Thank goodness for storytellers

Let’s hear it for storytellers. Some authors are so busy writing for themselves, they forget what most readers are after is a really good story. A strong narrative populated by well-drawn characters that a reader can like, or sometimes dislike.

So three cheers for Lesley Pearse. I must confess that the covers of her books don’t immediately appeal to me, although they seem to as welcome as a warm fire and a cup of tea to my mother-in-law.

That’s perhaps because her target audience, as far as her publishers are concerned, is women. If so, they could be letting a few male readers slip through the net.

Having read Dead to Me, I reckon there are a lot of other male readers out there who would enjoy this.

This historical story set in pre-war London is about women from very different backgrounds who meet by chance when they are girls, rattles along at a decent pace.

Verity from one of the `big houses’ wants for little whilst Ruby, the daughter of a prostitute, barely knows where her next meal is coming from. Despite their differences, the pair bond and keep in touch over the years despite leading very different lives. Then, during wartime, one feels she has no option but to betray the other. In a letter the betrayed friend says the other is `dead to me’.

Can their friendship survive this devastating blow?

It’s an emotional and ultimately uplifting tale that should appeal to male readers as well as men.

It wasn’t just me, my mother-in-law loved it too!

Talking of exploring unfamiliar genres. I’m feeling a little left behind by the whole Game of Thrones phenomena. It seems to be everywhere at the moment but I must confess I’ve not seen a single moment of the TV series or read a word of the books. I realise George RR Martin’s books are very different fare to Lesley Pearse’s, but I get the impression they too owe their success to good stories and strong characters.

Any suggestions as to where I should start? I’m @GavinSherriff1

Dead to Me by Lesley Pearse

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