North Books, Hay-on-Wye’s newest bookshop, continues its programme of special events by welcoming artist and writer Ellie Evelyn Orrell this month.

Ellie will be dropping into North Books on Saturday, February 25 at 4pm.

Ellie’s first book, An Indigo Summer, published by Calon Books, is an absorbing meditation on rural life, grief, creativity and the artistic process.

One summer, a mother and daughter are reunited in the small village of Betws Gwerful Goch in North Wales following the death of a father and grandfather. Ellie returned from university, while Jeanette had been studying the art of indigo dyeing in Japan.

In this lyrical memoir, Ellie Evelyn Orrell transports readers to their hillside garden, reflecting on a summer spent learning to work with indigo, and witnessing the power of creativity in moments of mourning and recovery. In it, she weaves together stories of resettling in a once-familiar landscape; the healing powers of art; the historical, mythological and present day properties of indigo; and the presence of this indelible colour within the Welsh landscape.

Ellie Evelyn Orrell
Ellie Evelyn Orrell signing copies of her new book at North Books (.)

In Hay, Ellie will talk about the book’s themes and her creative process. She will also bring along some examples of the indigo dyed fabrics involved in her story. Now settling in to life as a newly published writer, her next stop is the Oxford Literary Festival.

Selling new books and beautiful things, North Books on Castle Street in the centre of Hay offers a beautiful space to browse and nurture a love of reading.

Explaining why Hay needed another bookshop, owner Jules North said: “Hay is known throughout the literary world as a town of books, but for many years now it hasn’t offered a permanent place where book lovers can find a broad range of inspiring new writing.

“Alongside contemporary fiction we have good fantasy and Young Adult sections. We also have a particular focus on sustainability, environmental and nature books as well as Welsh literature and books by local authors. Our year-round programme of events is at the heart of what North Books is about - developing and supporting a community of book lovers.

“In addition to authors’ talks, we have already established two new book groups.”

Tickets to Ellie’s talk are £3, to include tea, coffee and cake.

Seating in the bookshop is limited so please book in advance by emailing [email protected] or popping into the shop.