lewis’s oh-so tempting Turkish delight

Iconic literary food moments
One of the most powerful iconic food moments in literature is in C.S. Lewis's children's book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It is the moment in which Edward betrays his family, even his own soul, in return for the addictive Turkish delight offered him by the White Witch. I read this when I was seven, and have never forgotten it. They say the strongest memories are attached to the greatest emotion, and this was my first taste of betrayal.

The Desert Nurse – Pamela Hart

Kate's review
I’m a big fan of Pamela Hart’s vivid and intelligent historical romances. They give me everything I want in a book – drama, heartache, struggle, triumph, and an enthralling glimpse into the past that teaches me something I did not know. The Desert Nurse is set mainly in Egypt during the World War 1, and tells the story of a young woman named Evelyn Northey who is determined to become a doctor, despite all the obstacles in her way.

Straight from the authors’ mouths

Recommended reads
Word of Mouth TV has three more great Australian novels to recommend this month, and three new cookbooks. Pamela Hart kicks off with The Lighthouse at Pelican Rock, a book written by none other than her husband Stephen Hart - his debut novel. But Pamela swears she is not recommending it just because Stephen wrote it. She edited the book as well, so it is, indeed, etched into her heart, excuse the pun. "Everytime I read it, I forgot to edit it," she says. "It just sucked me in all over again."

Pamela Hart’s love of food, words and the chip butty

Author Q&A
Pamela Hart says the most difficult part of writing the The Desert Nurse was recording the endless stream of casualties from Gallipoli in a manner that wouldn't overwhelm the reader. Pamela is a research-heavy author and food also plays a key role in her novels. The Country Women's Association cookbooks are her go-to references for the food of the times. She also has a soft spot for Margaret Fulton and the chip butty.

One Enchanted Evening – Charlotte Smith

Kate's review
In 2004, Charlotte Smith inherited more than 3,000 vintage couture gowns from her Quaker godmother, Doris Darnell, who had spent a lifetime gathering her collection, which spanned 250 years of fashion. Every single piece had been given to her, by friends who knew of her passion and by strangers who wanted their old and precious clothes to be properly cared for. Doris Darnell also bequeathed her god-daughter her notebooks, which detailed the history of each item. She described these histories as "fascinating stories, sometimes full of joy, other times grief, sometimes bitterness, other times heartache."

Didion on congee and food for the grieving soul

Iconic literary food moments
In honour of our fashion episode for Charlotte Smith's One Enchanted Evening, we have chosen a quote from style-icon Joan Didion because few people have managed to marry fashion, food and literature so well. Didion was an author of both literature and cookbooks, and kick-started her writing career on the pages of Vogue. She experienced great sadness in her life, losing both her husband and her daughter, the latter dying at just 39 year’s of age, but she never lost her connection with fashion and words. The quote we have chosen comes from her novel The Year of Thinking Magically, when Didion muses on the power of food to comfort and console.

Straight from the authors’ mouths

Recommended reads
Hopefully you've chewed through all those novels gifted at Christmas and are ready to jump into the 2019 reading year. As the saying goes, there's no rest for the wicked! Word of Mouth TV has three new book and three new cookbook recommendations which will surely take you through to the next episode in March. Guest author Charlotte Smith, a fashion anthropologist, recommends The Riviera Set - a portrait of high society between 1920 and 1960 and the authors who partied with them. And her cookbook recommendation is equally glamorous. Kate and Sarah serve up their favourites as well. Happy reading!

Charlotte Smith’s passion for food and fashion

Author Q&A
Anglo-American Charlotte Smith inherited a vast collection of vintage and historic garments and accessories from her American Quaker godmother, Doris Darnell. Along with 3,500 items of clothing came boxes of personal letters and Doris’s handwritten notes documenting the stories of the women who wore them. As custodian, Charlotte has expanded the collection to more than 9,000 pieces, to include fashion from 36 different countries - the largest in the world. She has written a series of books about the collection and talks to us about her writing journey.

Daphne du Maurier’s Christmas feast in Cornwall

Iconic literary food moments
One of our recommended reads for the Josephine Moon episode was Daphne du Maurier's My Cousin Rachel - suspense on steroids. The book is full of food, herbs and tisannes, which in the hands of the irresistible Rachel are weapons of power - rituals that lift the world from the mundane to the sublime. The Christmas dinner is one of the most memorable scenes in the book, highlighting how life can shift around a dinner table; and to honour the mix of Italian and Cornish influences, we have created a pasty bolognaise.

Straight from the authors’ mouths

Recommended reads
Crime, drama, historical fiction - the choice is yours from the Josephine Moon episode's round of recommended books. Suspense and ambiguity set the tone for all three picks. Josephine kicks off with The Music Shop, a novel by Rachel Joyce, set in Margaret Thatcher's dystopian England. From there, the Word of Mouth TV foodies roll out a luscious, mouth-watering round of cookbooks. The predominant theme is Italy, which is appropriate given the Tuscan setting of Three Gold Coins. Let us know your thoughts.

Josephine Moon shares her love of food and Italy

Author Q&A
Josephine Moon reveals herself as something of a foodie in our author Q&A. Not only does food play a central role in all of her novels but at home as well, where she lives on acreage with her family and horses. She also gives us a sneak peak into her next novel, to be published in March, which is themed around coffee (for coffee addicts everywhere!), and shares some of her mother's tips on how to make the perfect potato salad. We'll be incorporating these tips into our Christmas repertoire this year for sure.

Three Gold Coins – Josephine Moon

Kate's review
A warm-hearted contemporary tale set in Australia and Italy, Three Gold Coins is the first book written by Josephine Moon that I have read but it won’t be the last. I just loved the skilful twisting together of romance and suspense, chick-lit and family drama. This is a novel which celebrates family ties, food and the importance of kindness, all things which I passionately believe in.

 Josephine Moon sensitively explores themes of depression and mental illness, psychological abuse and violence, which give her story extra gravitas to balance the charm.

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Word of Mouth TV is the first series to combine food, books and wine. Your hosts, Kate and Sarah will be interviewing and cooking with top authors from Australia and around the world.

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