WHAT BOOK would thriller writer Sarah Pearse take to a desert island?

WHAT BOOK would thriller writer Sarah Pearse take to a desert island?

  • Sarah Pearse is currently reading memoir The Iceberg by Marion Coutts
  • Thriller writer would take the Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett to a desert island
  • Sarah says Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain left her cold
  • . . . are you reading now?

    A wonderful memoir called The Iceberg by Marion Coutts, a record of her experiences and feelings between her husband’s diagnosis with a brain tumour and his subsequent death.

    Coutts writes about his illness so viscerally and the beautiful lyricism in her writing conveys the intensity of their situation in a deeply moving way. I’m finding it a compelling read so far.

    . . . would you take to a desert island?

    the Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett. I’ve chosen this partly because it’s a hefty read (perfect for wiling away those long hours on an island!) but mainly because it’s stuck with me ever since I first devoured it.

    Thriller writer Sarah Pearse (写真) would take the Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett to a desert island

    Thriller writer Sarah Pearse (写真) would take the Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett to a desert island

    It tells the story of a 12th-century monk who decides to build the greatest Gothic cathedral in the world. This book has it all — suspense, action and brilliant characters, but what really stood out for me is the intricate historical detail that Follett has woven into the narrative.

    On every page, I felt like I was there, alongside the characters, part of feudal England in the Middle Ages as the cathedral starts to rise dramatically from the ground.

    . . . first gave you the reading bug?

    All of Enid Blyton’s work. I read everything from The Magic Faraway Tree and The Famous Five right through to Malory Towers. I loved her storytelling and the magical, exciting worlds she created.

    Sarah said all of Enid Blyton's work gave her the reading bug

    Sarah said all of Enid Blyton’s work gave her the reading bug

    I spent hours as a child curled up by the fire being transported by her writing. Blyton also managed to create some timeless characters with traits that were very relatable for children.

    In Malory Towers in particular, all of the girls felt very real to me and how they behaved with each other always struck a chord, even though I read them years after Blyton first wrote them.

    . . . left you cold?

    Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. I was really excited to read this book when I was drafting The Sanatorium, as it too is set in one, but I really struggled to get beyond the first few chapters.

    The dense description of characters and setting was a little dry for me and I found myself longing for the plot to kick into gear so I could start furiously turning the pages. 悲しいことに, this didn’t happen quickly enough and I had to put it down!

    • The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse (Penguin, £8.99) is out now in paperback.

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