One of our favourite ways to relax is to curl up with a book to see out the dark days and take the mind to another place. We’re going to share with you some of our favourite reads in the hope that they might make it onto your own reading list. Our dream reading set up involves being snuggled up in a beautiful blanket, reading by the light of a close lamp, and breathing in the scents of a aromatic diffuser or candle, and of course, having no interruptions (perhaps wishful thinking!)
For us, a powerful book is one that immerses you in a world where you find yourself reacting, almost physically at times, to the characters and the plot. It’s not just a page of words, it can create a setting where you are there yourself, watching on as the narrative unfolds and develops. One book that made an impression on me is The Light Between Oceans by M.L Stedman, and if you haven’t read it yet we think you should add it to your list (or if you’re short of time there’s a film version too!).
The story follows a young, independent woman, Isabel, who marries lighthouse keeper, Tom Sherbourne. She sets off with him to an isolated island off the coast of Southern Western Australia, where travelling ships rely on the light from the beacon to cross the Southern ocean. Isabel is keen to start a family with Tom, yet sadly, she is unable to. One day, after a wild night she hears the cries of a baby on the howling wind and she discovers the child in a shipwrecked boat. This is where the story draws us into the complexity of life, of where good people make bad choices, where the heart overrules the head, resulting in a compelling, and at times sad read. This one might not be classed as an uplifting novel, but it’s without a doubt a page turner that stays with you for many years.
The setting of this novel reminds me particularly of my years spent living in the South West of Western Australia. This area is remarkably very similar to Cornwall and is why I was dawn to it. Living there helped to fill the yearning that I always had for my birth place. At times it appears gentle, a picture of perfection with tranquil, turquoise and tempting waters, but at its roots it is a rugged and unforgiving coast, surrounded by encompassing, untamed forest and bush.
photo by Elements Margaret River
This area reminds me of our Shipwreck collection which illustrates the power of the sea. Our Shipwreck collection uses imagery from a series of 18th century hand-coloured prints depicting a series of 'ships in distress' in dramatic night time ocean conditions. When we found these prints we fell in love with their immediate presence, sense of mood and history. You can be sure to add a definite point of interest to any room, whether you have the cushions, floor cushion or lamp shades.
If you get a chance to read it, we'd love to hear what you thought.