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Independent Bookshop Week - Cathy

What have you missed most about the shop? The thing I have missed most is working with my lovely colleagues, who are more like family really!  I have also missed chatting to our customers, discussing the big and small issues of the day!

Have you read any great books during lockdown? I found it very difficult to settle and read at the beginning of lockdown but when I did start reading I enjoyed  Saving Missy, a poignant tale of family, friendship and the conciliation of making things right in the end. I also read Maggie and Me about Damian Barr growing up in Scotland whilst Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister. It is an inspiring story of success despite having a dysfunctional, deprived family life and importance of believing in yourself and who you are.  Finally I enjoyed The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, beautifully written and exposing the harsh world of early psychiatric care when little was understood about human behaviour and treatments were often barbaric.

If you were to live where the last book you read took place, where would you be? I am currently reading a proof copy of the Glass Hotel by Emily St-John Mandel, an author I have not read before.  Some of it is based on Vancouver Island, by coincidence a place I was lucky enough to visit briefly a few years ago.

Which fictional character would you most like to be? After much deliberation I settled on Darrell Rivers, the heroine in my favourite book whilst growing up, Mallory Towers. I love that she is quite feisty, not perfect and has a great sense of fair play!  She was quite a role model for her time not seeing marriage as the only option for women but valuing the importance of education and  independence.  It does make her sound rather insufferable but I still think she’s great!

Which book would you most like to see made into a film? I have mixed feelings about books being made into films, sometime lose the essence of the story.  I think All the Light We Cannot See might be interesting, to see if they we able to capture the atmosphere of the book.

Who is your favourite author? If I’m honest I do not have a favourite author but enjoyed all the books by Sarah Moss and Lissa Evans.

What was the last book that made you cry? Dear Life by Rachel Clarke writing about her work as a palliative care doctor and the death of her father.  Despite making me cry at times it is not actually a depressing read but a testament to the care and compassion shown by those working in this field.