I’m so excited to host a question and answer session with the lovely Rachael Lucas, as she lives in my hometown of Southport! Firstly, isn’t the cover beautiful? This will look so pretty on my bookshelf. I’ve given lots of books to charity recently, so buying one more can’t hurt, right?
The blurb (taken from Rachael’s website).
Would-be gardening expert Daisy can’t believe her luck when her parents announce they’re off on a midlife crisis gap year, leaving her in charge of their gorgeous garden, much in need of her expert TLC. And coming just after a breakup, some peace and quiet in the countryside is just what she needs. Only, village life turns out to be anything but – with nosey neighbours and greedy developers instantly stirring up trouble.
What Daisy really needs is a good friend, or two. So when she comes across Elaine and Jo, she’s relieved to have multiple shoulders to cry on. But her new friends are dealing with dramas of their own – a marriage in crisis, a family secret and managing the local gossips.
As Daisy wrestles the garden into something like beautiful order, can she get a grip on her new feelings for handsome Irish rogue George and stop her parents selling up to a developer?
Summarise the book in three sentences.
Daisy moves to an English village to escape from the world following a broken heart. In the process of renovating a garden, she makes new friends and opens up to life again. Village life is anything but peaceful. (It sounds like a bonkers book haiku!)
What inspired you to write the book?
I am interested in how people make friends when they are older – I remember once chatting about it with my dad as we had lunch one day when I’d just moved house and had small children so found it easy to meet people. He pointed out that as you get older, or if you don’t have that opener in the form of chatting at the school gates, it becomes harder. I’m also fascinated by the idea of cross-generational friendship which is why I loved writing Daisy and Tom’s friendship.
What made you decide to become a writer?
I hate working for other people, I’m completely chaotic, disorganised, am either obsessed with something or bored to death by it and don’t take instruction well so there wasn’t much choice. Haha. The sensible answer is that I have always made sense of things by writing, and I process my life in words, so it was a natural choice and something I wanted from childhood.
What would you like people to take away from your book?
A burning desire to buy all my other ones. Er, and a feeling that they’ve escaped somewhere lovely and had a break from the world. There’s a lot of misplaced snobbery about commercial fiction and the idea that escapist fiction is somehow less worthy, but my sister pointed out recently that right now there might be someone sitting in a hospice reading my book and enjoying being taken away somewhere lovely for a few hours – and that is a really lovely idea.
Who is your favourite author (s)?
Edith Wharton, Joanna Trollope, Mary Wesley, Katie Fforde, Jilly Cooper, LM Montgomery – that’s just a handful. I like well-observed and well-written characters, humour, kindness, and a feeling I want to turn to them again and again.
What was the last book you read?
A YA novel called Me and Mr J by Rachel McIntyre, another Northern writer. It’s the story of a fifteen-year-old girl falling in love for the first time and it’s incredibly well written with an unexpected slant – the object of her affections is her teacher. It’s clever, funny, incredibly touching and real. I read a lot of YA literature and we are really lucky to have a thriving YA scene here in the UK.
Thank you to Rachael for dropping by. If you have a burning desire to read Coming up Roses it’s available in all good bookstores (as of now!).