Val Wood launches new novel, Children of Fortune

Award-winning author Val Wood is set to release her latest novel on 25 November with a special launch event to be held at Waterstones, Jameson Street in Hull.

The author’s 27th title, Children of Fortune is a sprawling historical novel set in 1864. The story focuses on three siblings who’re determined to find their own way in the world, even as secrets from the past come hurtling into the present.

The novel, set in the East Riding where Val now resides, grapples with themes of family duty, honour and freedom. After the untimely death of her cold-hearted husband, Beatrix, and her three children are finally free. Or are they?

Eldest son Laurie has the responsibility of the family estate on his shoulders and must decide between staying in Yorkshire to farm the family land or follow his dreams. 

Meanwhile, headstrong and independent Alicia is defying expectations and excelling at school. There she befriends the enigmatic Olivia Snowdon and they soon become inseparable. But Olivia’s family past is shrouded in mystery and, as the two families grow closer, local secrets come to the fore. 

Eagle eyed readers of Val’s catalogue of work will recall Beatrix from her 2020 novel, The Lonely Wife and although the protagonist’s story continues, Children of Fortune also acts as a stand-alone book. 

Val says: “The Lonely Wife was released in such an unusual time and was the first of my books released without ceremony due to the lockdown in place at the end of last year. It was challenging to write during the pandemic but the success of the novel was a pleasant surprise and inspired me further. As always, the story is centred around a strong female protagonist and in this case she was called Beatrix. After the novel was completed, there was something in the character that wouldn’t let me go. It was Beatrix who led me towards creating Children of Fortune, another novel that I have written during the unusual circumstances of lockdown, but one I am proud of and I can’t wait to release.” 

A renowned name in the world of romantic historical fiction, Wood is the author of 27 books that have been set in her home region of East Yorkshire. The author has been described by BBC Radio 4 as Hull’s answer to Dame Catherine Cookson, a celebrated British author who placed many of her stories in her home of County Durham. 

Wood’s first novel, The Hungry Tide, published in 1993 won the Catherine Cookson Prize for Romantic Fiction and she continues to write and support the creative community in Hull with her international annual writing competition, The Val Wood Prize. 

The launch of Children of Fortune will be the first event for the author to take place since 2019 and although Val is keen to meet readers face to face again, covid-safety precautions will be in place to ensure customers can shop with confidence. Val will be signing copies of Children of Fortune and signed book plates will be provided to customers who couldn’t get their copies of The Lonely Wife signed due to restrictions.

The book launch takes place at Waterstones, Jameson Street on Saturday 25 November at 4.30pm.