It sounds a little cliche but all I ever want to read are books that are able to cast a spell over me. If a book doesn’t suck me in right away and make me want to explore the setting and meet the characters for real then it probably won’t satisfy me very much at all. There are, of course, some authors that manage to completely submerge me into their fictional worlds every single time. This article will mention books by two of those writing geniuses who never fail to draw me in and making me feel completely spellbound by the end of each of their incredible books.
Do you have authors that you can rely upon to always deliver compelling stories?
For me, there are two writers who never fail to impress me with their books. By using intriguing narratives and clever plot lines they know exactly how to convince anybody who cares to pick up one of their books that their stories are well worth seeing through to the end. They write fully formed characters who are highly relatable and have believable flaws. Such characters have the ability to soon get you rooting for them, no matter what experiences they’ve had.
Gentlemen and Players – Joanne Harris
Starting with the book ‘Chocolat’ I have been working my way through Joanne Harris’ work for many years. She followed that masterpiece with three other stories also set in France, with the same lead character, Viane Rocher, whose talent with confectionary disguised her mysterious abilities to make people see themselves as others did. Her chocolates seemed to have the ability to unveil their underlying passions.
There is something very different about another of her books, Gentlemen and Players, which tells the story of a teacher and student who were both loyally linked to a traditional private school known as St Oswalds. The student reflected upon their youth when their dad worked at the school as a caretaker and they couldn’t afford to attend the rather posh St Oswalds school themselves, so they found clever ways to sneak in, dress in the appropriate uniform and befriend another lad with whom they suddenly became fascinated.
At the same time, the tired old Latin teacher was being shoved out of his office and pushed towards early retirement as he didn’t have the will to try and fit in with a modernising school which had been recently taken over by a new headteacher. His life and that of the student were connected but most of the book was spent making you wonder just how. Later on, there was a surprising twist which, after an exhilarating build up, really threw me off balance.
Joanne is about to unleash a fourth book set around St Oswald’s. A Narrow Door pops into bookshops near you and on the net in August.
Nine Perfect Strangers – Liane Moriarty
Having been to a few health spas myself, I was really interested in trying another book by the incredible author behind ‘Big Little Lies.’ So I spotted this intriguing tale on a bookshelf and took it home, half expecting it to be a let down compared to such a successful book as BLL which had been turned into a major HBO TV series.
I could not have been further from the truth. Set in Australia, which is Liane’s native country, this story talks about nine people who all embark on a health farm retreat at the same time. One couple has suffered a loss, one failed writer looks for the opportunity to cleanse herself and another pair have a secret which has ruptured their relationship, leading them to hope that the spa may be their way of patching things together again.
Written in a close third person narrative structure, where the author writes each chapter with a focus on a particular character and discusses their actions and motivations, this book is nothing but compelling. It has lots of twists along the way and builds to it’s ending effortlessly. As with all of Moriarty’s stories, you find yourself totally invested in the incredible characters and the very modern plot.
I hope that I have started to interest you in the work of these two amazing authors. Joanne uses scents and flavours to add extra levels of depth to her storytelling and Liane draws characters who are modern, three dimensional and full of intrigue.
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