My Porridge & Cream read… @SueJohnson9 #books #duMaurier

Today I’m delighted to welcome novelist, poet and short story writer Sue Johnson. Her ‘Porridge & Cream’ read is Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier.

“My Porridge & Cream read is Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier (first published in 1936). I can remember finding it in the school library one wet Friday afternoon when I was thirteen. (We’d made ginger cake in our cookery class that morning and I still associate the book with the smell and taste of ginger and spices.) Our English teacher liked us to read at least two books a month of our choice that were nothing to do with our school work. We also had to write book reviews saying what we liked – or didn’t like – about the books we’d read.

Sue Johnson

Sue’s copy of Jamaica Inn

From the first page of Jamaica Inn I was hooked. My friends had to prise it out of my hands when the bell went for the end of school. I then went on to devour everything else that Daphne du Maurier had written. My other favourites are Rebecca and Frenchman’s Creek.  We used to spend family holidays in Cornwall and I still love the county. I never tire of Jamaica Inn no matter how many times I re-read it. I’ve returned to it countless times – particularly when I was ill as a teenager, when I went through a traumatic divorce and when my Dad died. I’ve also enjoyed seeing the film versions – but none of them have been as good as the book.”

Sue Johnson is published as a poet, short story writer and novelist. She also creates books aimed at helping and encouraging other writers. Her work is inspired by fairytales, the natural world and eavesdropping in cafes. Sue runs her own brand of writing workshops and critique service. She is also a creative writing tutor on five of the courses offered by Writing Magazine.


Sue JohnsonWhen Gemma Lawrence inherits a share of her Great Aunt’s restaurant she is dismayed to find she has to share it with Stefano Andrea, a moody Italian chef. Gemma and Stefano have broken relationships behind them and dislike each other on sight as much as Stefano hates the cold English weather. Under the terms of the will, they have to work together for six months to turn the dilapidated building into a successful restaurant. If either of them leaves or a profit has not been made, then they will lose their inheritance. The challenge is on and neither of them are prepared to give up. As they work together they begin to unravel the story behind the inheritance and find out what links the English apple orchard to the Italian lemon grove. Apple Orchard, Lemon Grove is a fast-paced novel with intriguing characters, atmospheric locations and mouth-watering food.

What is a ‘Porridge & Cream’ book? It’s the book you turn to when you need a familiar read, when you are tired, ill, or out-of-sorts, where you know the story and love it. Where reading it is like slipping on your oldest, scruffiest slippers after walking for miles. Where does the name ‘Porridge & Cream’ come from? Cat Deerborn is a character in Susan Hill’s ‘Simon Serrailler’ detective series. Cat is a hard-worked GP, a widow with two children and she struggles from day-to-day. One night, after a particularly difficult day, she needs something familiar to read. From her bookshelf she selects ‘Love in A Cold Climate’ by Nancy Mitford. Do you have a favourite read which you return to again and again? If so, please send me a message.

Discover the ‘Porridge & Cream’ books of these authors:-
Julia Thum’s choice is ‘The Little White Horse’ by Elizabeth Goudge
Amanda Huggins chooses ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer is chosen by Clare Rhoden

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why does novelist, poet and short story writer @SueJohnson9 re-read JAMAICA INN by Daphne du Maurier? #books via @SandraDanby

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