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Come and chat to LOUISE DOUGHTY about Apple Tree Yard (and all her previous books), TONIGHT, 9-10pm

(155 Posts)
TillyBookClub Tue 03-Dec-13 21:45:15

'It is about the fine line women walk’. That’s how Hilary Mantel described our January Book of the Month by Mumsnet Academy speaker Louise Doughty. APPLE TREE YARD opens with a trial, where Yvonne (52, a well-known geneticist, attractive, happily married) is giving evidence. Yvonne has had a sexual encounter with a man about whom she knows nothing. Her one moment of madness pulls her into an increasingly alarming web of violence and brutality. A brilliantly addictive combination of courtroom drama, crime thriller and literary psychological novel, APPLE TREE YARD is perfectly structured. It is also a fascinating study of how society views an attractive woman in her 50s, and the injustices and manipulations of our justice system. Lots of hidden twists, so be careful not to give the game away…

You can find more, including Louise’s interview with Mariella Frostrup on Radio 4’s Open Book and a profile of her in the Telegraph, on Louise's highly informative website or read an interview with Louise and her editor on Faber's website.

Faber have 50 copies to give to Mumsnetters – to claim yours please fill in your details on the book of the month page. We’ll post on the thread when all the copies have gone. If you’re not lucky enough to bag one of the free books, you can always get your paperback or Kindle version here.

We are thrilled that Louise (author of seven novels, including Whatever You Love, and her non-fiction book A Novel in a Year, based on her hugely popular newspaper column) will be joining us and answering questions about APPLE TREE YARD, her writing career and her previous novels on Tuesday 28 January, 9-10pm.

So please feel free to discuss the book here throughout the month, pop up any advance questions and we will see you all here, Tue 28 January.

sherazade Wed 04-Dec-13 10:11:24

where do I fill my details to claim a free copy?

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 05-Dec-13 13:41:24


where do I fill my details to claim a free copy?

Hi there

You can apply on the book of the month page

louloutheshamed Thu 05-Dec-13 14:22:41


Omg!! This was one the best books I have read all year (about 30 so far- not bad for someone with toddler and newborn!)

I don't have a question specifically but just wanted to say to Louise how much I loved the book.

What I thought was so so clever was the way that it turns things on its head as a way of examining how women are treated in the courtroom. The fact that George behaved so monstrously would have worked in Yvonne's favour in a rape trial but worked against her in a murder trial as a motive, and Yvonne points out that as the defendant in a murder trial she is treated the same as a victim in a rape trial- such a clever way of examining attitudes to rape and the way women are treated and the terrible victim blaming that is still so prevalent.

Also I was fascinated by the Kevin character and what he said about rape defence lawyers- all the dirt digging etc. was it a harrowing book to research? It certainly
Made me very angry.

Also I am interested in the son character- he seemed to have depression/mh problems? What was the motivation behind his inclusion as a character?

AliceMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 09-Dec-13 12:37:11

The giveaway is now closed. We will send an email to those who have been selected to receive a free copy. If you haven't got a copy of the book yet, there is still plenty of time to get one and join in the discussion.

We will see you Tuesday 28th January 9-10pm for our webchat with Louise Doughty.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 09-Dec-13 16:59:38

Thanks so much for your question loulou and so pleased that you love the book as much as we do. Hope it's okay but we've added a spoiler alert.

We realise it can be tricky to ask a question without giving away the plot but please can everyone try and avoid spoilers as much as possible until the evening webchat with Louise.

If you're unable to join us on the night and have a question that can't avoid it, please post Spoiler alert at the top of the post so those who haven't finished the book can skip your question. THANKS loads [hope that didn't sound too bossy blush]

AliceMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 23-Dec-13 12:44:16

Apologies to anyone who is still waiting for their free copy of Apple Tree Yard. This was due to a slight delay at the publishers. Hopefully the book should be with you as soon as possible. If you weren't selected to receive a copy, feel free to buy the book and join in our discussion. Louise would love to hear your questions!


aristocat Mon 23-Dec-13 15:34:53

Thanks AliceMumsnet, I did wonder if the book was delayed due to Christmas.
Looking forward to receiving it smile

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 03-Jan-14 11:41:41

The books were sent out just before Christmas - have they started arriving yet?

shaktar Fri 03-Jan-14 20:42:31

Hi Rachel - Mine hasn't appeared yet unfortunately..

