Stella Duffy – Lullaby Beach

Stella Duffy, an award-winning author and playwright, has written thirteen novels, over fifty short stories, and ten plays. Stella is also a theatre-maker and the co-director of the national Fun Palaces campaign for greater access to culture for all. She was awarded an OBE in 2016 for her services to the Arts. Stella has a new book, Lullaby Beach, to be published on Thursday, 4 February 2021.

You can find out more about Stella Duffy via her online presence at


A synposis of Lullaby Beach, as reviewed by The Daily Mail on 28 January 2021

‘No-nonsense, whisky-drinking, retired nurse Kitty has lived for decades in Lullaby Beach, a seaside cabin in the crumbling coastal town of Westmere. It’s also where she chooses to end her life, leaving her great-nieces, sisters Beth and Sara, searching for answers.

Rewinding to Kitty’s teenage years in 1950s London, we begin to understand the toxic legacy of her love for flashy, no-good, would-be property developer Danny Nelson. Meanwhile, back in the present, sleazy Mark Nelson is following in his uncle’s footsteps in more ways than one.’


Author Stella Duffy was invited to talk about her new book, Lullaby Beach with  Here is the link for her blog in full: and a small section of this blog is copied below.

Lullaby Beach is about family, trauma, loss, abuse and survival. It’s about young people and the adults they – we – become. It’s about friendship across generations, the diagonal family bond between aunts and nieces, repeating family patterns – good as well as bad. It’s about learning to live with ourselves. It’s about learning, as Kitty does, to live with ourselves gloriously.

The women in Lullaby Beach are not me, although I do have five sisters and I definitely have some amazing nieces. Their experiences are not mine, but they are similar enough to my own experiences and those of almost every woman I know, for me to feel confident in writing of those experiences across three generations. It is because I know so many people who have survived different abuses that I also felt confident to write of what comes after; how we survive differently, how not every survival is a typical ‘hero’s journey’, not every overcoming ends in the cliché happy ending, but that survival itself can be a happy ending of sorts, that learning to accept and live with ourselves is the real happy ending.


Duffy is a fearless writer, although her desire here to tackle #MeToo head-on tips the novel’s final acts into melodrama. But that doesn’t detract from what is ultimately a portrait of sisterhood in the wider sense — one that’s as powerful and gritty as it is wise and celebratory — while Kitty’s strength and stoicism make her a character to cherish Daily Mail






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Sarah Watts

Sarah Watts

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