Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Ideal Love by Alice Burnett #BlogTour @BurnettBooks @Legend_Press

After an argument with her husband Gilles, Venus Rees is left devastated by his sudden death. But when she discovers that he died of a treatable genetic condition she knew nothing about, she is haunted by the thought that he didn’t love her enough to save himself. As time passes, Venus looks set to be trapped between grief and distrust forever. Until she meets the shy, good-looking and seemingly ideal Alex.
Intertwining Venus’s compelling attraction to Alex in the present with Gilles’ enraptured pursuit of her in the past, Ideal Love is an intimate and life-affirming novel about love, from its incandescent beginnings to its final breath and back again.

Ideal Love by Alice Burnett was published in paperback by Legend Press on 14 August 2017 and is the author's debut novel.

I'm delighted to host the Blog Tour for Ideal Love here on Random Things today and happy to welcome author Alice Burnett. She's talking about the books that are special to her and have left a lasting impression, in My Life in Books.

My Life in Books ~ Alice Burnett

The Diving Bell And The Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
A stroke left Bauby paralysed, speechless but completely mentally alert. Written by blinking his eyelid, this book is unrivalled both as an act of courage and a hymn to life. Live while you can, relish life’s pleasures, remember what the human spirit can achieve against all odds. When you’re trapped and alone, fantasy will keep you going, but reality in its ‘small gusts of happiness’ is what we’re here for.

The Diary of Anne Frank 
Another incomparable book written by someone cut off from life, not by accident but by the inhumanity of fascism. Honest, romantic, engrossing, here is a person to speak for the numbers we can’t process, a person who is funny and yearns for someone to love. It could have happened to you or me – to anyone.

From First Love by Ivan Turgenev, to The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden to Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver, these intimate, sensual, beautifully written books bring you closer to yourself. You can never have enough of them so here are some more: A Room With A View by E M Forster, Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier, The Go-Between by L P Hartley – often told from a child’s point of view, sometimes wistful, always idealistic and romantic.

I’m addicted to books that are open about sex. I couldn’t get enough of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend, experimented with D H Lawrence and had a serious boarding school habit for anything by Françoise Sagan or Mary Wesley. Highs since include the insanely observed Vox by Nicholson Baker and the mesmerising Fire Child by Sally Emerson, as elegant a writer as Somerset Maugham.

Out of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer should be impossible – a compelling book about trying to write a book about D H Lawrence. Appalling himself by reading lifeless academic theorists ‘pulling each other off’ about Lawrence, Dyer tries to tear one treatise physically apart. ‘In the end it took a whole box of matches… before I succeeded in deconstructing it.’ Properly funny and a brilliant tribute to a hero. Another fresh, thoughtful book-about-books is How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain de Botton. And a wonderful book about writing: Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott.

One unexpected literary pleasure is reading to your children – laughing with them, wondering what will happen next with them, trying to hide your tears from them. Tolkien has never made me cry, but C S Lewis has. Roald Dahl is not as safe as you’d think – Matilda for instance. Any well-written story about intrepid but sensitive girls is risky. Eva Ibbotson is a goddess of a writer, who by the sounds of it wouldn’t have tried to hide her tears from anyone. Journey To The River Sea is a perfect book, densely plotted but full of soul, conveying both a satisfying sense of order and a liberating sense of fun, nature-worshipping, culture-worshipping and free of sexist cliché.

So many other great novels, short stories, poems, essays, so many books I want to read, and too many I have no idea about. I shied away from Harry Potter for a while. I didn’t know what I was missing. The genius for concepts – horcruxes, patronuses, dementors, thestrals, the pensieve – the triumph over evil, the superb characters, stories, laughs and timeless, tireless invention.

Alice Burnett ~ August 2017 

Alice Burnett grew up on a farm in Devon, England. She studied maths at Cambridge University followed by a degree in philosophy, a subject she is still passionate about. She qualified as a lawyer in the City and worked in London and Paris before leaving law to write full-time.
Alice lives in London with her husband and three sons. Ideal Love is her first novel.
Find out more at www.aliceburnett.com
Follow her on Twitter @BurnettBooks 

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