Her entry begins:
Recently, I re-read one of my favourite books, Molly Keane’s Good Behaviour, with enormous pleasure and renewed admiration for her skills as a novelist.About Jasmine Nights, from the publisher:
When I first discovered Molly Keane a few years ago, it was almost like discovering a hilarious, deliciously spiteful and observant new friend. Her humor is so sly, her characterizations merciless- she is sort of like an adult Roald Dahl at times, , but she is also a poet at heart. Few writers I know can evoke the agonies of snobbery or a broken heart, or the atmosphere, the smell, the character of a room as she can, or the beauty of the Irish countryside at dawn.
Good Behaviour tells the story of Aroon, a character every bit as monstrous as Roald Dahl’s Mrs Trunchbull. She is a snob, a control freak; she has lots of rules about things like sherry (there’s posh sherry, and other peoples) and napkins and the laying out of the dead.
Aroon is a sad character too: she is a 57 year old spinster living with a cold mother who has bullied her all her life.
But now the tables have turned...[read on]
FROM THE AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR OF EAST OF THE SUN, A POWERFUL LOVE STORY SET AGAINST THE UNSTABLE AND EXOTIC CITIES OF CAIRO AND ISTANBUL DURING THE HEIGHT OF WORLD WAR IILearn more about the book and author at Julia Gregson's website.
At twenty-three, Saba Tarcan knows her only hope of escaping the clamor of Cardiff Bay, Wales, lies in her voice. While traveling Britain, singing for wounded soldiers, Saba meets handsome fighter pilot Dom Benson, recovering from burns after a crash. When Saba auditions to entertain troops in far-off lands, Dom follows her to London. Just as their relationship begins to take root, Saba is sent to sing in Africa, and Dom is assigned a new mission in the Middle East. As Saba explores Cairo’s bazaars, finding friendship among the troupe’s acrobats and dancers, Dom returns to the cockpit once again, both thrilled and terrified to be flying above the desert floor. In spite of great danger, the two resolve to reunite.
When Saba learns that her position makes her uniquely qualified for a secret mission of international importance, she agrees to help the British Secret Service, concealing her role from Dom. Her decision will jeopardize not only her safety but also the love of her life.
Based on true accounts of female entertainers used as spies during World War II, Jasmine Nights is a powerful story of danger, secrets, and love, filled with the colors and sounds of the Middle East’s most beautiful cities.
The Page 69 Test: East of the Sun.
The Page 69 Test: Jasmine Nights.
My Book, The Movie: Jasmine Nights.
Writers Read: Julia Gregson.