Last weekend (26th and 27th June) was the Felixstowe book festival, and whilst it couldn’t go ahead in its usual format it has been eagerly anticipated, as some events were taking place at an actual location.
Due to Covid restrictions, last year’s book festival (2020) took place online, it was so very different from the standard event but still quite enjoyable. However, this year with restrictions still in place but easing the book festival became a hybrid, some events were online but some were also in person. There was a great balance of events, it seems for every live event taking place there was also an online one.
The location was Harvest House in Felixstowe, Which was exciting for me as I’ve lived in Felixstowe for 9 years and have been fascinated with this building since moving here.
From anywhere along the Felixstowe prom you can see this grand house on the clifftop, it sparks the imagination filling it with thoughts of mysterious rooms and magical gardens. Or romantic images of an Austen or Bronte novel. So you can see why I’ve been fascinated with it.
Anyway, it’s a beautiful building inside and out. Palm Court, where the main events were taking place, is a beautiful bright room. They hire it out for weddings and the whole package sounds magical.
I was able to see a couple of live events and one online event. I missed the Jojo Moyes talk which is a shame as I saw her talk at the Hay Festival and I think she’s a fantastic speaker. Work commitments got in the way.
My favourite was the Esther Freud event, mostly because I’ve been a big fan of hers ever since I attended a talk in 2011 about her novel Lucky break. (It’s amazing by the way, read it!)
This day she was talking about her latest novel ‘I couldn’t love you more‘ a heartwarming tale of three generations of women from an Irish catholic background. You can tell by the way Esther Freud talks about this book that there was a lot of personal influence in it.
Technically the Festival was supposed to take part after Covid restrictions had been lifted, but due to that deadline being moved unfortunately, there were a few still in place.
This did lead to a bit of a logistical landmine regarding planning the event, and there were a few teething problems, but I think it went off rather smoothly and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves.
It was a memorable weekend, and whilst it did lack the buzz and atmosphere of previous festivals it’s nice just to be attending this event again.