[Note from Frolic: We are so excited to have author Susan Lewis guest post on the site today. Take it away Susan!]
Thank you for this opportunity to interact with American readers.
As I am completely addicted to audio books I hope you won’t mind me smuggling a small device onto the desert island in order to play my three absolute favourites. This should give me the luxury of being in two worlds at once, absorbing my exotic surroundings and keeping a look out for rescue or ravage, while sinking deeply into the very different worlds these amazing authors have created. I should also mention the narrators here, because each one of them gives such an outstanding performance that the stories gain even greater depth and colour than they do on the page.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, narrated by Cassandra Campbell
Everything about this book is mesmerising, the characters, the story, the location, the beautiful poetry that’s woven into the pages. (It wasn’t until the end that I realised it had all been written by the author). It’s an exquisitely told tale of a small girl, Kya, abandoned by her family in the wilds of a North Carolina marsh, her fascinating connection with nature, and how she grows into a beautiful young woman desired by men and spurned by society. When the local boys become intrigued by her you find yourself breathless with the horror of what they might do, and when she is seduced by Chase you just know that this isn’t going to end well. The potential for violence is certainly there, and yet it remains a gentle and compelling murder mystery, and a totally absorbing love story with a twist at the end that makes you unravel with the sense of something wrong being so right.
Every Note Played by Lisa Genova, narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris, and Dagmara Dominczyk
This is the heartbreaking and insightful story of Richard, a world class pianist, who succumbs to the tragedy of ALS. The descriptions of the music he loves and plays are so powerful that they virtually bring it to life –Alexa was very busy in my house during this time as I kept asking her to play every piece mentioned. The portrayal of Richard’s decline is so moving that at times it is hard to keep going. His pride, his prickly temperament and ruined marriage serve to make him as flawed a human being as we all are, and yet no one deserves the fate that has become his. When it is finally clear that he can no longer cope on his own his estranged wife (and frustrated concert pianist) moves in to take over the role of carer. There are so many recriminations between them, so much pain and lost love that it’s almost unbearable for them to be in the same room as one another. And yet, as Richard’s condition worsens and the duties she has to perform become increasingly difficult they find their way to the kind of forgiveness that is a symphony all of its own. Lisa Genova’s Still Alice was made into a film, and I sincerely hope that this will be too.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, narrated by Sean Crisden and Eisa Davis
This book is outstanding in so many ways that it’s hard to know where to start. First, I’d highly recommend it as an audio book because the performances are as exceptional and as colourful as the writing. They give so much depth and vibrancy to the characters that you feel as though you’re watching them act out their drama on a screen. It’s a story set in the Deep South about a newly married young couple, Celestial and Roy, who are awash with love, big dreams and all kinds of passion. The world is waiting for them, but the past and its prejudices are not so easily escaped. When Roy is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit you find yourself wanting to cry out for it to stop. “This can’t be happening, please, don’t let this be real.” The cruel injustice of his imprisonment is another beating heart in the story, and the letters they exchange allow everything to be told in their voices, bringing you in so closely to their story that you can hardly wait for his release. Before that happens their best friend, Andre, starts making moves on Celestial and you’re ready to shout again for him to leave her alone. The labyrinthine storytelling that tangles them, and you, in a deeply felt and memorable journey through love and all its vagaries is as captivating and unpredictable as fate itself.
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About the Author:
Susan Lewis is the internationally bestselling author of more than forty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense, and crime. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s. Following periods of living in Los Angeles and the South of France, she currently lives in Gloucestershire with her husband, James; stepsons, Michael and Luke; and mischievous dogs, Coco and Lulu.
One Minute Later by Susan Lewis, out today!
How well do you know the people you love? For one young woman returning to the past, the answer could be heart-shattering…
Vivi Shager is living her dream. Raised with drive and ambition by a resolutely single mother, Vivi has a thriving law career, a gorgeous apartment in London, and a full calendar that keeps her busy at work and at play. Then on the day of her twenty-seventh birthday, an undiagnosed heart condition sends Vivi’s prospects for the future into a tailspin. After escaping her roots nearly a decade ago, she’s forced to return to her childhood home to be cared for by her devoted and enigmatic mother. Vivi has always known the woman is hiding something and now she’s determined to find out what it is. Though her condition makes her fragile and vulnerable and she’s afraid of what may happen, her spirit remains strong. Then comes an unexpected ray of light.
Josh Raynor, a local veterinarian who his sisters claim is too handsome for his own good, brings a forbidden love to Vivi’s world. Josh and Vivi are soon inseparable, unaware of the past their families share. All Vivi knows is that Josh is wrestling with a demon of his own…
Then quite suddenly the awful truth is staring Vivi in the face and it changes everything.