Denise Welch: My six best books
LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott
This portrayed an idyllic life of which I knew nothing and I wanted to be part of the world of the four sisters. I was quite a girly girl but I was drawn to Jo, the tomboy, and I remember asking my mum if I could have some dungarees. I still love wearing a pair.
THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS by Kenneth Grahame
Another childhood favourite, which led into my real life last year when I played Mrs Otter in an adaptation at the London Palladium. My dad used to read it to me and he came to see it, which was special. I’m a homebody and I liked the fact that ultimately it’s their river that matters to Ratty and Mole.
A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE STEREOTYPES by Lucy Nichol
Lucy suffers from anxiety, as do I, though with me it’s mainly depression, a horrible, isolating illness. I’m always keen to read mental health books based on people’s experiences. She’s hysterically funny but she cares about changing people’s perception, as I do.
COMING HOME by Fern Britton
She is a lovely, clever writer. I don’t know Cornwall well but I’m drawn to books set there. It’s about family relationships, abandonment and reconciliation, and I didn’t want it to end.
CAMPARI FOR BREAKFAST by Sara Crowe
Black Swan, £12.99
I love the way she writes about “the big house” so that it becomes almost otherworldly and your own life disappears. It’s a coming-of-age novel that’s moving and funny. I wet myself laughing which is a big thumbs up.
REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier
One of the few books that stays with me. I remember the atmosphere it created and I’ve got visions of the lake and the boat and the way Mrs Danvers used to smell Rebecca’s clothes, though some of my memories may be from the Olivier film.
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