Letters from Liz

Ted Hughes by Fay Godwin, Copyright British Library Board IMAGINE my excitement when I received this review from a former girlfriend of Ted’s, who knew my characters in real life, and had met Assia! “My heart soared for the poor girl” she tellingly wrote in this very special email: Dear Dina,  1 am reading your book…

New Reviews of ‘Capriccio: a Novel’

Below are some of my favourite reviews. I am eternally grateful to my readers, fellow authors, and  critics for their heartwarming and insightful feedback: Amazon 5 star Review. A gripping read. This beautifully written work covers so much ground: love, literature, abuse, religion, and the struggle for identity. I found it gripping and poignant, especially knowing…

Assia and Yehuda

Few people realise that Assia Gutmann Wevill was a poet in her own right, and also a talented translator. She spoke Hebrew, German, Arabic, Italian and English, and so was in demand as a translator. Her most acclaimed work was her translations from Hebrew to English of Israel’s major poet, Yehuda Amichai. Interesting to note…

The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Vol 2: The Real Story

The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Vol 2, 1956 – 1963, edited by Peter K. Steinberg and Karen K, Kulkil. Faber & Faber, 2018. This huge volume (well over 1000 words, and too heavy for me to lift)  contains heartrending, fiercely honest, falsely cheerful, and enlightening words from Sylvia to her mother, her brother, her friends,…

A special review

I was thrilled to receive this email from Liz Hicklin, a former girlfriend of Ted Hughes. It gives added meaning to the words “based on a true story”. Liz has given me permission to share our correspondence with you:  Dear Dina, I have just finished your book [Capriccio: A Novel]. I loved it. I knew…

The Invisible Woman

 “The invisible woman: A Review of ‘Lover of Unreason’ by Eilat Negev and Yehuda Koren, by Peter Porter. Reprinted from The Guardian Oct 2006 The title of this all-encompassing biography of Assia Wevill, ‘Lover of Unreason’,  refers to Assia’s self-chosen epitaph, with she wanted engraved on her tombstone.  It perhaps reflects her descent into depression…

Mental Illness in ‘Capriccio: A Novel’

Recently, a reader asked me if mental illness had influenced the characters in my novel, ‘Capriccio’. Until she brought it to my attention I hadn’t realised  just how much the suffering in this story was brought about by the frailties of each character’s mind. Sylvia (Grace in the novel) had attempted suicide three times before…

Do you have to ‘like’ the main character? Reader Reviews.

Recently someone who was a little way through my book said; ‘It’s good, but she (Esther) is so selfish! I don’t like her at all.’ I agreed, and said that it’s true, she was not your most noble or exemplary character. Beautiful, yes, as the portrait shows, but vain and mischievous as well. This got…

The Rocky Road to Publication

Fifteen years ago I came across a newspaper article called “Haunted by the Ghosts of Love”. It was the story of the woman who had come between two famous poets: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Her name was Assia Gutmann Wevill. I had never heard of her. Assia’s story fascinated me, and I began to…

Was Tanya/Shura Ted’s/Larry’s daughter?

(Warning: Spoilers) Although Assia was certain of her daughter’s paternity, declaring the father on her birth certificate to be Edward Hughes, Ted Hughes rarely referred to little Shura (named Tanya in the novel) as his daughter. Indeed there were instances when he denied paternity. Yet we are told that he was overcome with grief at…