Catherine Banner’s newest novel, The House at the Edge of the Night, combines elements of history and romance to explore life on the island of Castellamare. On Castellamare, four generations are transformed by two world wars and a great recession, by the threat of fascism and deep bonds of passion and friendship, and by bitter rivalries and the power of forgiveness. She joins host Amy Brinker of Beaks & Geeks to talk about the history that inspired the novel’s story line, spanning the reserves of a small town in Florence, and the 2008 financial crisis.
Catherine explains that in her book, she wanted to demonstrate how an isolated island can be affected by major global events, and how even the smallest of places must navigate change after a disaster. Catherine chats with Amy about the extensive research she conducted when creating the characters in her novel — she wanted them to be true to the time period in which they lived. One of her characters, Amedeo, is based on a real story-collecting doctor who resided in rural Italy in late 19th century. “The beauty of writing about history is that there are so many fascinating untold stories,” Catherine says, “and as a writer, you have to preserve the stories that haven’t yet been told.”
Tune in to this Beaks & Geeks episode to hear Amy and Catherine discuss the importance of research when writing about different time periods and the culture of small towns. Available in paperback, hardcover, e-book, and audio formats, there are many ways to enjoy The House at the Edge of the Night.