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 03-Jan-14 22:46:14

I will chase on Monday to see where they are and come back.

Alidoll Mon 06-Jan-14 18:19:54

Mine has arrived so thanks - hoping to start reading soon but just started an online Forensic Science course with FutureLearn (they have FREE courses!!) so getting into the Crime Mode!!

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Mon 06-Jan-14 18:43:19

I don't have any questions really, just wondered the same as loulou really - how hard was it (emotionally) to research?

I was captivated by this book. I found it difficult to put down. It's very intelligent & thought provoking, but quite unsettling too.
I don't want to say anything about the plot, but it's twisty and the story keeps going. I can't really say what I felt about the ending without giving things away which might ruin it for someone else, but if there was a weak point,for me it was the ending. Having said that, I would definitely recommend the book and have already passed it on to its next reader.

foolonthehill Mon 06-Jan-14 21:50:43

potential spoiler

All the characters are flawed in one way or another, was there a point where you (the author) fell in or out of love with each of them?

The husband is drawn in quite a dispassionate way...was he always going to surprise his wife by his knowledge of her/what was going on or did that come at later stage of story construction?

the legal detail is very accurate, what did you feel as you discovered how victims are treated in rape cases...or was it something you already knew about?

If you were to write a sequel or the same story from a different point of view which character would you choose and why? the author and readers.

I could see how the son's illness lay in the background of the way the characters dealt with one another, if you could give any character one "healing conversation" with another character which would you choose?

KatherineRTaylor Wed 08-Jan-14 11:06:20

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Southeastdweller Wed 08-Jan-14 12:55:56

Marking my place as I'm starting the book tomorrow.

Vicketaylor1989 Wed 08-Jan-14 17:49:42

Just picked up my book from the library and it's like nothing I have ever read before so looking forward to reading and finding out what happens :-)

DuchessofMalfi Wed 08-Jan-14 19:03:50

Just bought a copy this morning. Looking forward to reading it, just as soon as I've finished my current book. Looks really good smile

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 10-Jan-14 10:37:29

Can I just check that you have got your free copies now? I know some people have received their copies and just checking they've all come through now. It's great to see so many reading Apple Tree Yard and looking forward to hearing your views. Do put the date in your diaries for the bookclub webchat with Louise Doughty on Tuesday 28th Jan between 9 and 10pm.

webster147 Fri 10-Jan-14 12:15:00

I really enjoyed the book, so much so that I found it hard to put it down and ended up reading it in just a few days. I loved how detailed Louise was about the areas in London that she was describing, allowing the reader to almost share the moment with the character Yvonne.
There were lots of little unexpected twists to the story that kept me wanting to turn the pages.
I can't wait to read some of Louise's other books.

My question for Louise is, Did you learn new things about the areas in London when you were doing your research for the book ?

SiouxieSioux Fri 10-Jan-14 19:59:28

I finished it in a couple of days and found it absorbing. To me the theme of Judgement,Guilt,Truth and Innocence run through it. How we judge others, how the stories we tell about ourselves and others defines our perception ,arrogance and how the lies we spin become conveniently embedded as truths. Justice in the case of the characters in this book was it served and not just in the court room and is revenge a greater motivator than love?

yUMMYmUMMYb Sat 11-Jan-14 13:33:55

Just bought this book, better get reading

headintheclouds Sat 11-Jan-14 17:02:44

I was the lucky recipient of this book in the giveaway. I devoured the book in a few days ..I found it totally absorbing , shocking and thought provoking.
Yvonne's behaviour made me very angry ..she seemed quite cold I thought . I agree with Siouxie that how we judge others was atheme that ran through the book. i hope I am never faced with anything like this in my own life .. The appalling way in which rape victims are treated really affected me.

gillapeno Sun 12-Jan-14 21:02:38

Hi there smile this was my first "book of the month" and I have to say what a start! Brilliant book! I bought it for the Kindle, and Im trying to figure out how to lend it out to other Kindle users so my friend can have a read too smile fantastic plot that keeps you interested from the start to the very end

sparkysparkysparky Mon 13-Jan-14 13:38:21

I enjoyed the challenge of judging ( and trying not to judge ) Tonne the booMy only criticism was the description of George's father as having early stage MS. I have this condition myself and it jarred to read what

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