Topic: What is the most inspiring, romantic, or dangerous setting you ever come across while reading or imagined while writing? Do you have a preference for a certain time and place for a story?
Wow! This is a difficult one because it covers a lot of emotional ground.
There’s a book called The Memory of Love written by Aminatta Forno. It’s set in Sierra Leone after the civil war and I could, with hand on heart, say it includes the most inspiring, most romantic and most dangerous settings I’ve read about. The three main protagonists are the local villain, the visiting UK psychiatrist and the young local hospital doctor.
It’s inspiring because it shows how normality returns to domestic and political life after even the traumas of civil war. And it’s set under huge African skies with endless beaches, too.
It’s romantic because the love between man and woman is central to the story. And because, for one half of one of the couples, the African experience is what tips him into the romance.
It’s dangerous because the possibility of war and outrages, betrayals and acts of superhuman kindness go on forever. And the truth has not always come out in everyday life.
So, the short answer is Sierra Leone.
Part Two: Do you have a preference for a certain time and place for a story?
When I’m writing the story and it’s novel length, then yes, I do. That would be nineteenth century Edinburgh or London. It would be after the Napoleonic wars are over and probably just post Regency, although still with the Georgians in the person of George Fourth.
I enjoy that moment when English becomes modern. I studied Anglo Saxon and Middle English as part of my degree and when you get to Jane Austen, there’s a sigh of relief. No more looking up every second spelling in the dictionary or fretting over the grammar.
In terms of place, I love the architecture of Edinburgh, where I live, and London where I am able to visit. I would like to write about Bath, too, but I’ve only been once and that was to buy a wedding present, so I don’t feel I know it well enough. However, I am hoping to include some Scottish country towns in future projects.
When I’m reading, then I’m open to different times and places. I read a lot of historical fiction, but through the good offices of my Book Group, a lot of modern writing, too. The Memory of Love, for instance, was a book group read.
There are other bloggers involved in this topic and you may follow on by clicking Diane Bator’s link or reach any of them from the links below:
* Lynn Crain at http://lynncrain.blogspot.co.at/
* Anne Stenhouse at https://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com
* Diane Bator at http://dbator.blogspot.ca
* Geeta Kakade at http://geetakakade.blogspot.com/
* Connie Vines at http://connievines.blogspot.com/
* Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/
* Beverley Bateman at http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
* Ginger Simpson at http://mizging.blogspot.com
* Margaret Fieland at http://margaretfieland.com/my_blog
* Fiona McGier at http://www.fionamcgier.com
* Rhobin Courtright at http://rhobinleecourtright.com
* Heidi Thomas http://heidiwriter.wordpress.com
http://goo.gl/pASdjp Mariah’s Marriage amazon US
http://goo.gl/NxYxj5 Mariah’s Marriage UK
http://goo.gl/PKptQg Bella’s Betrothal US
http://goo.gl/5RBzIm Bella’s Betrothal UK
Very interesting post, Anne – that particular novel does sound a very intense read!
Hi Rosemary, gosh you’re about early after the excitement of your Adonis Touch launch yesterday. Thanks for dropping in. I did find The Memory of Love intense and amazing. great work, I think. Anne
Hi Anne, thanks for the interesting post, and the book choice. I’ve never heard of this author. Just on my way to check it out. Thanks!
Hi Helena, I know you have an African connection, so you may find it even more evocative. Anne
I’ll check out the book you mention, and I also love the same historical period you do. Thanks for participating!
Hi Rhobin, I enjoy being in the round robin. Great to see so many interpretations of every topic. Anne
Anne, well said. I loved your take on the topic.
Hi Geeta, thank you. I’ve been trying to catch the US ones as the sun moves. Will go over to you now. Anne
England is very inspiring to me, too, Anne. Perhaps I will write a time travel romance with the starting point of Glastonbury Tor. I visited there too many years ago to count and loved it. I felt as if I’d been there before many times. 🙂
This was a hard topic for me, too. Unlike you, I couldn’t think of any one book that had encapsulated all of it, though.
Hi Marci, It’s good to have somewhere that stirs the romance. I’ve never been to Glastonbury although I have visited lots of other high places. maybe the thin air is partly responsible…
Ohh, I loved that. How interesting and fascinating. As soon as the question was asked, my brain went in about 50 different directions at once. 🙂 Too many to choose from. Tanamera by Noel Barber, set in Singapore just before WWII, then through it. Or Hungry as the Sea by Wilbur Smith, aboard an ocean going tug, with the sexy Nicholas Berg, torn between two women, finally goind for the right one… thank goodness!! But high sea action, intense behind the scene dialogues. Loved it. 🙂
Very cool blog. Thanks and aloha Meg 🙂
Hi Meg, Nice to see you here. I think Rhobin’s prompts are as good as going to the book group. I haven’t read either of the books that made the same impression on you. Must have a look. glad you enjoyed the blog. I enjoy blogging. Anne
Great post and I’m going to check out Sierra Leone. Sounds like a great book. Thanks.
Good morning, Uk time here. Nice to see you. The Memory of Love was a book group book. I don’t think I would have read it otherwise, but I felt enriched by it. Anne
So what you’re saying is that the setting as per time period is the most important thing to you? I guess we all find a time period we feel comfortable in and set our stories there. With me, I’m straight contemporary. But you have a lot of company in readers who love historicals set in Britain.
Hi Fiona, I see where you get that idea, but I would say my characters are the most important thing to me. The Memory of Love, by Forno, is contemporary. Maybe I like the ‘through a glass darkly’ aspect one gets by writing historicals. Anne