When choosing the books to take to Hvar with me – having made the mistake of taking Wuthering Heights and The Counte of Monte Cristo to Dubrovnik earlier in he year – I deliberately chose easy reads. Thus, as well as taking Precious Thing by Colette McBeth, I also packed The Carousel by Roasmund Pilcher and Miss Garnet’s Angel by Sally Vickers.
I first discovered Rosamund Pilcher when reading The Shell Seekers, an entry on the BBC’s Top 100 Reads – beloved by both my mum and my granny, it’s one of my favourite books and I’ve since read September which I equally enjoyed. I came across The Carosel at the Chiswick branch of ‘Books for Free’. Run by environmental charity Healthy Planet, Books for Free rescues unwanted books otherwise destined for landfill or pulping and redistributes these books – for free – throughout communities via their 32 volunteer run Books for Free centres on high streets nationwide.
The Carousel, much like The Shell Seekers and September, is based largely in Cornwall and follows Prue, who is being pressurized by her mother Delia to marry a man that her mother thinks would be good for her, as she classes him as “safe”. Prue, however, has other ideas; independent, intelligent and artistic she refuses to be pushed into anything by anyone, least of all her mother.
So when her eccentric and bohemian aunt in Cornwall asks Prue to stay, she jumps at the chance to escape both London and her mother. And whilse exploring the beautiful Cornish coast on a lovely stretch of beach Prue comes across a young artist called Daniel, and from then on her life begins to change in ways she never dreamed of.
The perfect summer’s day book, The Carousel possesses both charm and delight in equal abundance. For me, the story had a particular poignancy as quite coincidentally my mother is called Prue and my granny was Cordelia, so that they share the names of the central characters made it an extra special read.
About The Carousel
Return to the sun-drenched settings of The Shell Seekers and the rich emotion of Coming Home, as Rosamunde Pilcher takes you on an unforgettable journey of the heart. It is the passage of a young woman from a relationship that has become too tame and predictable to the excitement of a new life brimming with possibilities and the thrilling promise of love. And along the way, all the hopes, secrets, and desires that enrich us unite a joyous carousel of life that only Rosamunde Pilcher can create.
About Rosamunde Pilcher
Rosamunde Scott was born on 22 September 1924 in Lelant, Cornwall, England, UK, daughter of Helen and Charles Scott, a British commander. Just before her birth her father was posted in Burma, her mother remained in England. She attended St. Clare’s Polwithen and Howell’s School Llandaff before going on to Miss Kerr-Sanders’ Secretarial College. She began writing when she was seven, and published her first short story when she was 18. From 1943 through 1946, Pilcher served with the Women’s Naval Service. On 7 December 1946, she married Graham Hope Pilcher, a war hero and jute industry executive who died in March 2009. They moved to Dundee, Scotland, where she still lives today with a dog in Perthshire. They had two daughters and two sons, and fourteen grandchildren. Her son, Robin Pilcher, is also a novelist.
In 1949, her first book, a romance novel, was published by Mills & Boon, under the pseudonym Jane Fraser. She published a further ten novels under that name. In 1955, she also began writing under her married name Rosamunde Pilcher, by 1965 she her own name to all of her novels. In 1996, her novel Coming Home won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by Romantic Novelists’ Association. She retired from writing in 2000. Two years later, she was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire
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