The idea behind the Classic Comfort posts is that each featured writer chooses a favourite title from the classics – we’ll define ‘classic’ as pre-1940 – and a favourite comfort read, a book they always return to, for whatever reasons. As third book in each post, we’ll have one by the writer.
This week, we have Louise Mangos, who writes psychological suspense thrillers, historical fiction and flash fiction. She’s also travelled widely, as her recently published novel The Beaten Track demonstrates – but more about that later.
Over to Louise:
A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens.
Of all of Dickens’ novels, I feel A Tale of Two Cities is the most contemporary in its exploration of human emotions. The setting, on the other hand, is very much anchored in the historic era either side of the French Revolution. Suspense is maintained throughout as the characters are in constant danger of being either imprisoned or killed, but a complicated romance lifts the narrative away from the typical darkness of a Dickensian novel. The closing sentence: “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known” still makes me weep.
The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion.
This novel is one to raise a smile. It’s fundamentally a rom-com, but with special characters that appeal beyond the usual commercial novels in the genre. Don is a man looking for a partner and has written a list of criteria to help him find the perfect candidate. He meets eccentric Rosie and they strike up an unusual friendship as he tries to find the perfect partner and she tries to find her father. Each of them has their own foibles and unusual traits which gives this story its own recipe of warmth and humour.
Thank you, Louise! A Tale of Two Cities is one of my favourites, too, though it’s years since I’ve read it.
Louise’s new novel The Beaten Track was published by Red Dog Books last week. I was lucky enough to read an ARC, and I can thoroughly recommend it. As a reader, I travelled all over the world with Sandrine, the main character – who’s being stalked…
Here’s the blurb:
After her stalker takes his life and she’s jilted by a holiday lover, Sandrine returns home to Switzerland from a round-the-world backpacking trip perturbed, penniless and pregnant. She meets handsome Scott, who offers love, security and all she and her new baby could ever wish for.
But their dream is about to turn into a nightmare…
Louise writes novels, short stories and flash fiction which have won prizes, placed on shortlists, and have been read out on BBC radio. Her short fiction has appeared in more than twenty print anthologies and magazines. The Beaten Track is her third suspense novel. She holds a Masters in crime writing from the University of East Anglia in the UK. Louise lives at the foot of the Swiss Alps with her Kiwi husband and two sons.