Tuesday 8 September 2015

Guest Post: The Riviera - why Nantucket by Karen Aldous

The Riviera - Why Nantucket?
by Karen Aldous

My new novel, The Riviera is set mainly in the beautiful south of France, where Lizzie and Cal have begun their new life. The rolling hills of Provence and the cosmopolitan vibe of Cannes will always seduce and inspire me. So why Nantucket?

Well, the island of Nantucket off the east coast of North America is a place that has fascinated me for a long time, and when I wrote The Vineyard, my character Kelly, Jack’s mother and Cal’s ex, needed a home. Kelly didn’t want to raise her children in the city of New York where her husband’s business operated from. She was a village girl from England, so wanted a home within a strong community, with village feel, so Nantucket, albeit, a small town, was a natural fit. There are numerous beautiful villages around New England, Vermont, Cape Cod in mainland US, but the fact that this was an island and only had one High School was an asset for my character Jack, Cal’s son. When Jack went missing after a traumatic incident at school, his options were limited and, being a teenager on an island, I imagined he could find it quite claustrophobic and insular.

I often wonder why a particular place attracts. It’s as if it beckons you with an invisible hand. Nantucket was the idyll for Kelly. As well as the ‘Disney-like’, beautifully preserved Main Street with its quaint, cedar grey shingle buildings, the lure of the long wild beaches and isolated beach houses out on the dunes, offered a contrast of warmth and wild. Even if I couldn’t get there, I could visit in my heart and imagination. I hope readers find it as intriguing as I do. When I read, I like to be taken somewhere new, to be immersed in different surroundings and learn about the people who inhabit that world. Even if I’m out in the car, I love getting lost. There are so many hidden gems to find on our globe. Maybe that’s why I enjoy writing about them, I can work anywhere as long as I can create the characters within that alluring setting.


Karen Aldous enjoys village life on the edge of the north-downs in Kent with easy access to the buzz of London. Not only does she love the passive pleasures of reading and writing, she also craves the more active pursuits with her family and friends such as walking, cycling and skiing especially when they involve food and wine!

Karen gets much of her inspiration from her travels and if she had to choose, France, Greece, Switzerland, Italy and Lake Tahoe in US would be her favourites. However, wherever she goes, she discovers a new character emerges in 'Karen's World'. She likes to write about strong independent women who can direct their own lives - but struggle to control them! And, of course there's always a gorgeous hunk or two!

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  1. Anonymous8/9/15 12:45

    Thanks for taking part, Sophie! The post looks great (: xx

  2. Wow, I love what Karen said about Nantucket, a small homely village feel location. Sounds like a great cosy read.

    1. Sounds like the perfect location! And it's a beautiful read Bee, you'd enjoy it :)


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