q&a with the author cathy kelly
What, in your opinion, makes a Grand Summer Read?
A book that makes you feel as if you're on vacation, even when you’re not – and a book that transports you to another world. For me, a Grand Summer Read is a book I simply can’t wait to dive into, like diving into clear blue water on a summer’s day.
Tell us about your own Grand Summer Read, it started with paris.
The novel is about a thrilling and romantic engagement on top of the Eiffel Tower, and what that forthcoming marriage means to three women at the heart of the story. For school principal Grace, the groom-to-be’s mother, it means spending time with her ex-husband, a man she still cares for, a man who has managed to forge a new life when her own is lacking in romance. Spending time with him again makes her wonder, “What if…?” For movie-industry marketing boss, Leila, the bride-to-be’s best friend, it means being happy for her darling friend—and trying not to show how devastated she is about her own husband dumping her after six months of marriage. And for Boston-born widow Vonnie, who has made a new life for herself and her young son in a beautiful Irish town after the tragic death of her husband, it means another job for her wedding cake business. Vonnie has found new love but not everyone wants that love to succeed. My novels are about strong women and what they’ve got to go through to find love and peace—with plenty of humor, thrown in, plus the odd crazy dog who has a better choice in boyfriends than her owner!
What have you read and/or plan to read this summer?
I’m a huge fan of Elin Hilderbrand and plan to reread some of her glorious work on our holiday in Marbella in Spain. Plus, I adore thrillers, so am looking forward to getting stuck into the new Nelson DeMille, Radiant Angel. I also have Toni Morrison’s God Help The Child ready to pack.
Where are some of your favorite places/spots to read during the summer?
I live in a glorious Irish village about forty minutes from Dublin city on Ireland's east coast, and we have a sloping garden where I can see both the sea and the Wicklow hills. Wicklow is Ireland’s Garden County, having plenty of glorious woods and hills beside the Irish Sea. I love sitting in my garden, under the huge trees, reading with my three darling Jack Russell dogs snoozing beside me with the sea in the distance. I don’t tan due to having skin cancer some years ago, but when my husband and twin sons and I are somewhere hot, I love sitting (with Factor 90 sunblock) in the shade on a sun lounger and reading.
Finally, what are some your Grand Summer Read recommendations?
I’ve just read Elin Hilderbrand’s The Rumor and it’s unputdownable, particularly as it’s about a writer who discovers a thrilling new plot that’s about her best friend, whom she would destroy if she actually wrote the story. For psychological thrillers, I also recommend Jean Hanff Korelitz’s You Should Have Known, which is about a therapist who has just written a book about relationships. In it, the therapist explains the importance of knowing your mate before you marry, so you don’t spend years trying to fix the unfixable. And then she discovers that her pediatric oncologist husband is not who he appears to be. Thrilling.