LEIGH Library hosted a book signing and talk by local author Hazel Lakeland, on Saturday, 14 December.
Following the release of her latest book,'Hazel's Story'. The story begins with the mystery that surrounds Hazel's grandmother's death in 1935, only weeks after she had attempted to throw her own seven year-old daughter from an upstairs bedroom window.
Hazel's grandfather then burnt all records relating to his wife and forbade her name ever to be mentioned again.
It isn't until Hazel treads the same path as her grandmother and sees beyond death that the mystery begins to unravel.
Terrifyingly, Hazel loses the battle with three men who forced her into a psychiatric unit.
HAZEL still lives in Hadleigh, Essex, in the exact house where her book ends, very happily with her third husband. It was he who encouraged her to write her unusual true story. She said" However it wasn't until his daughter had completed her Creative Writing Degree and offered to help guide me that I felt able to do so. And as I began the words really just poured out. However, without my mother's brilliant memory and her friendship with Lieselotte, my father's stepmother, I could not have told the story. Sadly my mother passed away before the book was finished. But I was able to visit my Aunt Bess in Australia with one of the first copies of my book and as she well remembers her mother's attempt to push her out of an upstairs window was so pleased to finally understand what happened to her."
Some reviews of the book
They unusual…. remarkable…I really enjoyed it…I couldn’t put it down … or at the very least, some have said …. interesting! Not least, apparently, because there are local details that readers didn’t know about. An example: what is in the basement of Chalkwell Hall? Well the answer is in my book.
I think what I was attempting with this book was to show that whilst fiction is a wonderful mix of imagination, true stories can be equally remarkable.
I have self published my debut novel The Tokyo Express, which explores how love is put to the test when family and disaster strike. For Owen in war-torn Tokyo, his love affair with Mariko was never going to survive the huge cultural divide but it didn’t stop him pining for her for the next 60 years of his life. He tries to warn his his grandson Conor of his foolish mistakes. But it is only when Conor is desperately seeking for his Japanese wife after the tsunami has struck her hometown, that he realise how his own selfish behaviour is to blame for the loss of Mimi. Is it too late also for him? An unforgettable story crossing continents and generations. But as Conor discovers, forgiveness is an incredible gift.
My interests include sailing (last summer I qualified as a flotilla day skipper!) and hope soon to get a boat; languages (I graduated in French and Russian and am fairly okay at conversing in Japanese, plus a few Chinese swear words from my time in Hong Kong!); Scuba Diving ( PADI Advanced cert with over 100 dives logged); and Politics (but don’t get me started!)