Monthly Archives: October 2015

YWTB! Bethan Roberts

Hello and welcome back to You Wrote the Book, with Simon Savidge. Each fortnight Simon is joined by a special guest author to discuss their life as a writer and as a reader.

Simon’s guest for this episode is the author Bethan Roberts, who first came to my attention with her third book, the marvellous and moving, My Policeman. A novel which made Simon rush out to by both her previous novels The Pools and The Plain Good Cook, however it is her latest novel Mother Island which I read first and was delighted to award as one of the Fiction Uncovered winning titles for 2015.

Mother Island is the story of two women, Nula and Maggie, joined by old family history and love for the same little boy. Nula, struggling with her new baby and feeling alone in her marriage, employs her cousin Maggie as a nanny when she returns to work. But it’s not long before Nula finds herself threatened by Maggie’s close bond with her son, Samuel. Nula’s outwardly perfect house crackles with unspoken jealousies and rivalry until Maggie’s intense love for Samuel tips into obsession and she decides her only option is to abduct the child. As Maggie makes her desperate bid for safety, the women’s shared past of trauma and loss comes to the fore once more.

Simonhad the pleasure of interviewing Bethan about Mother Island  a few weeks ago, discussing cousins, the nanny vs mother relationship, domestic drama and suburban noir as well as Elvis Presley, Stephen Fry and much, much more. First though he started by asking her where the seed of an idea for the novel came from…


Over the next few weeks Simon will be joined by Ruth Ware Paul McVeigh, Susan Barker, Michel Faber and David Whitehouse.  If you have any questions for the authors, would like to suggest authors you think Simon should be getting on the show, or simply want to have a natter about books, you can email or find us on twitter @youwrotethebook.

If you want to hear Simon talking more books do join him every other week with Thomas Otto on The Readers Podcast, you can also find him chatting and reviewing book on his blog Savidge Reads. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes where you can find previous episodes with Rose Tremain, Christos Tsiolkas, Evie Wyld, Armistead Maupin, David Nicholls, Hanya Yanagihara, Richard Flanagan, Jessie Burton, Emily St John Mandel and many more.