I’ve been a reader since age 5. I have always loved reading! Always. And of course from age five until now, my reading tastes have varied. I have loved many different authors, many different genres. I enjoy a good mystery. And also a fair amount of literary fiction. I have never liked sci-fi, horror or romance. Since my late teens/early 20’s, women’s fiction became my favorite genre. I approached adulthood reading Rona Jaffe, Barbara Taylor Bradford (A Woman of Substance STILL remains at the top of my favorite list!) Danielle Steele, Maeve Binchy, Belva Plain and many others. My mother also read these authors and I’m sure I borrowed her books, but the reason I devoured them was because I could relate to them. I loved family sagas. (You seldom see those published today) I loved reading about relationships, good times, bad times, friendships, family and always love. Not a bodice ripping romance (And those were quite popular in the 60’s and 70’s, but I felt they had no substance, kinda like the reality shows on TV today) …..but a love story woven into the main plot. And……I have never lost my love for women’s fiction. So I guess when I decided to get serious about my own writing, it was the genre of women’s fiction that I chose.
About 8 years ago, I discovered a novel by Elin Hilderbrand called Barefoot. The setting was Nantucket Island in Massachusetts. That drew me in but when I read the synopsis, I knew this was my kind of book. And it was. I loved it! But the strange part is that instead of going in search of more books by this author, I never returned to her until about a month ago. Many things might account for this. I did keep reading even when I was busy developing my own writing career, but I also tended to focus more on mysteries or literary fiction or non-fiction. Purposely. I didn’t want to be influenced by another writers style. And as a result, over these 8 years Elin kept writing but I hadn’t read those novels. I was browsing Amazon recently and saw The Rumor by her. After reading the synopsis, I got the book. And I was hooked. Big time! I loved it. It reminded me of those novels I loved so much years ago. A good plot. A descriptive setting. But most important, great characters. Compelling characters. Characters I felt I knew and wanted to know better. And I have now gone on to read a few more.
I chose her debut novel, The Beach Club next. It was good. I liked it a lot for the same reasons. Although compared to her later ones, it was a bit weak in parts. However, there was a surprise ending and overall it was enjoyable. Enjoyable enough to make me want to keep reading her. Next I got The Love Season. However, I decided to get this one in audio version. This would allow me to knit and listen at the same time. That was a mistake. The story is great! But the narrator was beyond annoying. She had a very exaggerated voice. Phony. And it truly distracted from the story. So I returned it (I’ve been borrowing them from the digital library) and I’ve now gotten the ebook version to finish it.
I just finished Beautiful Day and I have to say, so far this one is my all time favorite by her. The story takes place over one weekend with a wedding. But with Hilderbrand’s skilled writing, the reader learns all the back story on the characters. It had an uplifting and satisfying ending and was everything I admire and enjoy in a novel. I just got The Island, have only read the first chapter, but…..yes, I’m hooked already.
So I’ve been doing some serious binge reading. And I love getting lost in Hilderbrand’s stories. I’m a member on Goodreads and about a month ago, I signed up to try and win an ARC. (Advanced Readers Copy) This is a debut novel called The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas. It will be released in September by MacMillan Publishers. I was really excited to be chosen to read and review this book. It’s over 500 pages. I took a peek at the first chapter and oh, yes! I’m sure this will be a blockbuster novel! But I plan to finish the Hilderbrand ones I’m currently reading. And then……I can look forward to devouring this brand new novel. I’ve thanked my mom a million times for passing on her love of reading to me. And I still will never understand people who say they don’t read. Such a sad loss……….
See you here next time…………