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

WORD OF MOUTH BLOG

Latest news and literary food moments

Straight from the authors’ mouths

Recommended reads
It's raining again! Perfect reading and cooking weather, and do we have some reads for you! Feeling like curling up with some rural romance? Christine Wells recommends The Cowgirl by Australian author Anthea Hodgson. Christine read Hodgson's previous novel The Drifter , and was hooked. So get your reading gear on, a bar of chocolate, and maybe some tissues, and enjoy this wonderful winter's offering - six recommendations in all.

Ian Fleming’s legendary Bond vodka martini

Iconic literary food moments
"Shaken not stirred". How many people have heard these three immortal words from Ian Fleming's James Bond novels? They speak of adventure, danger, sex, snobbery, desire, pleasure, daring, free rein, humour, fun and elitism, just to name a few. And when it comes to literary food moments, they may well top the lot in terms of sheer international recognition. Yet it is only one of the many food references that Fleming scatters through his Bond novels, a fact that has caused many reviewers to cast Commander Bond as the foodie prototype.

The Juliet Code – by Christine Wells

Kate's review
Australian author Christine Wells has been making a name for herself writing intelligent, suspenseful historical novels. Her latest offering, The Juliet Code, begins in 1947 when a young woman named Juliet Barnard is being interrogated about her role as an undercover wireless operator for the Allies in Nazi-occupied France during the war. She is wracked with guilt and remorse over the disappearance of a friend and colleague of hers, and so agrees to help her friend’s brother track down what happened to her. Her bravery, resolution, and quick wits prove to be more valuable than strength and ruthlessness.

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.

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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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