Category Archives: Recommended Reads

Interviewing author Luana Lewis

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Last night I had the pleasure of interviewing author of psychological thriller, Forget Me Not, Luana Lewis. We met in Gerrards Cross in the church above Gerrards Cross Bookshop. We had 30 – 40 people, many of whom had read the book and many belonged to local book groups.

I started by asking whether Luana had felt the pressure of writing her second novel, a task many authors find rather difficult. It was a huge pressure, especially as she had a deadline to meet. With the first book, you can write it in your own time but the second has to be delivered to meet the publishing timetable.

Luana is a clinical psychologist who sees patients with problems as part of her day job. Many of them have fractured relationships and that was the starting point of this novel. What happens when the relationship between a mother and daughter is less than loving? How will it affect both in later life if indeed it will? The story of Forget Me Not is that of a mother  and daughter who do not get on. The mother Rose, is a single parent, working as a neonatal nurse with long shifts. This has an effect on her daughter, Vivian, who is lying dead on the bathroom floor as the book opens. Rose, having been a less than perfect mother, has not been a very supportive grandmother but when he daughter is found dead she hopes to make up for that by looking after her granddaughter, Lexi. Vivian’s husband, Ben, is uncertain about that. All the characters become suspects as you read the book. It is suspenseful and compelling.

Luana told us that she was character driven and that the characters came to her fairly fully formed. She knew the end as she wrote but had not meticulously planned the plot as some authors do. “Writing is the fun part of my life and too much planning would make it more like work”

You can read all about Luana and her two novels by clicking here.

Costa Prize

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I am reading A God in Ruins which won the Costa novel prize this week. Wonderful. I will save the review for the next Nick Coffer programme.

Those of you who follow these things will know that the Costa first novel prize was awarded to The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley. We discussed this on the show a month or two back. My review is here.

Three things to get excited about!

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  1. Tonight I am going to Jordans Village Hall to hear the brilliant storyteller, Ben Haggarty. He came many years ago to Chorleywood Library and was one of the best storytellers I have ever heard so I can’t wait.  http://benhaggarty.com/
  2. On Sunday BBC Radio 4 are dramatising my all time favourite book, A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. It will be in 3 parts, the first on Sunday at 3pm. I wonder how they will do it and if the voices will be coincide with those of my imagination?
  3. Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan will be out in paperback on March 26th so you can read this wonderful book, winner of the Man Booker Prize 2014.  You can pre order it from Chorleywood Bookshop. Why not email them on chorleywoodbookshop@btinternet.com? If you are not local order it from hive.co.uk  You can nominate Chorleywood Bookshop as your favourite on Hive even if you are not local

What a lot to look forward to!

Latest radio book recommendations

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I went to BBC Three Counties on Monday to discuss books with Nick Coffer.

I went to a Book Group last week and we had one of the longest discussions about a book we all enjoyed – Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty. I have just been to another book group where we had an interesting discussion about Do No Harm by Henry Marsh. By contrast for another book group I plan to attend next week we are reading Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. I just love the variety!