Tuesday 31 May 2016

My Life In Books ~ talking to author Fionnuala Kearney

My Life in Books is an occasional feature on Random Things Through My Letterbox
I've asked authors to share with us a list of the books that are special to them and have made a lasting impression on their life.

I'm so pleased to welcome Fionnuala Kearney to Random Things today.  I read and reviewed her first novel, You, Me and Other People in June 2015. 

Fionnuala's second novel, The Day I Lost You will be published in the UK in September - I'm really looking forward to reading it.

My Life in Books ~ Fionnuala Kearney

After You'd Gone by Maggie O'Farrell   I'm a fan of anything by this author but After You'd Gone is a gem. It's one of those books that at first glance, because of different perspectives and narratives, you almost think, 'Uh-oh,' but within minutes, you're in the grip of an emotional roller-coaster. Maggie O'Farrell has a knack of making you walk in her character's shoes and Alice's story is sad, tender and beautifully written. My copy is tear stained, dog-eared and loved.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini  I didn't think he could better The Kite Runner but, for me, he did just that with this book. The story centres on the bond between two women, Mariam and Layla. Set against the background of war-torn Afghanistan, It's ultimately about how love and the human spirit can triumph in the most awful circumstances. I'm in awe of how male Hosseini manages to write from two different female points of view in such an engaging and sympathetic way, making us see the world very differently through their eyes.

One Day by David Nicholls  I love the easy manner in which Emma's and disastrous, but loveable, Dexter's lives unfold over twenty years, their story unravelling on the same date each year. Nicholls writes authentic,  real-life dialogue - you know - the sort you often hear on the bus; making shy Emma and arrogant Dexter scream their many layers from the page. Oh, this is one I so wish I'd written!

Post Mortem by Patricia Cornwell  Occasionally, I really like to lose myself in a pacy thriller and though I've been a Kay Scarpetta fan for many years, I think the first in the series, Post Mortem, is still my favourite. Even after twenty-one other novels, this one, if you'll forgive the pun, is a killer. It's medical examiner versus serial killer and if you like the occasional leap from your seat, it's a tense, suspenseful, gritty, read.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak  I'll steer away from spoilers but will say that this book has my favourite ever last line. It's just so powerful ....  The story is about nine year old Liesel, living with her foster parents during the rise of Nazi Germany. Most unusually, it's narrated by 'Death' and though it often tackles the cruel elements of human nature, the tale is surprisingly warm and up-lifting too. It's a tome at 554 pages, but so worth it.  DO NOT read the last line first!

Tender Is The Night by F Scott Fitzgerald  Recently, I've started walking early in the morning and am a relative newcomer to audiobooks. I downloaded this classic and though I've yet to finish it (need to walk more!) I'm loving both the book and the medium. The setting, so far in the south of France and Paris, is perfect and I can't wait to find out what secrets the glamorous Dick and Nicole Divers hide and how they'll affect young Hollywood actress Rosemary Hoyt who's infatuated with them both. I just know this book is going to throw so much more at me on my morning walks.

Fionnuala Kearney ~ May 2016 

Fionnuala Kearney lives in Ascot with her husband, they have two grown-up daughters.

One of seven children, Fionnuala likes to write about the nuances and the subtle layers of human relationships, peeling them away to see what's really going on beneath.

For more information about Fionnuala and her writing, visit her website www.fionnualakearney.com

Follow her on Twitter @fionnualatweets


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