Five books that inspire me to write: Rebecca Whitney

23 September 2014

By Pan Macmillan

These are all writers and books I admire greatly, that create deep mood with beautiful prose and fascinating story.

Talking to the Dead by Helen Dunmore
Dunmore’s dark and atmospheric prose leaves me walking around in a cloud of her words long after I’ve finished reading. This story, of two sisters who share a tragic secret buried in their memory, snags me in its suffocating world.

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Incredible writing with razor-sharp, and at times hilarious, character insights. Even though the story is set in 1950s America, Frank and April Wheeler’s aspirations are timeless, and I love the way, as a reader, you swing between believing in them and wanting them to succeed and realising that their vanity will be their downfall.

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
A story of two assassin brothers, one of whom wants to be a better man. DeWitt uses a small amount of select words to say so much. A violent and tender book. I loved it.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt
A template of the perfect novel.

Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes
Poetry which is bloody and honest with a huge and desperate heart. Reading this work against the backstory of Plath and Hughes’ life together and apart is sadness beyond belief.