People up and down the country are turning to books to escape the long hours they are spending at home.
For a lot of people, it’s the opportunity to finally start reading the book that has been sitting sadly on their shelf for ages, but others are inspired to pick up a world entirely different.
You can order from Waterstones and Amazon, of course, but there are a few bookshops across Gloucestershire making sure their customers still get books.
The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, with stores in Tetbury and Nailsworth, is just one of the bookshops in Gloucestershire doing deliveries, alongside Cornell Books in Tewkesbury.
If you want to read, but are stuck on ideas, here are a few suggestions of novels that take place within our county borders.
Cider with Rosie
Studied by many GCSE English students, this novel immortalises the teenage life of author Laurie Lee, who grew up in the Gloucestershire village of Slad.
The novel is reminiscent of village life just after the First World War, and shows how traditional country life slowly dissolved with the rise of the motor car.
The real Rosie was revealed to be Lee’s cousin by marriage, Rosalind Buckland, 25 years after the bestseller was published.
Rosalind grew up in Slad – where she rejects the claim of drinking cider with Laurie – and lived in Leckhampton later in life. She sadly passed away in 2014, just days before her 100th birthday.
This 2000 novel, which has since been adapted into a play and was shown at Gloucester Cathedral last May, is definitely for those looking for something a bit darker and less tranquil than Cider with Rosie.
Written by Stroud-based author Jamila Gavin, Coram Boy is set in eighteenth century England, with some of the action happening in Gloucestershire. The novel follows three narratives which deal with love, friendship and betrayal.
Otis Gardiner, a twisted fraudster who acts as a Coram man, travels around the country preying on young women who have had babies illegitimately and promises them that their children will be safe at the Coram Institute. However, the poor children never actually make it to the Coram doors.
One of the characters, Alexander Ashbrook, is set to inherit his family’s manor and learn how to run the household, but instead has his sights set on becoming a composer and musician at Gloucester Cathedral.
Although marketed as a children’s novel, Coram Boy is gruesome and dark in places, so is perfect for adults who like a gruesome read.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The Forest of Dean features heavily in a significant scene of J.K Rowling’s fantastical final instalment of her bestselling book series.
Of course, this novel will only make sense if you have read the previous eight, but it goes without saying that most people have read them already, or at least seen the films.
During the search for horcruxes to destroy to take down Lord Voldemort, Harry and Hermione end up in the Forest of Dean, where they destroy Salazar Slytherin’s locket.
This scene, which is featured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part two, was filmed just over the border on Coppett Hill, in Herefordshire. However, in part one, Puzzlewood was used as a location to film a shot of Harry, Hermione and Ron hiding in the forest.
The Story of the Weasel
This disturbing 1976 novel by Carolyn Slaughter is set in Cirencester at the turn of the 20th century, and follows 30-year-old Catherine Roach writing the story of her childhood in Wandsworth, South London.
The Cotswolds ultimately provides an escape to Catherine, who recounts her worrying childhood, which saw her start a relationship with her brother at the age of ten after being exposed to scandalous images.
The unsettling story itself serves as a coping mechanism for Catherine, who is writing it to come to terms with the damage she and her older brother inflicted on themselves during their relationship.
The novel was reviewed positively by a number of newspapers, who praised Slaughter for her sensitive portrayal of such a taboo subject.
A Quiet Life in the Country
Another novel centred around a woman who leaves London for rural Gloucestershire in the early 1900s, A Quiet Life in the Country by T. E. Kinsey was published in 2014.
After the death of her husband, Lady Emily Hardcastle takes to the Gloucestershire countryside in search of a peaceful lifestyle. However, not long after moving to the West Country, any hope of peace and quiet goes out the window when Lady Hardcastle and her maid discover a body in the woods.
The novel is the first of seven murder mystery novels in the Lady Hardcastle series by author T. E Kinsey, who lives just over the county border in Bristol.
The Eight of Swords
Seemingly, in the eyes of an author, Gloucestershire seems to be a hotspot for country murders.
First published in February 1934, The Eight of Swords is a ‘whodunnit’ story by American writer John Dickson Carr.
The thrilling story follows the murder of Mr. Septimus Depping, who is found dead in his Gloucestershire country house after being shot with his own gun. His corpse is holding a card from the Tarot deck, the eight of swords, which represents “condemning justice”.
Tommy Glover’s Sketch of Heaven
This more relaxed Gloucestershire tale follows Kitty Green, who returns to the school she attended in the county during the war to find out it is being rehoused on the premise’s of the old boys’ home.
Whilst she was in Gloucestershire as a child, after being evacuated from London, Kitty was good friends with Tommy Glover, who was an inmate at the boys’ home.
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But alongside appreciation, the NHS also needs our help – from PPE, to food to keep them going during shifts, medical supplies and more – money can make a big difference. So we have launched NHS Heroes Help From Home – a nationwide drive to raise funds for our NHS frontline, that everyone can get involved in.
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The novel by Jane Bailey, who lives in Gloucestershire, is one of nostalgia as it follows Kitty down memory lane, as she remembers her germaphobic ‘Aunty’ and religious ‘Uncle’, who she stayed with.
Jane Bailey herself has been the writer-in-residence at Cheltenham Festivals’ First Story for several years, which promotes creative writing in schools that serve low-income families.