Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What's your catnip?

Lately, I've heard the word 'catnip' used on romance reader sites to refer to your reading weakness. What type of story lands on your auto-buy/read list? Some people love secret babies, friends to lovers, marriages of convenience, or fish out of water. None of those are mine.

Mine is books which take you to the past and the present. Back and forth, back and forth, until the past reveals what all the problems are really about in the present.

For example, I'm currently reading Wendy Delsol's The McCloud Home for Wayward Girls. There are three points of view, three sets of time, three generations: the daughter, the mother, the granddaughter. I'm almost finished with this book and I must admit that I didn't see the twist coming when we were in the past. Not at all! My attention was very, very cleverly diverted.

Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden is another fantastic example of this mode of time-travel as is Ingrid Hill's Ursula, Under.

In the latter, the reader is drawn between the present day search for a little girl and the past where we meet all her ancestors, find out what makes her so special. In the former, the answer isn't given until the last page. How wonderful is that?

What's your catnip? What makes you reach for your credit card, makes you want to spend time in an author's world? What makes you want to say "how wonderful is that?"

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