Susan's favourite books
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. It is a stunning book. It isn’t long, but it brims with such poetry and tenderness that it stayed with me for months. I wish I could have written: I’m so grateful that Robinson has.
Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund. It isn’t often that I am so thrilled and drawn into a novel as this. I took it everywhere with me, reading with every spare moment. It’s a clever, daring adventure story, but also a beautiful account of lasting human love against the odds. And what a heroine!
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I read this, whilst researching my latest book A Little In Love. It’s a huge, intricate, relentless tale – or many tales, woven into one – of life in revolutionary Paris. I was bewitched by it. A breathtaking book.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. A strong-minded heroine, a wild setting, a supressed passion, a devastating secret – and the flawed but enigmatic Rochester … I have loved this since my teens!
Staying Alive, Being Alive and Being Human – all from Bloodaxe. It was poetry that made me fall in love with the written word; it remains a huge part of both my writing and everyday life. These anthologies are treasure chests; each time I dip into it I surface with a new, beautiful thing.
The Poisonwood Bible – by Barbara Kingsolver. I read this book and felt like I was in the Congo with these four wonderful narrators; its sense of place is a total joy. As well as being a consummate example of a multi-voiced novel, and lyrical, it also packs a huge emotional punch.
Van Gogh: The Life – Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith. This is supreme biography of an extraordinary and misunderstood man. I read it whilst researching my current novel and it has brought Van Gogh brilliantly to life in my mind.
Sue’s brand new novel, A LITTLE IN LOVE, the story of the broken heart of Les Miserables, is out now.