Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Claire Douglas

Claire Douglas has worked as a journalist for fifteen years, writing features for women’s magazines and newspapers, but she’s dreamed of being a novelist since the age of seven. She finally got her wish after winning Marie Claire’s Debut Novel Award for her first book, The Sisters, which became a bestseller. Her second novel, Local Girl Missing, is now available in the US.

Recently I asked Douglas about what she was reading. Her reply:
I have just finished reading a gothic horror called The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell. I picked the book up because the cover is absolutely stunning – one of the best I have seen – and I loved the sound of the story. It’s set in the 1800s and follows recently widowed Elsie as she heads to her dead husband’s isolated family home. While there, she finds in the attic some life-sized wooden cut-outs of different people; a young girl, a gypsy boy, a washer woman and a cook, called Silent Companions and a diary of a woman who lived in the same house two-hundred years before. As she reads the diary she learns more about these Silent Companions, and her suspicions of them grow. Soon people in the house are dying and Elsie doesn’t understand why. It’s so creepy, full of rich imagery, dark and so compelling. It genuinely is one of the scariest books that I have ever read.

I’m also reading Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce to my children. It’s one of my favourite children’s books. It was written in the 1950s but I think still holds up as one of the best children’s stories ever! It’s about a little boy called Tom who is sent to stay with his aunt and uncle when his brother, Peter gets measles. The aunt and uncle live in a small apartment in, what would have once been, a grand house. Tom is lonely and bored. There is no garden to play in, just a small back yard. But at night, when the grandfather clock in the entrance hall strikes thirteen, he gets up to investigate and finds a door to the most wonderful garden. There, he meets a little girl called Hatty, who is dressed in Victorian clothes. It’s a story about time travel, about loneliness and friendship. It’s such a beautiful book with such a poignant ending that never fails to bring a lump to my throat.
Learn more about Local Girl Missing.

--Marshal Zeringue