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Friday, January 16, 2009

Those romantic shortlisters

A comment left on my post about the shortlist for the Romantic Novel of the year made me realize that the nominees were not done equal justice. So here are all the fine writers, in a medley that covers a surprising amount of the globe:

First, Judith Lennox, whose nomination is her third, and whose enthusiastic fan I thank for the comment. Her book, Before the Storm, reveals what may be dark secrets in an apparently perfect husband's past. Judith lives in Cambridgeshire.

Susanna Kearsley is Canadian, but her time-slip book, Sophie's Secret, is set in Scotland. (Can she be following in the footsteps of mega-bestseller Diana Gabaldon?)

Lesley Downer's book has been described as "Gone With the Wind set in Japan." The author has an intriguing background, being half-Chinese with a passion for Japan, and has written a well-received travel book. The Last Concubine sounds even more intriguing, being the story of a shogun, a princess, and three thousand women, overtaken by civil war. (So my fears about another Jewel of Medina are laid to rest.) She lives in London.

Julia Gregson follows three women as they go to India for a wedding. (Which sounds as if it will make a splendid movie.)

Linda Gillard is nominated for her lyrical story of a blind woman and the stranger who arrives on her doorstep. Linda lives in Glasgow.

Cecelia Ahern, whose hero is American, comes, naturellement, from Ireland.

Have I left anyone out?


Linda Gillard said...

Thanks, Joan, for drawing attention to the shortlist which so far seems to have been largely ignored by the press.

Your readers might be interested to know that my offering, STAR GAZING, is set on the Isle of Skye, where I lived for 7 years.

Susanna Kearsley said...

Joan, thank you so much for the mention, though the book isn't actually time-slip...more a story within a story, with my modern-day heroine dealing with issues of ancestral memory while writing the tale of a little-known Jacobite invasion that was planned from Slains, a castle (now in ruins) on the north-east coast of Scotland.

Thanks again for taking time to do a second post about the shortlist, it is much appreciated.

Joan Druett said...

Lovely to hear from you, Susanna and Linda. I'm surprised how little media attention is given to the genre, when it gives enjoyment to so many thousands. I know how much work goes into the development of plausible characters, and how much research goes into the background. There are millions of women (and quite a few men) who appreciate learning something new, while enjoying a satisfying story at the same time. The very best of luck with your writing.