Today I’m delighted to welcome romance novelist Caroline James. Her ‘Porridge & Cream’ read is The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett.
“First published in 1908 and set in the fictional town of Bursley in the Potteries, it traces the lives of two sisters, shy Constance and romantic Sophia, who are born into a secure world, supported by their parent’s drapery business.
“I first discovered this book when I was a young girl working in London. My flat mates were into Jilly Cooper novels and couldn’t understand why I was reading such ‘an old book’. I was born close to the area where the narrative takes place and grew up on the borders of the five towns that comprise Stoke-on-Trent. As I read, I remember feeling that I was in a time warp, fantasising that I had walked the same streets as the sisters.
“I have always been in awe of Bennett’s writing. A male author who writes with such knowledge and clarity from a female perspective. The prose is exquisite and he makes every word count. Over the years, when far away from home, I re-read The Old Wives’ Tale. Despite being a period setting, written over a century ago, I am fondly reminded of the warmth and ways of Pottery folk, still retained today. Drawn to the book repeatedly, it feels like a hug from my mum. Bennett says, “No life is ever small to the person living it.” A phrase my mum might have said. The older I get the more this book speaks to me and reminds me to be respectful. Everyone was young once. Arnold Bennett is commemorated in the Stoke museum and I’ve studied his personal artefacts on many occasions, in awe of his brilliance and grateful that such an author is accessible to this day.”
Caroline James’ Bio
Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry – a subject that features in her novels. She is based in the UK and spends her time writing, climbing mountains and running a consultancy business. Caroline has a great fondness for the Caribbean and escapes to the islands whenever she can. She is a public speaker, reviewer and food writer and loves cooking and baking, especially cake.
Caroline James’ books
Set in Cumbria and Barbados, Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean & Me follows the lives of Jo and Hattie who are flying solo in their middle years. Is there hope for the newly single baby boomers and can romance happen? Join the pair as they romp into their future and prove that anything is possible. Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean & Me is an Amazon best-seller and a ‘Top Recommended Read’ by Thomson Holidays.
Read how Caroline researched her second novel, So You Think You’re A Celebrity…Chef?
‘Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean & Me’ by Caroline James [UK: Ramjam Publishing]
What is a ‘Porridge & Cream’ book? It’s the book you turn to when you need a familiar read, when you are tired, ill, or out-of-sorts, where you know the story and love it. Where reading it is like slipping on your oldest, scruffiest slippers after walking for miles. Where does the name ‘Porridge & Cream’ come from? Cat Deerborn is a character in Susan Hill’s ‘Simon Serrailler’ detective series. Cat is a hard-worked GP, a widow with two children and she struggles from day-to-day. One night, after a particularly difficult day, she needs something familiar to read. From her bookshelf she selects ‘Love in A Cold Climate’ by Nancy Mitford. Do you have a favourite read which you return to again and again? If so, please send me a message via the contact form here.
‘The Old Wives’ Tale’ by Arnold Bennett [UK: Churnet Valley Books]
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why does @CarolineJames12 love THE OLD WIVES’ TALE by Arnold Bennett via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-2Pw #amreading