I’ve been a big fan of Joanne Harris for some time; she’s another one of those authors who bring on a bout of wistful writer’s envy. If only I could write like that….
When I’ve moved across continents my Joanne Harris collection of well-thumbed paperbacks has travelled with me, like old friends. If I’m honest, I do prefer her earlier books to the more recent works with their sinister undertones, but that may be just because I am so familiar with the locations, characters and stories, or simply I’m an old romantic at heart.
Chocolate is one of my favourite books of all time. I heard Joanne speak at the Winchester Writers Conference several years ago and her tale of persistence in getting Chocolate published was inspirational. She stuck to her guns and wrote the book she wanted. As for the film, the least said about that the better. Despite a cast of Judi Dench, Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp and Alfred Molina, Hollywood didn’t do it justice.
I came across Different Class while on library duty – I’m going to have to give up volunteering soon because my reading pile is now reaching Mount Everest proportions.
Travelling with hand-baggage only over the last few years I’ve tended to read from my Kindle as opposed to buying physical books, and have used my time to investigate the competitive field of commercial women’s fiction, regularly downloading 99p offers in order to suss out the market. But now I have an entire library of hardbacks and paperbacks at my disposal, I can get stuck into the meatier stuff, and I’m making the most of the opportunity.
They do say the more you read the better writer you become, so that’s encouraging, but right now, my writing has definitely taken a back seat while I catch up on some heavyweight reading.
Different Class is another story about the goings on at St Oswalds, the private boys’ school which featured in Players and Gentlemen (which I am now going to have to go back and re-read). The plot twists and turns between events of the past and present. As always Joanne paints her characters with the perfect blend of black humour, menace and mystery. A proper page turner.
What more can I say other than I’m jealous.