WHAT BOOK would novelist Kate Mosse take to a desert island?

WHAT BOOK would historical novelist Kate Mosse take to a desert island?

  • Kate Mosse is currently re-reading all Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple novels
  • She said she would take T S Eliot’s Four Quartets with her to a desert island 
  • The novelist said Marcel Proust’s Remembrance Of Things Past left her cold

…are you reading now?

Since we’re all back in lockdown and I’m desperate for a bit of sunshine and escapism, I’m re-reading all Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple novels, starting with A Caribbean Mystery.

Jane Marple is one of the most subversive and brilliant of all female characters in literature and here, despite her age and declining health, she’s the one who solves the mystery that foxes all the younger men!

Set against a backdrop of lush gardens, golden sands and blue Caribbean seas, it’s a perfect January pick-me-up.

Historical novelist Kate Mosse (pictured) reveals what book she would take with her to a desert island

…would you take to a desert island?

T S Eliot’s sequence of beautiful and epic poems, Four Quartets, has kept me company ever since I was a teenager.

Meditations on time, on landscape, on faith, on the human condition, on music, on the power of language, on the nature of memory — it is precisely the sort of writing to keep loneliness at bay.

Kate said she fell in love with The Famous Five novels when she was a girl

…first gave you the reading bug?

Though many of her views are very specific to her time, and don’t chime with modern ways of thinking, I still think Enid Blyton is one of the great chroniclers of childhood, friendship and adventure.

I write historical adventure fiction and I’ve no doubt that this, in part, comes from falling in love with The Famous Five novels when I was a girl.

Curled up on a rainy afternoon, I imagined myself being brave enough to explore caves, swim across gullies, capture smugglers, find essential blueprints, expose evil scientists and track villains across the darkening moors.

I read and re-read the stories of a childhood spent free and out of doors, away from adult supervision, lashings of ginger beer!

…left you cold?

Knowing how hard it is even to finish a book, let alone write one that grips the reader from the first page to the last, I tend not to think too much about the books that don’t speak to me.

But, in the spirit of confession, I will admit that I have never fallen in love with Marcel Proust’s Remembrance Of Things Past.

I like novels where things actually happen and I admire a superbly turned plot, rather than endless reflection and a male protagonist. Give me a bit of swash-buckling, some feisty women heroes, jeopardy and a story that gallops along, and I’m happy.

The City Of Tears by Kate Mosse (Mantle £20) is published on January 19. Kate Mosse will also be interviewed by Jojo Moyes at an online event with FANE Productions on January 20. For more information and tickets go to: fane.co.uk/kate-mosse.

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