Books, Books, Books
As part of the creative writing course I am doing, it's recommended that you expand your reading genre. In fact, it's recommended that you read more than you've ever read before!
I'm more than happy with this, I've always loved reading, escaping into other people's lives, other worlds and occasionally other dimensions.
My go to genre is a rom com or historical fiction. It's what I enjoy escaping into. I never liked the idea of escaping into a thriller or suspense novel, especially if I'm going to read it before bed.
This made the task of exploring other genres quite a challenge for me but as I love a challenge, I was more than happy to give it a go.
Switching on my Kindle, I immediately went to the recommended list. Unfortunately it wasn't the 'recommended for you' section, this was full of rom coms. No, it was the Best Sellers and Richard & Judy's good reads.
My first choice was a Richard & Judy Book club recommendation, Blood Orange. I was struck by the wine glass on the front and a review from one of my favourite rom com authors, Lisa Jewell claiming "utterly compelling...I couldn't put it down". Well, if Lisa likes it, then so will I.
Blood Orange - Harriet Tyce - A Thriller / Suspense
The main character Alison, is a Wife, Mother and a high flying Lawyer whose affair with a work colleague takes her down a path she could never have imagined. There are twists and turns a plenty. From mothers guilt to murder, controlling and abusive relationships.
I found my loyalties and empathy swinging between the characters not really knowing where they would finally rest. My morals and judgement confused. The ending - complete satisfaction. Lisa was right.
The Silent Patient - Alex Michaelides - A psychological thriller/suspense
I chose this one as the crime had already been committed. My thoughts were, it can't be too bad to go to bed on...
Alicia, has killed her husband. Or did she? If she is innocent, why doesn't she speak? Alicia is confined to an asylum where, six years later a Therapist becomes obsessed with getting her to speak.
Every time I thought I knew 'who dunnit' or why she may have done it, the story took a dramatic turn. I read this in two days, squeezing in a page or chapter whenever I could. I was just as desperate to find out why Alicia wouldn't speak as the Therapist was.
It turns out so does Hollywood, as there are plans to make this into a movie.
The Mothers: Five Women, Five Secrets, One Missing Husband - Sarah J Naughton - A psychological thriller/suspense
I'm a Mum, who has friends, secrets but no missing Husband. I wanted to know the secrets and why the Husband was missing...
The title of the book may look like it gives away the entire plot but believe me it doesn't. With an opening quote from JD Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye:
"Mothers are all slightly insane"
I instantly started to consider the quote, comparing myself and other Mum's I know against it. I have to admit there is a slight truth in it and sets the scene perfectly for what is about to come. That doesn't mean to say I was prepared for what came next.
The book explores friendships, motherhood, relationships, post natal depression, psychotic episodes, controlling husbands, embezzlement, revenge, autism and secrets. A real smorgasbord.
Rom Com, Historical, Thriller, Suspense, Psychological Thriller?
All of them!
I'm glad that the creative writing course has pushed my boundaries. I'm learning new styles of writing, experiencing parts of life I have often shied away from and gaining new ideas for my own writing and poetry.
Next time you're looking for a book to read, why not try reading the opposite to your usual genre. You never know what you will learn and may be come to love.