Today it’s my pleasure to welcome Linda MacDonald to the blog to help me spread a little more #BookLove. Before we find out a all about Linda’s secret book crush, here is a little more about the woman herself.
Linda MacDonald is the author of four novels: Meeting Lydia and the stand-alone sequels, A Meeting of a Different Kind, The Alone Alternative and The Man in the Needlecord Jacket. All Linda’s books are contemporary adult fiction, multi-themed, but with a focus on relationship issues.
After studying psychology at Goldsmiths’, Linda trained as a secondary science and biology teacher. She taught these subjects for several years before moving to a sixth-form college to teach psychology. The first two novels took ten years in writing and publishing, using snatched moments in the evenings, weekends and holidays. In 2012, she gave up teaching to focus fully on writing.
Linda was born and brought up in Cockermouth, Cumbria and now lives in Beckenham in Kent.
The Man In The Needlecord Jacket
The Man in the Needlecord Jacket follows the story of two women who are each struggling to let go of a long-term destructive partnership. Felicity is reluctant to detach from her estranged archaeologist husband and, after being banished from the family home, she sets out to test the stability of his relationship with his new love, Marianne.
When Felicity meets Coll, a charismatic artist, she has high hopes of being distracted from her failed marriage. What she doesn’t know is that he has a partner, Sarah, with whom he has planned a future. Sarah is deeply in love with Coll, but his controlling behaviour and associations with other women have always made her life difficult. When he becomes obsessed with Felicity, Sarah’s world collapses and a series of events is set in motion that will challenge the integrity of all the characters involved.
The Man in the Needlecord Jacket is a thought-provoking book, written from the perspectives of Sarah and Felicity. The reader is in the privileged position of knowing what’s going on for both of the women, while each of them is being kept in the dark about a very important issue.
Inspired by the work of Margaret Atwood and Fay Weldon, Linda explores the issue of mental abuse in partnerships and the grey area of an infidelity that is emotional, not physical. The book will appeal to readers interested in the psychology of relationships, as well as fans of Linda’s ‘Lydia’ series.
Favourite book from childhood
Winnie the Pooh. I read it again in my teens and found almost every individual in a group of people matched one of the characters. Ditto in the workplace. Substituting character names with workmates in ‘Rabbit’s Busy Day’ makes a fun Christmas ‘turn’.
The first book you fell in love with
Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native. Perhaps because I empathised with the so-called villain, Eustacia Vye. I thought she was misunderstood. In my twenties, I said to a friend, ‘I feel like Eustacia Vye.’ He replied, ‘You are Eustacia Vye.’
Biggest book crush
The book character you’re totally in love with
Charles Ryder in Brideshead Revisited – possibly helped along by Jeremy Irons’ gorgeously sexy narration and portrayal in the ITV production.
Weirdest book crush
The Diceman by Luke Rhinehart. A cult book of the 70s – most definitely weird and far-fetched, but the idea of dice therapy – of using dice to select choices to jolt one out of a rut – is a good one. I often use it to get through chores too!
Hardest break up
The book you didn’t want to end
Life of Pi – I adored every chapter. It mesmerised me and I rationed it. Thankfully the chapters are short and I was able to make it last for ages. And when I finished it, I started it again to try to make sense of it.
The one that got away
The book in your TBR or wish list that you regret not having started yet.
Middlemarch. Although I’ve read Daniel Deronda by George Eliot, I haven’t read her best-known novel. Yet!
Guilty Reading pleasure
The Thorn Birds – The premise of forbidden love made me weep.
Love one, love them all
Favourite series or genre
Most things by David Lodge, but particularly Nice Work, Paradise News and Thinks. His intellect, humour and willingness to experiment with style tick a lot of boxes for me. I like a book to make me think; a book to return to.
Your latest squeeze
Favourite read of the last 12 months
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. It’s a love it or hate it book. And I loved the psychology
Blind date for a friend
If you were to set a friend up with a blind date (book) which one would it be?
Joanne Harris – Gentlemen and Players, because of the thrill of the surprise. I didn’t see it coming.
Greatest love of all
Favourite book of all time.
The Magus by John Fowles – not because it is the best book I’ve read, but because it was life-changing in more ways than one – and its effects linger on to this day.
Thank you Linda. Some absolutely classic choices there. Who doesn’t love a bit of Winnie The Pooh? And another vote for The Thorn Birds too. And I can totally understand what you mean about David Lodge. I remember reading Nice Work when I was at college.
So what do you think folks? Agree or disagree with Linda’s choices? Anyone else have a book crush on Charles Ryder?
Please make sure to join me on Saturday when Lainy Swanson will be sharing a little more #BookLove.
Have a brilliant day all.