The best beautifully written books with love at their core

Who am I?

I am a number one international bestselling author. I have written thirty titles and sold over six million copies worldwide. I have written since I was a child but got my first book published when I was 31. I love reading books that have love at their core and which are beautifully written. Frankly, if a book doesn’t have love, I’m not interested. In the same way that life without love is pointless! I don’t like thrillers, dystopia, or shallow romances. I give up very quickly if I’m not gripped by the first few pages, but when I love a book, there is nothing better than floating away on the wonderful story. 


I wrote...

Songs of Love and War

By Santa Montefiore,

Book cover of Songs of Love and War

What is my book about?

West Cork, Ireland, 1900. The year marks the start of a new century and the birth of three very different women: Kitty Deverill, the flame-haired Anglo-Irish daughter of the castle; Bridie Doyle, the daughter of the Irish cook; and Celia Deverill, Kitty's flamboyant English cousin. Together they grow up on the dreamy grounds of the family's grand estate, Castle Deverill. Yet their peaceful way of life will soon be threatened by Ireland's struggle for independence.

This novel is the first of five in the Deverill Chronicles series.

The books I picked & why

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The Age of Innocence

By Edith Wharton,

Book cover of The Age of Innocence

Why this book?

Edith Wharton is probably one of my favourite authors. Her writing is uniquely beautiful, charming, witty, and emotionally powerful. Set at the turn of the last century it’s about upper-class New York society with its inflexible customs and rules. Handsome, noble Archer Newland is engaged to be married to sweet, innocent May. Then May’s scandalous cousin, the magnetic Countess Ellen Olenska, separated from her European husband, arrives on the scene to ruffle the feathers of this stuffy society – and threatens to steal the heart of Archer Newland. But May is stronger than she looks! 


The Enchanted April

By Elizabeth von Arnim,

Book cover of The Enchanted April

Why this book?

I have read this book a dozen times. It just makes me so happy! It’s set between the wars. Four very different women rent a villa in Italy for the month of April. They are all escaping something unsatisfactory at home. The beauty of Italy and the unlikely friendship that blossoms between them alters them profoundly. Written from each woman’s perspective, the author gives the reader a wonderful insight into their thoughts and motivations. It’s witty, charming, and clever, but above all, it is so uplifting.


The Heart's Invisible Furies

By John Boyne,

Book cover of The Heart's Invisible Furies

Why this book?

This is set in Dublin from the 1940s to the present day. It’s the story of an orphan who struggles with his homosexuality and finding his place in the world. The characters are so beautifully drawn. They are eccentric, colourful, and unforgettable - and it is incredibly moving. I cried in the end, but in a good way. I was just so happy and moved. Do read it – you won’t regret it. It’s one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever read.


Love in the Time of Cholera

By Gabriel Garcia Marquez,

Book cover of Love in the Time of Cholera

Why this book?

This is a classic. No movie, even starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, can do it justice. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a master storyteller and has always been one of my icons. It’s one of the greatest love stories of all time. A love that lasts a lifetime. The writing is beyond amazing, as only GGM’s can be. His metaphors bring tears to your eyes as he penetrates the soul of his characters in a way few other writers do. There is love on every page. 


The Invention of Wings

By Sue Monk Kidd,

Book cover of The Invention of Wings

Why this book?

Set in America’s deep south in the nineteenth century, it’s a story about courage, friendship against all odds, and love. Sarah is given a little slave girl for her eleventh birthday. Unable to accept the inhumanity of the cruel culture in which she lives, she sets out to change it – and in so doing unleashes a whole heap of trouble. I love this book for the writing, it’s like poetry; flowing, lyrical, and as beautiful as light. It’s the most touching story. I cried various times because I was so moved. It also helped me learn about and understand something about America’s history of slavery.


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