During lock down my friend gave me a book by Lucinda Riley. The book is set in Southwold, Suffolk which a place we visit fairly often and a place we love. It is also a place we have been denied of recently due to everything going on. We’ve been denied of going anywhere!
I started reading The Butterfly Room during the stricter lock down. When STAY HOME was the clear message from the government. The lines weren’t blurred. We knew who we could and couldn’t see, where we could and couldn’t go.
The novel brought me so much pleasure in reading about a place I know well. It supplied comfort in memories of good times and also the reality in that nothing is perfect. The book even gave me ideas for a lock down novel (w a t c h t h i s s p a c e).
I then found a second book by Riley in the local phone box come book exchange. This one was set in Greece. The Olive Tree brought me the same warmth in remembering freedom. It made me feel as though I too was holidaying in Greece while reading it on my sun lounger on hotter days.
Riley’s recurring theme in both novels is houses. Old, grand, full of secrets and mystery. One thing that I particularly love is the authenticity of the stories and how she effectively depicts fragility and imperfection in all human lives.
If you want escapism in difficult times, look no further.
Two books in and I highly recommend Lucinda Riley as a must-read author. Especially now.