I'm coming to the conclusion that as writers, we have little choice in what we
write. I find that once a story is with me, it takes hold and the characters
take on a life of their own. I feel compelled to write their story. If I don't,
then they will still niggle me anyway.
This was how it was with my novel, THE THINGS WE DON'T SAY.
Consciously, or not, I find I am drawn to the stories of women who somehow, did
not fit in with the world in which they found themselves. With my three French
novels, the inspiration was the life and famous abandoned apartment of the
Parisian Belle Époque courtesan Marthe de Florian, with SECRET SHORES, it was
Sunday Reed, a leading figure in the Australian art world, along with Joy
Hester, an unsung Australian artist, and with THE THINGS WE DON'T SAY, I
became drawn in by Vanessa Bell.
Vanessa Bell was Virginia Woolf's sister. Vanessa was an artist who painted most
days of her life and a central figure in the Bloomsbury group, the famous group
of artists, writers and intellectuals who fascinate me for their avant garde
views, for the way they struck out independently during the turmoil of the early
twentieth century and for the relationships that swung between them, drawing
them in emotionally, in spite of their beliefs in acceptance, and tolerance…
In THE THINGS WE DON'T
SAY, I explored the love between my character, Emma Temple, a Bohemian
Artist who lived in Bloomsbury and in a farmhouse in Sussex and who is inspired
by Vanessa Bell, and her fellow artist, Patrick Adams, inspired by the real life
During the process of writing and researching the book, which is set in London,
Sussex and in the South of France, a retrospective exhibition of Vanessa Bell's
paintings was held in London, and having ordered and read the catalogue (which
didn't help when it came to temptation) I flew to London for a week from
Australia to see it, and at the same time, I visited the Bloomsbury group's
country house in Sussex, while staying right around the corner from their houses
in Bloomsbury, and visiting an exhibition at the Tate which featured Duncan
It's one thing to read and research your characters, and another thing to write.
But to visit the places which inspire the novels, to walk where the real women
walked who led me to my story is quite another, and a privilege of which I am
more than aware.
What evolved into the novel became a personal, involving story for me, an
exploration of the role of music and art in our lives, a consideration of these
deep thinking Bohemians and their views on how to live a peaceful life based on
the appreciation of art, and tolerance. At the same time, I wrote a mystery and
a love story that I hope will keep you all entertained.
I hope you enjoy reading THE
THINGS WE DON'T SAY as much as I loved researching and writing it. The
process was an emotional and moving journey for me, and an exploration of a
group of truly remarkable and talented people who grappled with many of the same
questions we still face today…
A beguiling painting holds the secrets of a woman’s past and calls into
question everything she thought she knew about the man she loved…
Nearly sixty years ago, renowned London artist Patrick Adams painted his most
famous work: a portrait of his beloved Emma Temple, a fellow bohemian with whom
he shared his life. Years after Patrick’s death, ninety-year-old Emma still has
the painting hanging over her bed at their country home as a testament to their
To Emma’s granddaughter, Laura, the portrait is also a symbol of so much to
come. The masterpiece is serving as collateral to pay Laura’s tuition at a
prestigious music school. Then the impossible happens when an appraiser claims
the painting is a fraud. For Laura, the accusation jeopardizes her future. For
Emma, it casts doubt on everything she believed about her relationship with
Patrick. Laura is determined to prove that Patrick did indeed paint the
portrait. Both her grandmother’s and Patrick’s legacies are worth fighting for.
As the stories of two women entwine, it’s time for Emma to summon up the
past—even at the risk of revealing its unspoken secrets.
[Lake Union Publishing, On Sale: July 1, 2018,
Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9781503902183 / ]
Ella Carey is the international bestselling author of four novels published
in the US- Paris Time Capsule, The House by the Lake, From a Paris Balcony and
Secret Shores. The books are published in twelve countries, in ten languages and
Secret Shores has been shortlisted for an ARRA award in 2018. Ella has degrees
in music, majoring in classical piano, and in Arts majoring in nineteenth
century women’s fiction and modern European history. Ella's fifth novel, The
Things We Don't Say, is set for release in the UK, Australia and the US on July
1st, 2018. Ella is working hard on her sixth novel. She writes full time. She
lives in Melbourne with her two children and two Italian Greyhounds who are
constantly mistaken for whippets.
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