• Maya Linnell

Esther Campion talks Ireland, labradors and the Famous Five

Esther Campion's storytelling is cosy, comforting and brimming with heart. A Week To Remember brings a handful of travellers together for a week by the ragged Cork coastline. Apart from their accommodation, the young scientist, ex-pat couple, leery dentist, and grouchy American have little in common, but group outings and the guesthouse's gracious hosts soon unite the travellers.

I loved how the story zipped forth between Tasmania (Esther's adopted home) and Ireland (where the author was raised), and the lost loves, regrets, secrets and family dynamics that were woven through the various plotlines. It's a big call to be likened to Maeve Binchy and Monica McInerney, but the charm and warmth of A Week To Remember is very well-deserving of such kudos. I'll be tracking down Ether's two other books in the very near future!


Keep reading for the interview with Esther, links to buy and your chance to win a copy.


Five fast minutes with Esther Campion


Do you have a good luck charm or a special token that sits on your desk/in your office?

A photo of my late father gives me great courage.


Favourite exercise to counteract all the hours sitting at the keyboard?

Beach walks with my Labradorable.


What’s your go-to weekday dinner dish?

Oh Maya, I know you’re a great cook so it is not without a tinge of shame that I admit it is very simple: ready marinated tofu with Woolies stir fry veg! Best part is, I can recycle the soft plastic afterwards. Note from Maya - Sounds quite tasty, Esther, I might have to give it a shot!


Which career would you choose if money wasn’t a factor and writing wasn’t an option?

Acting. I’d love to play some of the characters in our beloved books as living breathing people.


Favourite book from your childhood?

Any of the Famous Fives. Had all 21.


Which jelly bean do you eat first, and which do you leave until last?

As they all contain sugar and look lovely, I’m not fussy!


Have you done anything special with any of your advances?

Went home to Ireland with my eldest and had an absolute blast.


Spot where you seem to get the best bursts of writing inspiration?

Shower, definitely.


You’re snowed in on the side of Mount Hotham with access to only one novel and one electronic device. Which do you choose?

Jane Austen’s Persuasion and a good flashlight. I should probably have made that ‘phone’ as I would have the flashlight app, access to Facebook and if I really had to pull myself away from Captain Wentworth, a means of being rescued!


Favourite Aussie book so far for 2021?

Gina Wilkinson’s debut, When The Apricots Bloom. Sometimes, the only way to travel to a place is through the pages of a book.


Best one-line sentence from one of your book reviews?

I could not have loved this book more and while the book appears to have tidied up most loose ends, I’m kind of hoping this isn’t really the end.” Agent Mystery Case review.

A Week To Remember



A converted stone farmhouse on the Irish coast is about to receive its first guests in this warmly captivating story for fans of Maeve Binchy and Monica McInerney


Whether it was the lure of the rugged coastline or the comforting image of the house, he wasn't sure, but he couldn't remember the last time he'd taken a holiday. . .

With its brightly painted front door, white-sash windows and garden path sweeping down toward the sea, Lizzie O's guesthouse promises a welcome escape from the world. Aisling and Mick Fitzgerald are travelling all the way from Tasmania to celebrate their wedding anniversary, but Aisling is burdened with a secret that could ruin their marriage. Declan Byrne, exhausted from an unhealthy routine of long hours, takeaway and too much red wine, has spontaneously taken the week off to visit the village of his childhood summers. Katie Daly returns to West Cork after an absence of 35 years to care for her ageing mother only to find she must confront her painful past. Finally, Mia Montgomery is taking this holiday without telling her husband.

Each of this group of strangers is at a crossroads. And one week in the middle of winter may change all of their lives.

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Esther Campion is from Cork, Ireland and currently lives in north-west Tasmania. She attended North Presentation Secondary School in Cork and has degrees from University College Cork and the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Esther and her Orcadian husband have lived together in Ireland, Scotland, Norway and South Australia. They have two grown-up children in Adelaide and the youngest at home in Tassie. Esther loves sharing her life on a small property with an over-indulged chocolate Labrador, a smoochy cat and a couple of ageing mares, all of whom she firmly believes are living proof that dreams really can come true. Esther's heartwarming debut novel, Leaving Ocean Road, was followed by The House of Second Chances.


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WIN-WIN-WIN!

For your chance to win a copy of this fabulous book, simply read the interview and answer the questions on the WIN page. Entries open Feb 6. The winner will be drawn Sunday, Feb 14 at 5 pm. Newsletter subscribers and Aussie addresses only, please. Thanks to Hachette for the review and giveaway copies.