Today I’m delighted to welcome contemporary women’s novelist Sue Moorcroft.
“I wish I still had my dad’s copy of A Town Like Alice. It was one of those Reader’s Digest leather-bound books, bright red with gold. Sadly, I lent it to someone. A Town Like Alice was the first adult book I read. I was nine. I watched the film one afternoon with Dad and he told me he had the book. As a bookworm, when the film finished the obvious thing to do was locate it in the bookcase and carry it off to my room. If I close my eyes I can still see the red ribbon to mark reading progress and the dark blue and white pattern on the inner cover.
In A Town Like Alice Nevil Shute taught me a lot about storytelling. He showed me that a story arc doesn’t have to contain a mystery (Famous Five) or a school (Malory Towers) and can be set against the ugliness of war and yet contain one of the most beautiful love stories I’ve ever read. That love can triumph over seemingly impossible odds, even over man’s inhumanity to man. It taught me a lot about characters having flaws and acting like real people, too, when Joe and Jean finally found each other again and realised they still had their own issues to deal with.
I bought the book again when I lost touch with Dad’s copy. It wasn’t in print so I had to buy it second-hand but I reread it every few years, whenever I feel it’s faded in my mind enough that I’ll enjoy it all over again. I wouldn’t like to guess how many times I’ve lived the story of Jean and Joe!
A Town Like Alice began a lifelong love affair with the works of Nevil Shute. I have every one, even those published posthumously. The social niceties are a bit dated, now, but every one is a great story.”
Sue Moorcroft’s Bio
Award-winning author Sue Moorcroft writes contemporary women’s fiction with occasionally unexpected themes. A past vice chair of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and editor of its two anthologies, Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles, writing ‘how to’ and is a creative writing tutor. She’s won a Readers’ Best Romantic Read Award and the Katie Fforde Bursary.
Sue Moorcroft’s latest book
For Ava Bliss, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember …
On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava Blissham. Sparks fly, and not necessarily good ones. Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas. So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet …
‘The Christmas Promise’ by Sue Moorcroft [UK: Harper Collins]
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.
‘A Town Like Alice’ by Nevil Shute [UK: Vintage Classics]
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why does @SueMoorcroft love A TOWN LIKE ALICE by Nevil Shute? http://wp.me/p5gEM4-260 via @SandraDanby #reading