Welcome to Karen Hamilton, author of The Perfect Girlfriend.
Thank you very much Ruby for inviting me to your blog, I’m so thrilled to be asked! As I’m sure with every reader, there are always so many books which have had an influence so it was much harder than I thought. In the end, I went for a mixture. However, as I’m writing this, even more titles are popping into my head…
- James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
This was one of my favourite children’s books. It really captured my imagination because of all the different creatures and the descriptions of their adventures. (I don’t know if it was also because the peach flies over the ocean as I also loved flying from a young age!)
- The Odyssey by Homer
I went to an International School in Rome when I was ten, headed by an amazing teacher who was incredibly passionate. She would read out loud and always stop at cliff-hangers. She got me hooked on so many Greek, Roman and Egyptian mythology stories but this was the one that I recall enjoying the most.
- Agatha Christie
I love all of Agatha Christie’s books. I would find it very hard to pick a favourite but the ones that stand out in my memory the most are: Murder on the Orient Express, Death in the Clouds (of course!) and Evil Under the Sun. I started reading her books as a teenager and have never tired of them. I also enjoy the film and TV adaptations.
The next four choices are the books I re-read every few years if I get a chance:
- The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
I can’t remember when I first read this amazing novel but the first and last paragraphs have always stuck with me; I was spellbound by the tragic legend of the Thorn Birds. I also loved the theme of forbidden love.
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I loved the glamour and mystery of the novel, but again, it was the final few words of this book that have always stuck with me.
- Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Just brilliant: the unknown, the jealousy, the secrets.
- She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb
Another one of my favourite authors. She’s Come Undone is the one I enjoyed the most because of the flawed main character. It’s a coming-of-age story and all the difficulties she faces as an adult.
- Backpack by Emily Barr
I loved this book, which came out in 2001, because I enjoyed the way the novel mixes thriller and travel writing. I’ve been a huge fan of this author’s writing ever since.
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
A friend recommended this book to me not long after it was published, so I read it without knowing much about it and I thought it was thrillingly different, I couldn’t put it down.
- The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (Series) by Alexander McCall Smith
I love his gentle, yet accurate exploration of human relationships and frailties. His characters are believable and thanks to the author’s incredible writing, I feel as though I have visited Botswana.
When Juliette is dumped by her pilot boyfriend, Nate, her dreams of a ‘happy ever after’ are thrown into jeopardy. She vows to win him back, whatever it takes. She surreptitiously embeds herself into his life by adopting a new persona and securing a position as a flight attendant with the same airline. However, these are only the first steps in her master plan as she reveals just how far one woman will go to achieve her dreams.
Karen Hamilton caught the travel bug after a childhood spent abroad and worked as cabin crew for many years. She has now put down roots in Hampshire where she lives with her husband and three children. The Perfect Girlfriend is her first novel.