My Life in Books is an occasional feature on Random Things Through My Letterbox
I've asked authors to share with us a list of the books that are special to them and have made a lasting impression on their life.
Eva's debut novel, The Daughter's Secret was published by Orion in August 2015, I reviewed it here on Random Things, and said:
"Perfectly paced, perceptive and incredibly compelling, The Daughter's Secret is full of unexpected twists and turns."I have a paperback copy of The Daughter's Secret to give away to one Random Things follower today, entry is simple. Just fill out the widget at the end of the post - UK entries only please.
My Life in Books ~ Eva Holland
Moving Molly by Shirley Hughes Readers and writers often talk about whether characters in novels are 'relatable' - whether we can empathise with them and their dilemmas. For me as a child, Molly in Moving Molly was so relatable I felt as though the book had been written specially for me. Just like Molly, I was about to move house and was desperately sad to be leaving my old home. And just like Molly, when moving day came, I peeled up a corner of my bedroom wallpaper and scribbled my name underneath it so I could leave a little bit of myself behind.
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder I still remember how excited I was when I finished Little House in the Big Woods, the first in the Little House on the Prairie series, and discovered there were another eight books to follow. These are the books that showed me stories could transport me through place and time - from my cosy home in a Cotswolds town in the 1980s all the way to the harsh American Midwest a century earlier - and started my lifelong love of reading.
The Collector by John Fowles Fast forward to my late teens and I spent a summer reading all of John Fowles' novels. I'll never forget The French Lieutenant's Woman, but it was The Collector that really got under my skin and kick-started my love of crime fiction and psychological suspense (although I don't suppose we called it that back then). I have read hundreds of crime novels since that first reading of The Collector but have yet to come across a character who repulses me and fascinates me quite the way Frederick Clegg does.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier I would hate to have to choose just one favourite book, but if you dangled me off the edge of a building and forced me to, I would probably say Rebecca. I read this in my first week at university and have read it again every few years since then. It probably sounds odd to say this painfully tense masterpiece of suspense with its atmosphere of impending doom is my 'comfort read', but in life's most stressful moments it's back to Manderley I choose to go.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy We never know the protagonist's name - he's just 'the man' - but we feel every tremor of his fear and heartbreak for his son as they journey across a brutal post-apocalyptic landscape. This incredibly powerful book gave me nightmares. More importantly, though, it made me feel compelled to create my own world with words. After more than a decade in which I let a lack of confidence get in the way of my love of writing fiction, I started again. While the Orkney-set post-apocalyptic novel I wrote after reading The Road will (thankfully) never see the light of day, it was the start of my journey towards being a published author.
Eva Holland ~ June 2016
Eva Holland was born on an Orkney island and grew up in Gloucestershire. She studied in Leeds and now lives with her husband in North London where she works in public relations.
A lifelong lover of words and stories, Eva is drawn to tales that explore the darker side of family life and is always curious about what goes on behind closed doors.
The Daughter's Secret, published by Orion, is Eva's first novel and won the Good Housekeeping debut novel competition in 2014.
Find out more at www.evaholland.net
Follow Eva on Twitter @HollandEva