Readers’ Day

with host Fanny Blake


Saturday 12 October
Guildford Harbour Hotel, £45 (includes light lunch and refreshments)


Spend the day in the company of some of Britain’s best-loved authors as they share their stories, experiences and inspirations. Hosted by Fanny Blake, a former publisher and author of more than a dozen books, including An Italian Summer and her latest, A Summer Reunion, this lively and entertaining day for book lovers has been a popular feature of the Festival for many years.

Held at the luxury Guildford Harbour Hotel in the centre of the town this is a day not to be missed.

  • A mini festival in a day

  • One ticket, seven speakers

  • Meet your favourite authors

  • Hear about the latest books

  • Discover what inspires them

  • Have your books signed

  • Share the joy of reading with like-minded people

  • Goody bag includes free book

Readers’ Day speakers…


Tracy chevalier

A Single Thread

Twenty years after Tracy Chevalier published her global bestseller, Girl With a Pearl Earring, she joins us to talk about her career as a writer and her latest book, A Single Thread.  

Set in 1932, when the losses of World War I are still keenly felt, Violet Speedwell, is mourning her fiancé and brother. Seen as a ‘surplus woman’, she resolves to escape her suffocating mother and strike out alone. A new life awaits in Winchester where she meets a group of women broderers at the cathedral, and is soon entwined in their lives and secrets. 

With the threat of a second Great War looming, Violet collects a few secrets of her own that could just change everything. Warm, vivid and compelling.

Read more about Tracy Chevalier →

Chevalier’s evocative landscapes and dramatic characters keep you reading
— Sunday Times

Anstey Harris

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton

Between the simple melody of running a violin shop, and romantic interludes in Paris with her partner of 8 years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music. When her life is suddenly, and shockingly, tipped upset down, the music seems to stop, until unlikely new friendships show her that she is not alone and life is worth living after all.  An uplifting and heart-warming debut novel.

Read more about Anstey Harris →

... among story about the importance of friendship and the power of music. Full of hope and charm
— Libby Page

richard roper

Something to Live For

All Andrew wants is to be normal.  He has the perfect wife and 2.4 children waiting at home. At least that’s what he’s told people. The truth is, his life isn’t exactly as people think and the little white lie he once told is about to catch up with him. In all of Andrew’s efforts to fit in, he’s forgotten one important thing: how to really live. Maybe, it’s about time he started.

A tender, funny and life-affirming debut about loneliness and the power of human kindness.

Read more about Richard Roper →

Tender, funny, compelling - this wonderful book deserves to be huge
— Lucy Foley

Elizabeth Buchan

The Museum of Broken Promises

The Museum of Broken Promises is a place of wonder and sadness, hope and loss. It’s a place where people come to speak to ghosts of the past, and sometimes, lay them to rest. Every object has been donated and represents a moment of grief or terrible betrayal. Even its curator, Laure, has hidden artefacts within.  Can she finally face up to her past and celebrate the passionate love that has directed her life?   

From communist Prague in 1985 to present day Paris this is a beautiful and heart-breaking exploration of some of Europe’s darkest moments in history, and a love story with devastating consequences. 

Read more about Elizabeth Buchan →

What a good writer Buchan is
— Daily Telegraph

elizabeth Macneal

The Doll Factory

Iris is a doll maker who dreams of being a painter. When she is asked to model by a Pre-Raphaelite artist she sees it as a chance to escape her life of poverty and drudgery. Silas is a collector of the curious and the macabre. A chance encounter between the two leads to a darkening obsession that threatens to destroy Iris’s dreams. Cleverly interweaving fictional characters with real life figures it’s an intoxicating tale of art, obsession and possession that vividly brings to life London in the 1850s. 

Read more about Elizabeth Macneal →

A stunningly confident first novel with a real sense of period and place... thoroughly engrossing
— Ian Rankin

Adele Parks

Lies, Lies, Lies

Daisy and Simon’s marriage is great, isn’t it? After years together, the arrival of a longed for daughter seals everything in place. So what if Simon drinks too much – Daisy’s used to it, she knows he’s letting off steam. Until one night at a party things spiral horribly out of control – and their life will never be the same again. 

In this gripping domestic thriller, the Sunday Times bestselling author, Adele Parks, explores the darkest corners of a relationship in freefall. 

Read more about Adele Parks →


Lisa Jewell

The Family Upstairs

You thought they were staying for the weekend. They looked harmless enough – with only two suitcases and a cat in a wicker box. Soon things turn very, very dark, and you and your sister must find a way to survive. But, what will become of the baby?

From the number one bestselling author of Then She Was Gone comes another compulsive story of obsession, friendships, deception, and a family with deadly secrets. Full of twists and turns to the very last page. 

Read more about Lisa Jewell →