“Love to Read: This Beating Heart” with Laura Barnett & Livi Michael at Manchester Poetry Library

“Love to Read: This Beating Heart” with Laura Barnett & Livi Michael
Manchester Poetry Library
8th June 2023

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Manchester Poetry Library is delighted to welcome novelists Laura Barnett and Livi Michael to discuss their work as part of the Love to Read series for Manchester Festival of Libraries 2023.

This event marks the release of the paperback of Laura’s fourth novel, This Beating Heart, a novel that challenges us to “think more creatively when it comes to happiness, and especially to the shapes that our families might take” (Hephzibah Anderson, The Observer). Laura is joined by Livi Michael. We will be celebrating the launch of Livi’s new novel Reservoir, a novel about memory, guilt and reinvention.

Love to Read is a programme established to encourage students at Manchester Metropolitan University to read for pleasure, and for Manchester Festival of Libraries 2023, we would like to welcome students, staff and the public to join us.

About This Beating Heart

At forty-three, Christina Lennox thought her future was settled: marriage to Ed, children, a house of their own. But this is not that future: her marriage has ended, fractured by the stress of five rounds of IVF and two miscarriages. Overwhelmed by grief and disappointment, Ed has relocated to San Francisco and Christina’s dream of becoming a mother rests on persuading him to let her go ahead with one final round of IVF, using the last frozen embryo they have stored at the clinic.

But when Ed drops a bombshell that threatens to undo everything Christina has strived for, she is forced, once again, to realign her plans: is this the end of her dream, or an opportunity to consider a different – perhaps happier – version of her future?

About Reservoir

At the International Conference Centre in Geneva, Hannah Rossier, formerly Annie Price, comes face to face with Neville Weir, someone from her childhood whom she never expected, or wanted, to meet again. As Neville’s reasons for attending the conference become clear, the dark waters of Hannah’s past start to rise. Hannah is a psychotherapist, with a specialist interest in memory and how connections are made between past and present. She has reinvented herself successfully, moving from a small northern town in England to Lucerne, Switzerland, with her husband, Thibaut.

Nobody, not even Hannah, knows the full truth about herself. Her ‘memories’ consist of glimpses of the place where she played in childhood, known simply as ‘The Wild’. Over the three days of the conference, she has to decide whether she can avoid Neville, or whether she should submit to an encounter with him and with her past. And in her keynote lecture about the neuroscience of memory, how much to conceal or reveal. But can her specialism save her from drowning?

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