Straight from the authors’ mouths

Straight from the authors’ mouths

Recommended reads

Looking for something to read in your next quiet moment? Never fear! Word of Mouth TV is here. Lauren Chater, author of The Lace Weaver, Kate Forsyth and Sarah Mills serve up the best books they’ve read lately, and a couple of favourite cookbooks.

Authors’ best books read lately

Lauren Chater recommends:

The Paris Seamstress
By Natasha Lester

How much will a young Parisian seamstress sacrifice to make her mark in the male-dominated world of 1940s New York fashion? From the bestselling author of A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald and Her Mother’s Secret.

1940. Parisian seamstress Estella Bissette is forced to flee France as the Germans advance. She is bound for Manhattan with a few francs, one suitcase, her sewing machine and a dream: to have her own atelier.

2015. Australian curator Fabienne Bissette journeys to the annual Met Gala for an exhibition of her beloved grandmother’s work – one of the world’s leading designers of ready-to-wear. But as Fabienne learns more about her grandmother’s past, she uncovers a story of tragedy, heartbreak and secrets – and the sacrifices made for love.

Crossing generations, society’s boundaries and international turmoil, The Paris Seamstress is the beguiling, transporting story of the special relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter as they attempt to heal the heartache of the past

Kate Forsyth recommends:

The Wonder
By Emma Donoghue

In the latest masterpiece by Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room, an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle-a girl said to have survived without food for months-soon finds herself fighting to save the child’s life.

Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O’Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale’s Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl.

Written with all the propulsive tension that made Room a huge bestseller, THE WONDER works beautifully on many levels–a tale of two strangers who transform each other’s lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil.

Sarah Mills recommends:

Five Quarters Of The Orange
By Joanne Harris

The novels of Joanne Harris are a literary feast for the senses. Five Quarters of the Orange represents Harris’s most complex and sophisticated work yet – a novel in which darkness and fierce joy come together to create an unforgettable story.

When Framboise Simon returns to a small village on the banks of the Loire, the locals do not recognize her as the daughter of the infamous Mirabelle Dartigen – the woman they still hold responsible for a terrible tragedy that took place during the German occupation decades before. Although Framboise hopes for a new beginning she quickly discovers that past and present are inextricably intertwined. Nowhere is this truth more apparent than in the scrapbook of recipes she has inherited from her dead mother.

With this book, Framboise re-creates her mother’s dishes, which she serves in her small creperie. And yet as she studies the scrapbook – searching for clues to unlock the contradiction between her mother’s sensuous love of food and often cruel demeanor – she begins to recognise a deeper meaning behind Mirabelle’s cryptic scribbles. Within the journal’s tattered pages lies the key to what actually transpired the summer Framboise was nine years old.

Rich and dark. Five Quarters of the Orange is a novel of mothers and daughters of the past and the present, of resisting, and succumbing, and an extraordinary work by a masterful writer.

Favourite cookbooks

Lauren Chater recommends:

How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking
By Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson’s “How to Be a Domestic Goddess” is about not only baking, but the enjoyment of being in the kitchen, taking sensuous pleasure in the entire process, and relishing the outcome. Nigella’s deliciously reassuring and mouthwatering cookbook demonstrates that it’s not terribly difficult to bake a batch of muffins or a layer cake, but the appreciation and satisfaction they bring are disproportionately high. At last, a book that understands our anxieties, feeds our fantasies, and puts cakes, pies, pastries, breads, and biscuits back into our own kitchens.

Kate Forsyth recommends:

The Cook’s Companion
By Stephanie Alexander

As soon as you dip into this comprehensive cookery book from Australian restaurateur, Stephanie Alexander, you’ll understand why it has established itself as the kitchen ‘bible’ on that continent in the past decade.

Stephanie believes that eating well should be a joy, not a worry, and her book is designed to be used everyday, by everyone, regardless of culinary experience or skill. She learned her skills at her mother’s side and writes as if you were at her side as she selects ingredients, mixes, bakes, laughs, tastes and revels in the heady world of great food.

Over one thousand pages offer nearly as many failsafe recipes for everything from apple tart to zucchini soufflé, while at-a-glance panels offer wise advice and show which foods go best together. A delicious addition to any cook’s kitchen shelf.

Sarah Mills recommends:

Maggie’s Recipe for Life
By Maggie Beer and Professor Ralph Martins

One of the best cookbooks I’ve read lately, Maggie Beer and Professor Ralph Martins have teamed up to fight one of the most debilitating diseases of our later years. Based on the latest scientific research, Maggie has created more than 200 recipes that help provide the nutrients we need for optimum brain health. More than one million Australians are affected every day by Alzheimer’s or its impact on their family but the good news is that you can eat well to age well, from this moment on. I’m a great soup fan and this book serves up some healthy options.

The proceeds from Maggie’s Recipe for Life will be shared between the Maggie Beer Foundation and the Lions Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.