Today I’m delighted to welcome romantic suspense novelist Julie Ryan. Her ‘Porridge & Cream’ read is The Magus by John Fowles.
“My ‘Porridge & Cream’ book that has served me well over the years is The Magus by John Fowles. I first came across this book whilst I was a student although it had been written much earlier in the 1960s. I was immediately transported to a remote Greek island as I followed Nick Urfe’s journey. John Fowles vividly portrays the magic and mystery of Greece that must have resonated with me as my first job after graduating was as a language teacher in Greece and thus began my lifelong love affair with the country.
“Whenever I need to recapture those halycon days of my youth, I pick up the book for some instant sunshine; a great pick-me-up during the British winter. It doesn’t matter how many times I read this book, I always find something new in it to surprise me. To some people, it may seem a bit dated now but I just love the language and the sense of place as well as the way the millionaire plays with Nicolas’s mind until it becomes more than a game and a question of survival.
“At university we were taught to analyse every phrase and plot strand so for me this book is the opposite of that; it’s a book which absorbs me without having to be critical. There is the danger of overanalysing as I read about a reader contacting the author regarding the ending which features a London park keeper burning leaves. The reader asked if it was symbolic that leaf burning wasn’t allowed in London parks? John Fowles replied that it was meant to show that it was autumn!
“I have reread the book so often that my original copy fell to pieces so this one is a replacement.”
Julie Ryan’s Bio
Julie Ryan’s roots are in a small mining village in South Yorkshire. After a degree in French Language and Literature, wanderlust kicked in and she lived and worked in France, Poland, Thailand and Greece. Her spirit enriched, her imagination fired, Julie started a series of mystery romances, thrillers set in the Greek Isles. Jenna’s Journey is the first novel in Julie Ryan’s Greek Islands Series, a series she did not set out to create but which took on its own life and grew, rich and fascinating. This is the first of three published so far and promises to delight readers looking for the hidden dark sides of dream vacations in the Greek Isles. A prolific and well-known book review blogger, Julie does her writing and reviewing from rural Gloucestershire, where she lives with her husband, son and dippy cat with half a tail.
Julie Ryan’s latest book
Lisa and Mark are going through a rough patch, Vicky is seventeen and has just discovered that the man she thought was her father really isn’t, Ruth is getting over her husband’s betrayal after nearly twenty-five years of marriage. On the surface, they have nothing in common except that they are all staying in the same hotel on a Greek Island. As they each come into contact with the mysterious Pandora, their lives will change forever. Bodies begin to pile up as a serial killer is on the loose who might just be targeting the hotel. The Island’s Police Chief, Christos Pavlides, tries to solve the puzzle but he has problems of his own to resolve. It seems that the local celebrity author is the one who holds the key.
‘Pandora’s Prophecy’ by Julie Ryan, #3 Greek Islands series [UK: J Ryan]
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 here.
‘The Magus’ by John Fowles [UK: Vintage]
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why does romantic suspense writer @JulieRyan18 re-read THE MAGUS by John Fowles? #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-3mUvia @SandraDanby