I realised with shame that I’d not read any fiction for so long that I was losing touch with other people’s storytelling. I was so immersed in my two novels per year, my research/travels, masterclasses, book tours, festivals and just as importantly, my family, that reading for the pure joy of entertainment had been ignored. I do read towers of books for research and I love it, but it’s not the same rush of adrenaline as fiction provides.
So from mid 2014 I made my pact. Since then I’ve devoured a dozen or more novels, which is good going for me on my hectic schedule. And I am amazed, gobsmacked, beyond thrilled at the escape I have found in the pages of everything from current blockbusters to all those must-reads that slipped me by. I am ticking them off and in a state of appalled pleasure that I nearly didn’t do this.
I have rediscovered surrender to and abandonment in a story where I’m not thinking about showing/telling, succinct sentences or character development. I’m just getting lost with a cast and its conflicts. I want to remind anyone else who may be allowing themselves to be too distracted to pick up a book.
There is nothing more personal, intimate and drama laden … or more enjoyable than a book you feel like reading, with a pot of tea/coffee, a plate of chocolates nearby and silence. It’s the ultimate treat – spoil yourself.
by Fiona McIntosh
‘Love comes out of nowhere for most of us, when we least expect it . . . this young man has flown into your heart and made a nest.’
Amidst the carnage of Gallipoli, British nurse Claire Nightingale meets Australian Light Horseman Jamie Wren. Despite all odds, they fall deeply in love. Their flame burns bright and carries them through their darkest hours, even when war tears them apart.
Jamie’s chance meeting with Turkish soldier Açar Shahin on the blood-stained battlefield forges an unforgettable bond between the men. It also leaves a precious clue to Jamie’s whereabouts for Claire to follow.
Come peacetime, Claire’s desperate search to find Jamie takes her all the way to Istanbul, and deep into the heart of Açar’s family, where she attracts the unexpected attention of a charismatic and brooding scholar.
In the name of forgiveness, cultures come together, enemies embrace and forbidden passions ignite – but by the breathtaking conclusion, who will be left standing to capture Nurse Nightingale’s heart?
A heart-soaring novel of heartbreak and heroism, love and longing by a powerhouse Australian storyteller.