Judy Finnigan Chepstow Books

Judy Finnigan in conversation with Richard Madeley

The Drill Hall

05 Mar 2013


A fantastic treat as broadcaster, journalist and Book Club champion Judy Finnigan reads from and talks about her compulsively-readable and incredibly haunting debut novel “Eloise”.  Judy will be interviewed by her husband Richard Madeley.

Earlybird Tickets £3 (offer valid until end of January).



By Judy Finnigan

She was a daughter, a wife, a mother. She was my friend. But what secrets did Eloise take to her grave?

After her best friend Eloise dies from breast cancer, Cathy is devastated. But then Cathy begins to have disturbing dreams that imply Eloise's death was not all it seems.

With a history of depression, Cathy is only just recovering from a nervous breakdown and her husband Chris, a psychiatrist, is acutely aware of his wife's mental frailty. When Cathy tells Chris of her suspicions about Eloise's death, as well as her ability to sense Eloise's spirit, Chris thinks she is losing her grip on reality once again.

Stung by her husband's scepticism, Cathy decides to explore Eloise's mysterious past, putting herself in danger as she finds herself drawn ever deeper into her friend's great - and tragic - secret.

Compulsively-readable and incredibly haunting, this is the debut novel from broadcaster, journalist and Book Club champion, Judy Finnigan.

Atmospheric, creepy and original, Judy has written a blinder of a first novelExudes a deep and soulful sense of place. Romantic and rain-lashed, du Maurier's Cornwall haunts the pages of Eloise as powerfully as the spirit of the elusive heroine herself. A stirring and intriguing readJudy Finnigan's gripping début novel captures the mystery and menace of Cornwall in glorious gothic styleHighly readable, incredibly moving in parts, and with wonderful echoes of Daphne Du Maurier, Eloise had me turning pages late into the nightA moving meditation on grief, family bonds, motherhood and female friendshipA haunting, pacy page-turner, with a real ghostly feel - a must readImpressive debutA great first book from the Queen of the Book ClubA creepy ghost story . . . the real star of the book is Judy's beloved Cornwall - a wild beautiful backdrop to the tale that is almost a character in itself[Eloise] has a life of its own thanks to Finnigan's lack of pretension, light touch and obvious passion for the Cornish landscape, which is so lovingly described it's almost a character in its own right. A warm and promising debutHaving run a wildly successful book club, championing new fiction, it was perhaps inevitable that Judy Finnigan should turn her hand to novel-writing. Eloise has nods to Daphne du Maurier and Emily Brontë in its vividly evoked Cornwall setting and story of a woman haunted in her dreams by the best friend who died of cancer. No vanity project this, Judy deserves to be taken seriously as a writer of thoughtful, descriptive fictionHaunting thrillerAn assured first novelAn absorbing, thought-provoking tale of family skeletons, betrayal and the enduring spirit of friendshipShe was a daughter, a wife, a mother. She was my friend. But what secrets did Eloise take to her grave? Compulsively-readable and haunting, this is the debut novel from Book Club champion, Judy Finnigan.Judy Finnigan is an author, television presenter and columnist. In 2004, Judy's name became synonymous with discovering and sharing great fiction, through the Richard and Judy Book Club, where authors including Kate Mosse, Rosamund Lupton and Victoria Hislop were championed and brought to the attention of millions of readers. This is her first novel.

Yesterday I almost saw her.

I was standing on the sun deck, looking out to sea, revelling in the unexpected warmth of the February sun. A butterfly trembled on a nearby buddleia and suddenly I smelled her perfume.

She wasn't there, of course. How could she be when I had seen her lying in her coffin just two weeks ago, the day before she was buried, her casket surrounded by the scented candles she loved?
She lay in Cornish ground now...

Compulsively-readable and incredibly haunting, this is the debut novel from broadcaster, journalist and Book Club champion, Judy Finnigan.

The HB spent 2 weeks as a Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller. The fourth biggest selling HB debut of all of 2012 (after just 3 weeks' sales)In its first 3 weeks in HB, Eloise sold twice as many copies as any 2012 debut in HB (excluding The Casual Vacancy).Eloise was the fastest selling fiction debut HB of 2012Judy Finnigan's Book Club profile has never been higher, after ten years of the Richard & Judy Book Club.Judy's name is synonymous with recommending compelling and entertaining fiction and this is what she has delivered with Eloise, a novel she has been working on for a number of years.Set in Cornwall and filled with atmosphere and intrigue and with a strong commercial thriller element.Judy is hugely excited about the publication of her debut novel in paperback and will be promoting it at all opportunities.