Now, as Editorial Director for Picture books, I am in the very lucky position of having "small" manuscripts to read. 800 words maybe. 1200 on a really tough day. I don't even need a Sony Reader, sigh. I can just stuff a few pages in my bag and that's it.
But, every now and again, I need more. Something a bit more meaty, something that feels like a 'grown-up' book. And what better place to look than Fiction Puffin Loves? It's a gem-like list full of the kind of books that you want to tell all your friends about. Or your mum, sister, or even just the person next to you on the bus. There are stellar authors like Meg Rosoff, Eoin Colfer and Jill Murphy, plus loads of fresh new talent, all writing brilliant books, stories that just inch their way into your life and then stay with you forever.
Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur is my latest find. I started it in bed, read until midnight (OK, that's not too hideous but remember I have a three-year-old), and then dived straight back into it on the train the next morning. And THEN when I got to work, seriously toyed with the idea of skipping meetings. I haven’t wanted to play hooky for a book for a long time, but this one would just not let me go. You see, Love, Aubrey is that rare thing, the great literary read. A story of heartache and grief, loss and redemption, it’s all about a young girl who finds herself alone. But there’s nothing of the misery memoir about this. The language is unsentimental and powerful and you have to remind yourself that this is, in fact, a debut novel. With the help of her grandmother and the letters she writes, Aubrey gradually pieces her life together and you find yourself marvelling at the grace and tenderness with which her story is told.
Just make sure that you have time to read it in one sitting. Have some tissues handy too.
And then pass it on to someone else.
Editorial Director – Picture Book Boutique