WHAT BOOK gave Catherine Alliott nightmares by being 'decidedly spooky' - despite being a famous children's classic?

Catherine Alliott is a women's fiction writer

Catherine Alliott is a women's fiction writer

...are you reading?

The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook, which I found in my daughter’s bedroom. It’s a totally absorbing tale of a British colonel’s wife living in ruined Hamburg immediately after the war. Her husband is tasked with rebuilding the shattered city and she finds herself falling in love with a frightfully attractive German widower who happens to own the grand house they are living in. It’s an incredibly moving love story and absolutely gripping.

...would you take to a desert island?

Pomp And Circumstance by Noel Coward. Not only is it one of my favourite books, but it’s also set on a tropical island so I’d feel rather comforted as I read it in my hammock. Noel Coward is as witty as ever and naturally it all ends in hilarious chaos and disaster.

...gave you the reading bug?

As a teenager, Franny And Zooey by J. D. Salinger gave me the appetite to gulp books down. It’s the first time I’ve finished a book, then immediately started reading it from the beginning again. It’s a wonderful coming-of-age story about a young college student meeting her boyfriend for a baseball game, but being totally preoccupied by a completely different passion.

...left you cold?

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland. I remember an uncle giving it to me for Christmas and being terribly excited and dying to read it, but then finding it decidedly spooky and scary. Perhaps I was a rather wet child, but I found Alice growing to gigantic proportions because she drank something dodgy just too much. I ploughed on, but it gave me nightmares for ages.

Wish You Were Here by Catherine Alliott (Michael Joseph, £7.99)



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