I’m an immense fan of the books of Rachel Abbott, and it’s always a great frustration when I just can’t add her latest to my reading list for a review because I have far too many books waiting. I’ve already seen how much others are enjoying her latest, Come a Little Closer, published on 15th February. My thanks to Maura Wilding for inviting me to be part of the blog tour, and for her excellent materials and support. Just take a look at this great description…
They will be coming soon. They come every night.
Snow is falling softly as a young woman takes her last breath.
Fifteen miles away, two women sit silently in a dark kitchen. They don’t speak, because there is nothing left to be said.
Another woman boards a plane to escape the man who is trying to steal her life. But she will have to return, sooner or later.
These strangers have one thing in common. They each made one bad choice – and now they have no choices left. Soon they won’t be strangers, they’ll be family…
When DCI Tom Douglas is called to the cold, lonely scene of a suspicious death, he is baffled. Who is she? Where did she come from? How did she get there? How many more must die?
Who is controlling them, and how can they be stopped?
I’m delighted to welcome Rachel Abbott as my guest on Being Anne today – invited to choose eight books, a music track and a luxury to take with her as a castaway on a mythical desert island with only the complete works of Shakespeare and the Bible…
How can anyone possibly choose just eight books to take with them to a desert island? I suppose it depends how long I was going to be there for, but I am assuming a long time – given that I get the complete works of Shakespeare and the Bible. So I would need a range of books to suit different moods, and they would need to be books I could re-read over and over again.
I would probably start with one of the first novels, other than children’s books, that I read – Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. There are so many layers to this story, and it’s a huge fat book, so it would give me plenty to read and I could go back to it time and time again. It would also fulfil my requirement for a bit of romance, and because it was a book that my mum gave me to read, it would feel as if I was taking a bit of her along with me too.
For the days when I need cheering up, I would like to take something funny. But funny books tend to be short, and that’s a bit of a problem. It seems, though, that it’s possible to buy a Bridget Jones Omnibus – which includes both of the first two books. I remember reading Bridget Jones’s Diary for the first time. There were so many situations – particularly one involving a changing room – that I could identify with, and it would be bound to keep me smiling.
I might like to take one book that has images of people. I’d like some faces to look at, and I think Jane Bown’s lovely book of photographs, A Lifetime of Looking would be perfect. The pictures “allow us to walk back in time” and it would keep me in touch with humanity.
I wouldn’t say that I was knowledgeable about poetry, but I do remember when studying for A level English Literature that we read the poems of TS Eliot, and I would enjoy lying in a hammock, re-reading some of the wonderful lines from The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, such as “The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes.” Or “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” I have decided, desert island or not, that I am going to read the whole of the Collected poems 1909-1962 by TS Eliot again, through the eyes of an adult, rather than those of my seventeen-year-old self.
Now, what about food? I love to cook, but I suspect that might be a bit tricky. So given that there might be quite a lot of raw fish on the menu, maybe The Complete Guide to Sushi and Sashimi might be a good option. Personally, I would prefer a bit of hearty Nigella food, but I doubt that’s going to be easy to recreate.
I need thrillers! I wonder if there is a Harlan Coben or a Minette Walters omnibus? I couldn’t find one in my search, but there was a Raymond Chandler omnibus, and would be an excellent choice. A few mysteries from the safety of my island sounds just perfect.
And now I need more pictures. I have visited some wonderful places over the past few years – Myanmar, Antarctica, the Galapagos, India – and I love looking at the photographs to bring back the memories. There is a fabulous National Geographic book called Timeless Journeys – full of wonderful photos, mainly of places I have never been, but which I can dream about visiting when I leave the island.
Finally, I need a tome that will keep me riveted, but will last me more than a day. And I think it will have to be War and Peace. I have read it, but let’s face it, it certainly bears re-reading, and it will keep me occupied when I’m not catching fish. I can sink into early 19th Century Russia and be transported from my desert island.
As for a music track, now I’m stuck. Should I go for something from my youth, something current, or something classical? On balance, if I’m only allowed one track and not a whole album, I think anything current would drive me mad after five minutes. So it would have to be classical. My choice would therefore be Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture – partly to accompany the reading of War and Peace and partly because I love it.
As for my luxury item, that is a no-brainer. I would want the most enormous pot of Crème de la Mer face cream that money could buy. I can’t live without it!
Thank you for putting such a lot of thought into that one Rachel – fascinating! And wishing you every success with Come a Little Closer… here are the details of all the stops on the tour.
About the author
Rachel Abbott’s debut thriller, Only the Innocent, was an international bestseller, reaching the number one position in the Amazon charts both in the UK and US. This was followed by the number one bestselling novels The Back Road, Sleep Tight, Stranger Child, Nowhere Child (a short novel based on the characters from Stranger Child), Kill Me Again and The Sixth Window. Her most recent novel, Come a Little Closer, is available from February 2018.
Rachel’s novels have now been translated into over 20 languages and her books have sold over 2.8 million copies in the English language.
In 2015 Amazon celebrated the first five years of the Kindle in the UK, and announced that Rachel was the #1 bestselling independent author over the five-year period. She was also placed #14 in the chart of all authors. Stranger Child was the most borrowed novel for the Kindle in the first half of 2015.
Rachel splits her time between Alderney – a beautiful island off the coast of France – and the Le Marche region of Italy, where she is able to devote all her time to writing fiction. For more information, see Rachel’s website, or follow her on Twitter: you can also find her on Facebook or through her blog.