Bestselling author Joanna Trollope shares the books she’s been reading and enjoying recently. Her latest novel, An Unsuitable Match, an uplifting story of love, family and second chances is published in hardback and ebook now.

I have recently read 2 books by Helen Dunmore - one a novel and the other a posthumous poetry collection, which deservedly won the Costa prize in January. Helen died of cancer last year, which was a huge blow as she was both a seriously lovely person as well as a stunning writer.

 

I’ve probably read all her novels, but this last one, Birdcage Walk is not only wonderful but a very good place to start, if you are new to her writing.

 

 

And the poetry collection is not only inevitably poignant but is written so much in her generous and wistful voice - it’s called Inside The Wave, and it is so good.

I also had reason to re-read some of Jane Austen’s letters recently, and they utterly belie any notion of her ever being a sprig muslin, “La, sir!” kind of writer. The letters show her daily and witty fascination with household management, social life, food, gossip, clothes, travel, family and money. The edition I read is published by OUP, and edited by Deidre de la Faye.


 

For any woman born before 1960, I would also recommend Juliet Gardiner’s Joining the Dots which is a history of all the legal and social and cultural changes that have happened in our - that is, female particularly - lifetimes. Riveting stuff.

An Unsuitable Match, the new novel by Joanna Trollope is published in hardback and ebook and is available now.