Mumsnet Book Club: The Secret to Not Drowning - Colette Snowden

When The Archers' storyline on domestic abuse became a topic of much discussion on Mumsnet, we invited author and journalist Colette Snowden to write a guest blog on her own experiences. Now, we're giving you the chance to discuss the compelling novel she wrote about living in a violent relationship.

In her blog post, Colette explained:

"I resigned myself to being trapped in that life and wrote my novel, 'The Secret to Not Drowning' as a catharsis. The book is not my own story, but a fictional account of emotional and psychological abuse that maps out a pattern of behaviour some will recognise in their own relationship."

Its protagonist Marion is a strong woman who is trapped in a life of mental and physical abuse and controlled completely by her manipulative and violent husband. It's a distressing story of a highly dysfunctional relationship, a bully and someone who has lost their sense of normality - but it's also about great courage and the power of friendship.

The independent publisher Blue Moose Books celebrate their 10th anniversary this year and have kindly offered 50 free copies of Colette's book. We're delighted that Colette will also be joining us for a webchat to discuss her book and the issues around domestic abuse.

Praise for the book:

"Colette Snowden certainly has got the knack of writing quiet, understated terrifying scenes. I really can't remember reading anything quite so shocking." - Amazon reviewer

"A really good read, a quietly told story but incredibly powerful and moving. I have been left thinking of this book and I feel it may stay with me for a long time." - Goodreads reviewer 

"This is an evocative, highly researched and tense read. With characters so thoroughly accurate you have to remind yourself it is a fiction." - Emily Burgoyne, Chapter One Books

About the author

Colette Snowden was born and raised in Manchester and read Medieval History at St Andrews and Bordeaux universities. Colette's short story 'Blue' was broadcast on Radio 4 in 2002 and her first child was born soon afterwards, at which point she stopped writing fiction for several years. She began writing again by entering a 'First Three Chapters' competition with Manchester-based writer development organisation, Commonword. She won the competition and completed the novel, which became The Secret to Not Drowning. Colette lives in Manchester with her three children and works as a freelance PR and copywriter.

Book giveaway

If would like to read The Secret to Not Drowning and join the webchat, you can apply for a free copy. This giveaway closes on 31 October. If you're not lucky enough to win a book, you can always buy a paperback and join the discussion.

Webchat with Colette Snowden

Colette Snowden will be joining us for a webchat to answer your questions about the book and talk about domestic abuse on Monday 28 November

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Last updated: over 1 year ago