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Frome launch for Costa Prize-winning novelist

Costa Award-winning novelist Andrew Miller will launch his new novel ‘Now We Shall Be Entirely Free’ in Frome on Thursday 30th August.
The event will take place in the Naval Room of the Archangel Hotel and Restaurant on King Street, Frome, from 7pm.
Andrew Miller, who lives in Witham Friary, scooped not just the 2011 Costa Novel Award with his sixth novel ‘Pure but also fought off competition from the prize’s other categories to win the overall Costa Book of the Year Award.
Manager of Winstone’s Hunting Raven Books, Tina Gaisford-Waller said, “We are thrilled to be hosting Andrew for the launch of his latest book. His writing is quite simply sublime; fans of Hilary Mantel who have yet to discover Andrew Miller are in for a real treat. He has such skill at capturing the finest and most intricate of details and setting them against beautifully expansive and evocative settings. ‘Now We Shall Be Entirely Free’ feels at once epic and intimate, thrilling and quiet.”
Demand for the event is expected to be high, so early booking is advised. Tickets can be purchased or reserved in person at Hunting Raven Books on Cheap Street Frome, by calling 01373 473111 or by emailing winstonebooks3@ gmail.com. Alternatively, tickets can be purchased online through Eventbrite (visit eventbrite.co.uk and search for Andrew Miller). Tickets are either £18.99 to include a copy of the book, or £3 for entry only. (The £3 entry only ticket may be redeemed against purchase of the book on the night.)
The following is an exclusive extract from ‘Now We Shall Be Entirely Free’ reproduced with kind permission from Sceptre (Hodder & Stoughton):
It came through lanes crazy with rain, its sides slabbed with mud, its wheels throwing arcs of mud behind it. There were two horses rigged in tandem and on the left-hand horse the postilion, a man of fifty, peered from under the brim of his hat at the outline of high hedges, arching trees. Somewhere there was a moon but you would do well to say where. The lantern on the cab had guttered out a mile back. The last light he had seen was a candle at a farmhouse window, some farmer up late at his accounts or prayers.
He called to his horses, ‘Steady, steady …’ The mud was liquid clay. More than once the animals had lost their footing in it. If he were to be thrown here! Thrown and bones cracked! Then he and the poor wretch in the cab would be discovered in the morning by milkmaid or tinker, dead as if they’d met the devil on the road.
Or was his passenger already dead? At the Swans he’d been carried out in the arms of servants, eyes shut and shadowed, head lolling, the landlord looking on like a man well pleased to be rid of what troubled him.
He reined in the horses, brought them to a halt. Here the road turned and descended – he could sense it more than see it – and he sat, pushed at by the rain, trying to think of what was best to do. He could get on to the cab and work the brake but the wheels had nothing to grip and he did not want to be up top if the thing started to glide. No, he would take his chances in the mud. He climbed down, stood in his stiff postilion’s boots, took the collar of the horse he had been riding and began to walk.
Did he know this hill? He would know it in daylight but now, creeping forward, muttering to the horse, the cab swaying on its axle, he could not rid himself of the feeling he was walking down into the sea and would soon feel the surf break against his boots. Nonsense of course. There was no sea for a hundred miles, but somehow even a Somerset postilion carried with him a sea in his imagination.

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