GILLIAN MCALLISTER’S debut novel, Everything But The Truth, was an immediate smash, shooting straight into the top 10 bestsellers list.
Now her second book, Anything You Do Say, is being published in paperback (Michael Joseph £7.99) on January 25.
Gillian, who combines writing with being a lawyer, lives in Birmingham.
I SPENT many childhood summers at campsites in France.
We always went somewhere different – Normandy, Brittany – but they have all merged into one in my mind.
We were not especially outdoorsy, but the ferry was cheap, the tents were comfortable and the weather warm.
My boyfriend’s family said they were going camping to France in August. We hesitated. Our recent holidays had been all about seeing the world – we’d been to New York, Greece, travelled from Verona all the way down to Sorrento recently.
We’d both been to France a lot, but we decided to go for a few days.
It was almost exactly as I remembered. We took the Eurotunnel, rattling away underneath the sea for only 20 minutes and emerging into sunny France.
When we arrived in the Berny Riviere region, just two hours later, I was immediately transported back to my childhood.
The unzipping sound of the tents as we walked along the grass paths, taking a few Euros to the campsite shop for milk and croissants.
The smells of people’s dinners drifting across at twilight as we opened a bottle of wine. Playing Scrabble on the decking as the rain drip, dripped around us.
It wasn’t quiet, or especially restful, but it was, somehow, just what a holiday ought to be – listening to children playing in the nearby lake, visiting the bakery every morning, walking back in the dark by torchlight, listening to the crickets and the murmurs of parents catching up quietly once their children were in bed.
We were relaxed for the first time in months. I wasn’t half-writing a novel in my mind as I often am. My laptop remained in my suitcase.
I read two books in three days instead, paddled in the swimming pools, gossiped over cheese and wine.
I wouldn’t hesitate to go back.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe