There is a plethora of bookish events on in the Bega Valley and Eurobodalla around this Valentine’s Day: launches, student events, literary luncheons, talks and meet-the-author experiences in the local pub.
Best-selling Bega Valley author Gabbie Stroud will launch her second book Dear Parents this week.
Ms Stroud describes herself as a recovering teacher, having become disenchanted from years of juggling the demands of teaching at the primary level.
Her first book Teacher was a huge success and after discussions with publisher Jane Palfreyman, Ms Stroud found herself imagining “writing all the letters a teacher wishes they could write to parents!”
Written in the form of these sometimes excruciatingly honest letters, Dear Parents is a plea to parents to take on the role of their children’s primary educators.
“I’d like parents to start asking more questions about education. I’d also like parents to start thinking more about education. Why do we send our kids to school? Is it just so that they’ll get a good job? What’s the end goal?” Ms Stroud said, taking time to talk to About Regional while on tour promoting Dear Parents.
“What sort of students do we want graduating from our schools? Happy and well adjusted? Able to socialise? Students who consider themselves to be lifelong learners? Young people who are willing to contribute to our society as a whole?”
Dear Parents will be launched at Merimbula café Mormors, where Ms Stroud said she wrote most of the manuscript, this Thursday at 6pm.
Melbourne author Favel Parrett’s third novel There Was Still Love is the story of two sisters who were separated at 17, set over several continents through multiple time periods.
Ms Parrett is of Czech heritage and the book is a tribute to women – in her family, from Eastern Europe, and around the world – who have given up their lives for the sake of their children. It’s a love letter to the strong women who bind families together.
The novel was chosen by local Bega Valley initiative One Book One Community as the shared story experience for their ‘Shire Wide Book Club’.
One Book One Community is a project designed to encourage the Bega Valley community to read one book and reflect on its themes.
The project appears to have been a roaring success, with Bega Library’s well-thumbed 31 copies of There Was Still Love getting from three to six reads each, several ‘book club’ packs circulating, and ‘book chat’ events taking place in-house.
“It is our best-seller!” said one of the project’s supporters Myoung Yi of Candelo Books, “It crosses a broad range of readers and even those who don’t normally read fiction are coming to it.”
The idea was launched during Mental Health Month in October last year by Eden Anglican Minister Michael Palmer and Jen Keioskie, NSW Local Health Coordinator at the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program.
At the launch, Mr Palmer said: “Favel’s book is a real cracker … and I hope that discussing the characters and the story means that people are just one step away from talking about their own hopes, dreams, doubts and fears.
“It is a tool to build community around shared values and hopes. Through a shared story we can again find for ourselves, and us all, a place to belong.”
In Dear Parents, teachers emerge as struggling heroes. In Ms Parrett’s novel, women are the heroes. Ultimately, parenting, family and community provide the relationships through which we can all be heroes.
Favel Parrett will be interviewed by Inga Simpson at the Waterfront Hotel, Moruya, at 12pm Thursday. Contact: Moruya Books.
Dear Parents will be launched at Mormors Cafe in Merimbula at 6pm, Thursday. Contact: Mormors Cafe.
The One Book One Community ‘Meet the Author’ event with Favel Parrett will be held at the Tathra Hotel, Tathra, at 4:30 pm until 7:30 pm, Saturday. Ms Parrett will be interviewed by Gabbie Stroud. Contact: One Book One Community Facebook.