Sheila Stevenson has sent me the reviews published by The Friend last week, by two prisoners at HMP Grendon about ONLY A SIGNAL SHOWN. There’s also a piece by Sheila herself, about a couple of my earlier books, MATHISON and KINGFISHER BLUE. Here first is what Sheila wrote:
REVIEWS – BOOKS BY LEELA DUTT
‘Kingfisher Blue’ Pub. 1996. ISBN 0 9529782 1 0
‘Mathison’ Pub. 1996. ISBN 09529782 0 2
‘Only a Signal Shown’ Pub 2012.
Kingfisher Blue is a book of short stories in which the author explores topics close to Quaker hearts, for example, ‘Pebbles in a Jar’ tells of protest action against the manufacture of a compound that could cause pollution, or the value of Quaker membership provides the conclusion in ‘A Question of Belonging’. My favourite is ‘I Shall Spend my Pension on Brandy’ about the wisdom and acceptance that can come later in life; it also rings so true about some of the trials that the elderly have to endure. The stories all relate to Quaker issues and relationships that are explored with sensitivity and humour.
‘Mathison’ tells the story of one family throughout the twentieth century involving an Indian home in Calcutta before the First World War, a Jewish dentist in Nuremberg in the 1930s and a Quaker weekend gathering in the mid-1990s. The two parallel story lines starting either end of the century gradually converge. The author uses the premise of an imaginary computer programme that can write a novel as the reason for exploring this family’s history that clearly draws on her own.
Both ‘Kingfisher Blue’ and ‘Mathison’ are related to Leela Dutt’s Quaker life experiences but her most recent novel, ‘Only a Signal Shown’, is different in that it is simply a love story that weaves around the world as it draws the reader into the story and its conclusion. It grips the reader with its twists and turns between people and places. Her descriptions are vividly first-hand and she credits her husband for giving her the reason to travel to so many different parts of the world. All Leela’s books would make ideal travel or holiday reading although some concentration is needed to keep track of who is who amongst all the characters!
Sheila M. Stevenson,
High Wycombe Meeting, Chiltern Area.
I’ve had a couple of reviews of my novel ONLY A SIGNAL SHOWN in The Friend this week, 20th June, written by Garry and Matthew, two men currently in HMP Grendon. Unfortunately I can’t copy the page into my blog – can anyone help? I can scan it but can’t copy and paste – no idea why not…
You can now buy KINGFISHER BLUE, MATHISON and RUBIK’S CUBE direct from my website attfieldduttbooks.co.uk My books are no longer available from wonderbookland.com which has been withdrawn.
If you want a paperback copy of ONLY A SIGNAL SHOWN it’s best to get it from FeedARead for £7.50 rather than looking on Amazon which says it has two used copies for £262.93 each!!!
Here’s the link: http://www.feedaread.com/search/books.aspx?keywords=Leela%20Dutt
or alternatively, there are limited copies available direct from my website http://www.leeladutt.co.uk where there is a BUY NOW button offering the novel for £7.50 plus £1.50 postage – this button will get you to PayPal.
If you want to buy the paperback version of “Only a Signal Shown” go straight to the publisher
www.feedaread.com/search/books.aspx?keywords=Leela%20Dutt where you can get it for £7.50. I saw Amazon selling it for nearly £30 last week!
Meanwhile, have another look at Reuben’s film about my books:
I’ve just uploaded “Only a Signal Shown” onto Smashwords, an American ebook site which will sell it cheaply. You can find it at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/402927 Let me know if you buy it there!
Remember those infamous Cruise missiles at Greenham Common in the depths of the Cold War? In this novel they’ve been moved to an American base just north of Cardiff. The story focuses on some ordinary Quakers in this university city, who not only care that the world may be destroyed in an instant, as we all feared back then, but also about personal issues: the old man next door who won’t eat and is dying of malnutrition, a budding love affair with a man threatened with blindness, neighbours who persecute children playing ball in the street, how to cope with difficult teenagers. A Peace Camp is set up near the missiles, and some of the Quakers get to know the American commander as well as listening to the Soviet ambassador.
Originally short-listed by the Welsh Arts Council, this novel has been loved and read as many as seven times by some particular individuals. It was inspired by the sense that there are always several different strands to life that have to be dealt with at the same time, like the squares on a Rubik’s cube. Much of it is based on real events – the neighbours in particular, and the children; but some research was also involved, especially into retinitis pigmentosa, which causes blindness. The story will appeal to anyone interested in ordinary people and their everyday problems and joys – but don’t feel you have to read it seven times! You can order it from my website attfieldduttbooks.co.uk There are still a handful of copies left.
Just had this review which is going into the Copenhagen Post:
The book Only a Signal Shown was written by Cardiff based Danish-Indian author Leela Dutt and tells the story of travel writer and artist Eleanor as she traverses the world, while occasionally having a desperate on-again, off-again love affair with TV archaeologist Alec. The two have occasional meetings over the course of several decades with plenty of heartbreak and confusion.
Spatially the story moves all over the world, with scenes taking place in countries as different as Iceland and India, and a scene in eighties Copenhagen illustrated a very much forgotten time of a Raadhuspladsen that is not a construction site. This globetrotting does provide the book with a neat hook as a story emerged in the field of globalisation literature, even though at times the lack of any sort of stable ‘home’ place gives the reader his own diaspora to contend with.
The book´s strong suit dealt with the coming of age elements of the protagonist Eleanor. The bildungsroman traits are what kept me most interested in the story, which makes the earlier part of it the most interesting and riveting to read…
The book… shouldn’t be written off by those that enjoy a simple love story, it is fine as such and can well fend for itself on shelves next to Nora Roberts and others who specialise in the field of love affairs and middle aged women. So if you want your literature easy, lovely and you enjoy books about travel then this is the book for you.
Wow fantastic – where do I start? This is the first ever book by author Leela Dutt that I’ve read and I can assure you it will not be the last. I was from the first page captivated. Leela’s attention to not only the opening line but also the story and the characters within is outstanding! From chapter to chapter I was drawn deeper into the grip of the book. I felt a mixture of emotions – happy, sad, excited.
The lives of the characters, their jobs and relationships were entwined. This book is a one size fits all – so if you are after romance, adventure, laughter, war, then this book is for you. It is in a league of its own. I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. I was Eleanor’s traveling companion; by each turn of the page I wondered where we’d be off to next – London, Wales, Finland, India or the USA, to name but a few. This book is both a brilliant and an enjoyable read, a book for everyone, and I feel it was written by a best-in-class author. If not already done so, this book should be made into a film and should also be put forward for Book of the Year Award and TV mini-series. I look forward to reading more of Leela Dutt’s books.
I leave you with this opening line from one chapter: “Hit the floor, lady.” Want to know what happens next? Order a copy of Only a Signal Shown from Amazon or see further details on www.leeladutt.co.uk and you will not be disappointed.
Reuben has just made a video about my books, and the more people view it the higher up the YouTube list it goes, whatever that means… so if you have a moment, could you look at it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OebH01R2_Nc&sns=em