Interesting to see that today WH Smith has declared Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier to be ‘The nation’s favourite book’. In a post here WH Smith announced ‘…back in January, we put it to our followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to nominate their favourite books of the past 225 years to be considered for our shortlist. The recommendations were fantastic, and with the likes of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, George Orwell and the Bronte sisters making their mark on literature within our 225 year history, we ended up with one heck of a mighty shortlist to choose from. And now that the votes are in, we can finally end months of speculation and announce the book which you voted to win the title of the Nation’s Favourite Book of the Past 225 Years! Read on to find out who won the hearts of the Nation… And the winner is… Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier’ I must admit to be surprised by the result of this latest public vote, given that The Lord of the Rings appeared so firmly established as the UK’s favourite read. Not that I’m grumbling. And to prove it, here’s a piece I wrote a couple of years ago about a visit to Daphne du Maurier country – Rebecca to the Macabre.
Last year I worked with author, actor, businessman and guest speaker Michael Bearcroft on a reworked, revised and updated version of his football novel, Dangerous Score. The book is out now in paperback, and here is the official blurb: Football hero Jason Clooney is riding high, until a date with a beautiful woman lands him in trouble with the media and into a battle with the criminal underworld. Now against a backdrop of an uncertain professional future, Jason has to confront disturbing revelations surrounding his new girlfriend’s family. From football action on the pitch to behind the scenes plotting, to battles with a criminal gang and constant media attention, all add to the toughest challenges he has ever faced in life and love, as a player and a man. And a few quotes from early reviews… “As nail biting as a Merseyside derby with just as many twists and turns! One not to miss….” Ian Ayre – Managing Director, Liverpool Football Club. “Dangerous Score is a fantastic, sexy thriller! A great read and I don’t like football!!!” Gina Price – Lead vocalist in Back To Broadway The Show “As a former Professional and Semi Professional player and coach, I enjoyed the story immensely.” Kevin Shoemake – Chief Exec Birmingham FA. Former player with Leyton Orient, Peterborough Utd, Kettering Town and Rushden & Diamonds “The sort of intriguing tale that you’d expect from an ITV Sunday night drama … so your mum might like it too!” 442 Magazine Find out more at Dangerous Score
If Dorset’s most celebrated writer is Thomas Hardy then Cornwall’s is surely Daphne du Maurier. So never having read it before, I decided to prepare for our holiday by reading her most famous novel, Rebecca. I was familiar with the Hitchcock film, and with the 1997 TV mini-series, but the only du Maurier I had previously read was the novella ‘Don’t Look Now’ and the short story, ‘The Birds’. The former, of course, provided the basis for the great Nic Roeg film …