Today I’m delighted to welcome Scottish crime writer Jackie Baldwin. Her ‘Porridge & Cream’ read is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
“The book that has never failed to delight and soothe me over the years is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I must have been in my early teens when I first read it and so embarking on a turbulent adolescence of my own alongside those of the March girls. At a girls school and with no brothers, the world of boys was something of a mystery to me too so I loved the character of Laurie and the subtle shifts and turns in his relationships with all the girls over the scope of the novels. “I have had many copies of the book over the years but this one [above] is my favourite as it contains all three books in the series. Part of its enduring appeal for me is the characters who are all just flawed enough to make them endearingly frail and human. My favourite character is Jo who is unruly and tempestuous and rails against the confines of poverty and the expectation that women should conform to the domestic role expected of them rather than pursue any ambitions of their own. There is also a small broken piece of my heart that will forever be in thrall to Beth who shows just how much a small life can matter and influence those around it.
“I have read it a few times over the years and the types of things that might encourage me to pick it up are if life feels a bit too overheated and I want to escape for a while into another gentler time where courage and strength of character always triumph over adversity.
“If I had to sell Little Women in an elevator pitch it would run something along these lines. ‘The story of a family who are in poverty but not impoverished and rise to meet adversity with an outstretched hand and a warm smile.’
“Thanks for reminding me how much I love this book, Sandra! In fact, now that it’s off the shelf, I think it might be time to meet up with some old friends again…”
Jackie Baldwin’s Bio
Jackie Baldwin is a Scottish crime writer. Her debut crime novel Dead Man’s Prayer was published by Killer Reads, Harper Collins on 2ndSeptember 2016. The second in the series, Perfect Dead was published on 15thJune 2018. For most of her working life, she has been a solicitor specialising in Family and Criminal Law. However, she now practices in Dumfries as a hypnotherapist which is where her novels are set. Married, with two grown up children, she has filled her empty nest with Golden Retrievers. She can often be found in a forest walking the dogs, covered in mud and with twigs in her hair.
Jackie Baldwin’s latest book
Each murder brings him one step closer to the perfect death. Ex-priest, DI Farrell is called on to investigate a gruesome death in rural Scotland. All evidence points to suicide, except for one loose end: every light in the cottage was switched off. Why would he kill himself in the dark?
The question sparks a murder investigation that leads to the mysterious Ivy House, home of ‘The Collective,’ a sinister commune of artists who will do anything to keep their twisted secrets hidden.
And when the remains of a young girl are uncovered on a barren stretch of coastline, Farrell realises that there is something rotten in this tight-knit community. Now he must track down a ruthless killer before another person dies, this time much closer to home…
‘Perfect Dead’ by Jackie Baldwin, #2 DI Frank Farrell [UK: Killer Reads]
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.
‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott [UK: Penguin English Library]
Discover the ‘Porridge & Cream’ books of these authors:-
Lisa Devaney chooses Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick
Tracey Sinclair chooses Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos
Helen J Christmas chooses Camellia by Lesley Pearse
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why does Scottish crime writer @JackieMBaldwin1 re-read LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott? #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-3v1 via @SandraDanby