A few UK Favs

Why I Am Obsessed With The Girls From Across The Pond

A couple of years ago, I was very fortunate to have by chance picked up books by authors Katie Fforde & Jill Mansell. Little did I know at the time, that they would change the world of reading as I once knew.  These ladies are the inspiration behind my blog. It was the desire to brig more US attention to their work that truly promoted me to start a blog at all.


What started as a happy by chance incident, soon became a way of reading for me.  Before reading these lovely authors, I had not been quite so familiar with the chick lit genre.  I believe, that possibly Mary Kay Andrews is one of the only rom com chick-lit books I had read before the discovery of UK chick lit.  Around that time, I formed a deep love and appreciation of the rom com chick lit genre.

Please, don't get me wrong, there are some fabulous American authors that I love as well.  However, It is my hope to give a spotlight to these fabulous authors, hoping that fellow Americans can discover the wonderful world these ladies so eloquently, and effortlessly create.  I am certain that I in no way, will be able to remember them all, this is not a lack of skill on their part, but just an indication that my brain is growing old....


I believe that the first book I ever read of Ms Mansell's was "Staying at Daisy's". I am currently reReading his fabulous book, as it has been quite some time, that way I can give a fresh perspective of this wonderful book.  Ms Mansell has a very excellent ability to so lose the reader in the wonderful "villages" inside her books.  She is so good at being able to conjure up images of what life must be like inside small-town England. 

She is also one of the Queen of Characters.  Her characters are all super fun, quirky as well as likable.  When you read a Jill Mansell novel, you are so drawn into the lives of the characters she so magically creates.  They all have such strong and indivual personalities.  They aren't your American "perfect debutante" type characters, they are real women who are wonderfully imperfect.  


Staying at Daisy's
Millie's Fling
Rumor Has It
Miranda's Big Mistake
A Walk in the Park

These are, by no means, the complete list of all the books I love by Ms Mansell, just a itty sampling. 


While there are still perhaps five or six books that I need to still read of Jill Mansell, I have read all but one of Katie Fforde's books.  They are some of my favorite all time books.  Like Ms Mansell, Ms Fforde has a true gift of storytelling.  Her books are all filled to the gills with lovely, fun and realistic characters.  Her books are so filled with beautiful imagery of the English countryside, that you can imagine your own adventures in the world's she creates.

A lot of her books have a restoration theme.  Quite a few have either a crumbling business that needs saving, or homes that need fixing. Along with these crumbling businesses or homes, the owners tend to find themselves being restored in the process.  Being a recovering addict, this is always one of my favorite subject matters.


Restoring Grace
Flora's Lot (or Bidding for Love)
The French Affair
The Rose Revived
Living Dangerously


Clearly, you will see these first three names scattered around in my Amazon Reviews as these are the authors I use to measure the work of other authors.  To me, these ladies have truly mastered their craft and I am always actively seeking their books out.  I have read every single novel Ms. Johnson has written to date. And I must say, that there hasn't been one "miss" yet.  She always manages to deliver brilliant stories in which you find yourself glued to one spot, at times even forgetting to eat.

Her characters are so fun and realistic, but also with a twinge of fantasy thrown in. A lot of her books tend to revolve around the theme of women and friendships. Which, we all know it can be truly difficult for women to form strong bonds with one another.  Yet, in her stories, women of different social status and backgrounds find themselves drawn together and forming such strong, unbreakable bonds.   She manages to weave multiple character story lines seamlessly.


You can't have a list of UK Chick Lit authors and not have Sophie KINSELLA on your list.  With the explosion in popularity, thanks to her Shopaholic series, she's by far possibly amongst the more famous of the UK authors.  It's a reputation that has been well deserved, she truly is great at creating fun worlds, with fun characters, as well as hilarious and often drama filled situations. 

I had seen Confessions of a Shopaholic long before picking up the first Sophie KINSELLA book.  However, upon reading one, I quickly began to search for every book she had ever written. Within months I had read all of the Sophie Kinsella, as well as Madeleine Wickham books.  I haven't yet read her newest Shopaholic book, but it's on my long, long list of Need to Buy. 


A Desirable Residence / Wickham
Sleeping Arrangements/ Wickham
Shopaholic Series/ KINSELLA
Can You Keep a Secret/ KINSELLA 
Remember Me/ KINSELLA

These are just five of a long, long list of need to read authors.  The list I have compiled is quite long and so I believe perhaps the best way of highlighting them is to do perhaps five at a time. So, perhaps I will begin a weekly look at "Five UK/ Irish Authors". 

If I'm having trouble finding a book in which I can "get into", I have been known to pick these ladies' books up for a re-read. There aren't very many authors in which I can re-read a story, but One of the good things about an aging brain, is that it doesn't take long before the little details of a book seem to leave my mind.  I always go back to my books I know that no matter what's going on around me, I know will capture my imagination and lose me in their worlds.  

If you haven't read all of these authors, I urge you to take a chance on these ladies and read just one of their fabulous stories and you will be a fan for life!

Have you read all of these authors? If so, what's your favorite part about their stories??

If you haven't read all of them, which haven't you read?  Do you think you will try one of their books?  

I love talking books.  So, please share your experiences and your favorites with me!  

Thanks y'all. Until next time!!


Sassy Gal. 


Anonymous said...

I love these authors as well, I read almost exclusively "across the pond" women's fiction - Rowan Coleman, Trisha Ashley, Marian Keyes, are all great as well. Of them all my favorite is Katie Fforde. I read other genres from all over but these writers are the best women's fiction/rom com/chick lit.

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