Holy Macaroni! by Maureen Sleeman

In this blog piece, library volunteer and member, David Sleeman, speaks about the latest addition to our children’s collection –  Holy Macaroni! written by the brilliant and much missed Maureen Sleeman.

Holy Macaroni!  by Maureen Sleeman

A wonderful new addition to the shelves of the Morrab Library will shortly be arriving. Holy Macaroni a children’s story written by Maureen Sleeman who was a member of the library for many years will be published early in November by AH Stockwell.

Macaroni, an Italian mongrel lives with the Fettuccini family in a pizzeria near the ancient town of Pompeii. Macaroni finds himself carried back 2000 years to the reign of Caligula. Plunged into a madcap world of slaves, gladiators and a lunatic emperor Macaroni becomes a dog with a cause, sniffing out treachery, pitting his wits against villains and saving Pompeii from the Emperors wrath.

Children in the family have read Macaroni and Maureen took him to a local primary school and read to the children who loved it. The inspiration came from her love of Italy and a holiday where we visited Pompeii.

It was against this background that I chose to try and get Macaroni published.

Sadly, Maureen passed away in April 2019 aged 58 and Macaroni just lay there asking to be let out. He has travelled to London, twice to Wales, before finally finding a friendly publisher in North Devon.

Maureen loved to write and was known locally in various writing groups. It seemed as if Maureen always had a pen in her hand making notes about characters and places for the next story. Over time, she has produced many articles and novels, one with a film script which got as far as Working Title in London but alas not taken up. Her last novel set in Rhodes, crime fiction was all but complete prior to her illness. Maureen had planned to go back to her writing in January 2020 and work on getting her writing published but it was not to be.

My tribute to Maureen was to get Macaroni published and let children enjoy the benefit of her wonderful imagination. 


David Sleeman

Delivering The Goods – a short story by Julia Grigg

Delivering The Goods was on the shortlist for the 2020 Bridport Short Story Prize. Julia Grigg is the pen name of Julia Spry-Leverton, who’s recently become a member of Morrab Library after coming to live in Penzance. The move to Penzance is a homecoming for Julia after an overseas career in international development, predominantly in Africa, as a writer for UNICEF (experiences of which she has drawn on for her short story.) Julia‘s maternal grandmother, Julia Grigg, from whom she’s borrowed her nom de plume, was born on St Michael’s Mount, Julia herself being born to Cornish parents in Looe. Julia is a poet and historical fiction author – her debut novel The Eyes that Look is a story of art and adventure set in Renaissance Venice. Her current work in progress is a novel about Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch and his family set in the period of the First World War.

Looking for Christmas gifts?

Just in time for Christmas, we’re very pleased to introduce our new postcard range featuring photos of our wonderful library (images are above). You can share its beauty with your friends and family – or just enjoy them for yourself! They’re on sale for 60p each or 3 for £1.50 with all proceeds, of course, going to support the library.

We also have a variety of other uniquely ‘Morrab’ gift options which all help to support the work of the library –


Gift Membership

Share your love of Morrab Library with friends or family – a gift that include access to 70,000 books(!), tranquil work spaces, our marvellous library community and more. (£30 for a year’s household membership – we also offer a discounted student membership at £20.)


John Trigg prints

Choose a high quality print from one of six beautiful images, taken from the collection of drawing books donated to the library by the artist John Trigg. (£65.)



Penzance Map

A high quality reproduction of the 1841 map of the Borough of Penzance. (£20.)

We also have some lovely Morrab leather bookmarks, postcards from our Dawson Napoleonic archives and a brilliant, eclectic selection of second-hand books for sale.