I fear a question. It goes something like this: “An English teacher? You must read some good books,” says random person at the other half’s Christmas party.
“Well, yes, I do, mostly children’s books, I love them,” I reply.
“I’ve just finished Swimming Home, one of the Booker shortlist,” she says.
“Oh,” I reply, “I’m currently 39% through Calypso’s romantic romp around Venice…” and it’s out. My secret crush on .
I genuinely enjoy losing myself in a good bit of romance, a ‘will they, won’t they meet back up again after the war’ sort of book. Exhibit 1: It’s the Year of Reading and what do I get photographed reading, lying on a bed in Ikea? The Diary of a. *Hangs head in literary shame. Or do I?
Love. It’s what makes the world go round, and helps you escape from who’s turn is it to cook dinner, empty the dishwasher or sort the socks. Because in the world of romantic fiction, no-one sorts the socks.
My favourite, I’m not afraid to tell you is Adriana Trigiani, I thoroughly enjoy all her books, pre-order them and devour them like a treat. She’s an of Italian descent, and her books are full of the food and the passion of Italy. Her characters well rounded and real and actually occasionally, in her books, they do the mundane real life things, but with a flourish. I love all her books, but Lucia Lucia is probably my favourite. It’s why I want to visit Capri.
I also love Kate Morton, an Australian author. Her first book The House at Riverton is a thrilling mystery and a compelling romance, think Miss Marple with added romance. Her second, The Forgotten Garden, is The Secret Garden for grown ups. I have just downloaded her latest and when I have finished The 100 Year Old man Who Climbed Out of a Window and Disappeared for a virtual book group, I shall be needing a romantic fix. Who am I kidding, I am never finishing that book, there’s no romance. Now, if he climbed out of a window and found the love of his life…
My affair with all things romantic probably stems back to teenage years when a lack of choice on the mobile library led to such great reads as Sweet Valley High. I recently read the 20 years later novel and still loved it, even though it won’t win any prizes for . I suppose it’s also what my Mum read, romantic fiction, although she introduced me to Little Women, Jane Eyre, Rebecca and Pride and Predudice. Romantic fiction is popular for a reason and we shouldn’t dismiss it as it serves a great purpose, that is taking us to somewhere else, somewhere where sorting the socks doesn’t figure.
Go on, I dare you, buy yourself some romantic chick-lit fiction as a Valentine’s treat!
Charlotte Reed – Primary English Consultant and romantic sap