Next Tuesday, I'm flying to Crete for a two week holiday and today I am deciding what I shall take to read. It's the one time when I don't feel guilty about spending hours with my head in a book or reading my Kindle! Many a time, pre- Kindle, did I have to take books out of my case as I'd gone over the weight allowance only to 'run' out of novels towards the end of the holiday.
Hotels often have a swap-a-book scheme though, where you can leave a finished book in return for a fresh one to read. This is how I came across Ferney by James Long. This is a beautifully written book and has all the elements that I enjoy - a love story, historical content, mystery and suspense so that I couldn't put it down, as well as warm and credible characters.
I do like the feel of a traditionally printed book and being able to flick back through the pages to check or re-read parts. But now, I can download as many novels as I want so there will be no worries about overloading my case, no greasy suncream finger marks on my precious books and even the thickest saga will appear light in my hand. So what do I choose?
I haven't written much more of my novel lately so I'm hoping that reading a lot on holiday will get me back writing on my return. My dual narrative story is about a family which holds secrets - whose family doesn't, you may ask? - and is set in 1947 and 1965. I'm trying to read as many family saga type novels set just after the war or in the 1960s. I seem to be drawn to novels where there are two POVs or two time settings. One such book that I enjoyed was The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell. The story tells the stories of two women, separated by fifty years but connected in ways that neither could ever have expected. Thank you Lynne for the recommendation.
Of course, not all the books I'm buying are in the style of the novel I'm trying to write. Here are a few that I'm looking forward to reading:
- We That Are Left by Juliet Greenwood
- When No One Was Watching by Debz Hobbs Wyatt
- Father Unknown by Lesley Pearse
Have you read any books about family secrets? Are any of those set just after WW2 or in the 60s? What do you think about dual narrative stories? What novel have you recently enjoyed and would recommend? (I haven't finished my list yet so am open to suggestions!)
Thank you for reading. I'd love it if you left a comment.
You may also follow me on Twitter @JanBayLit
PS I have just finished reading The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. The different layers of mystery meant that I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend it!