So, post no. 201! And crimeworm is being incredibly nosy today – not that that’s unique! I think all of us like to know what people are reading, from our favourite author, to our fellow bloggers, and even those random people you see on the bus or Underground. So today, as part of the Blog Tour for the fantastic psychological thriller, The Housekeeper, the author Suellen Dainty is telling me what she’s been reading, and what she’s got coming up…some more great titles you may want to put on your TBRs – or maybe they’re already there!
First, though, let’s hear about The Housekeeper – which is – WARNING! – highly addictive! Review to follow.
BLURB: “I am the housekeeper, the hired help with a messy past who cleans up other people’s messy lives, the one who protects their messy little secrets.”
When Anne Morgan’s successful boyfriend—who also happens to be her boss—leaves her for another woman, Anne finds herself in desperate need of a new job and a quiet place to recover. Meanwhile, her celebrity idol, Emma Helmsley (England’s answer to Martha Stewart), is in need of a housekeeper, an opportunity which seems too good to be true.
Through her books, website, and blog, Emma Helmsley advises her devoted followers on how to live a balanced life in a hectic world. Her husband, Rob, is a high profile academic, and her children, Jake and Lily, are well-adjusted teenagers. On the surface, they are the perfect family. But Anne soon finds herself intimately ensconced in the Helmsley’s dirty laundry, both literally and figuratively. Underneath the dust, grime, and whimsical clutter, everyone has a secret to hide and Anne’s own disturbing past threatens to unhinge everything.
For fans of Notes on a Scandal and The Woman Upstairs, The Housekeeper is a nuanced and psychological drama about the dark recesses of the human mind and the dangerous consequences of long-buried secrets.
Q : What great books (or films/TV) have you read recently?
A: I loved Elaine by Ottessa Moshfegh – beautifully written, immersive atmosphere and a mesmerising, if very unreliable, narrator. I also re-read Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, because I liked it so much when I was younger. It hasn’t dated at all. Like millions of others, I was fascinated by Hanya Yanagihara’s very hefty novel, A Little Life. Friends cancelled engagements so that they could keep reading this. Half way through, I was setting my alarm clock so I could read for an hour before the day began.
I binge-watched Peter Morgan’s The Queen, on Netflix. The series had a huge budget of 100 million pounds, and it shows – the costumes and locations are breath-taking. Great script and wonderful performances from Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth and Matt Smith as the Duke of Edinburgh.
Q: What are you reading (or watching) at the moment?
A: I’m reading The Past by Tessa Hadley. She’s a firm favourite. I love the way she takes her time with a scene or a section of dialogue and yet always has something fascinating to say. She’s such a brilliant writer.
I like detective novels as well – they are perfect to read in bed at the end of a long day. I’ve finished The Dry, a debut crime novel by an Australian writer, Jane Harper. It’s set in the outback, and it’s a complete page-turner with countless twists and a very likeable hero.
Last week, I saw the film, Manchester by the Sea, with Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams. It was an incredibly moving study of grief and loss. I also liked Lion, with Dev Patel, but for the opposite reasons. It was so uplifting. Imagine finding your mother again after losing her at the age of five? Saroo Brierley’s story of his search for his family in India, after being adopted by a wonderful Australian couple, is amazing.
Q: What are you planning to read or watch next?
A: I missed out on Elena Ferrante’s quartet of novels when everyone else was reading them, so they are next on my list, as I’ve got a bit more spare time now. I also want to read Hot Milk by Deborah Levy and The North Water by Ian McGuire. Emma Clines’ The Girls is on my list as well.
I’d like to see The Man in the High Castle, the Amazon series adapted from the Phillip K Dick novel of 1962. I’ve never actually read the novel, so I’ll read that before I start watching.
Some great books there – I have to get to The Girls; I suspect I’m going to be the last person to read it – ditto the Elena Ferrante novels! My friend is off to Naples soon for two months to polish up her Italian – I’m so jealous. And The Dry was fabulous. I hope you like hearing about what authors are enjoying – I always love to hear your thoughts!