Christmas 2023 is almost upon us and it hardly seems two months since those sunlit days in early October when Cuckfield Book Festival once again brought lots of visitors to the village which really did buzz as people flocked to either the Queen’s Hall or to the Talbot.

Greta Scaachi

Cuckfest 2023

The opening supper on Friday 6th October was a complete sell-out long before the day and Greta Scaachi delighted the audience with reminiscences of her youth in Haywards Heath and then her stellar career on stage and screen.  She is currently performing in She Stoops to Conquer at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond and there isn’t a ticket to be had. Allie Young and I went to see her in early December and it was a wonderful afternoon.

Big Book Group 2024

Already several publicists and authors have approached us to ask if they might appear at Cuckfest in October so planning the programme has begun.  The main announcement to make is that we have chosen the book for the Big Book Group – the intriguingly named Confession with Blue Horses by Sophie Hardach.

Tobi and Ella’s childhood in East Berlin is shrouded in mystery. Now adults living in London, their past is full of unanswered questions. Both remember their family’s daring and terrifying attempt to escape. But what happened next? Where did their parents disappear to, and why? What happened to Heiko, their little brother? And was there ever a painting of three blue horses?

The Guardian called it ‘an absorbing slow burn of a book that not only casts light on Germany’s recent history but depicts, with careful tenderness, a family simultaneously torn apart by ideology and bound by powerful ties of love.

Sophie Hardach

Sophie Hardach is a German-born writer and journalist living in London. Confession with Blue Horses was short-listed for the Costa prize. We hope that by announcing the title for the Big Book Group now, groups can incorporate it into their programme for the year.

Sponsors and Supporters

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2024 Dates
Dates for your diary: 

Friday 27th September Cuckfest Literary Quiz
Friday 4th October Ockenden Manor Supper
Saturday 5th – 6th October Cuckfield Book Festival

Season’s Greetings
From everyone at Cuckfield Book Festival – a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.