Day 30 of the 40 day book challenge is ‘a favourite sensational novel’.
What constitutes a “sensational” novel, do you think? I immediately thought Valley of the Dolls, Peyton Place, something that, you know, caused a sensation, but I don’t really know, since lots of books cause a sensation when they come out, but wouldn’t be called “sensational” today. So I thought I’d tell a little story instead…
When I was 16 we went to Lanzarote as a family and stayed in a villa owned by some friends of my parents. There was a shelf of books and I found this one – The Happy Hooker by Xaviera Hollander (it’s not a novel, but it’s certainly sensational). I sneaked it off the shelf and read it in my room after everyone else had gone to bed and then sneaked it back onto the shelf before it could be missed in the morning. I did this a few times and then, one night, it had gone. I assumed my parents had noticed I’d been reading it and had confiscated it and I felt guilty, embarrassed, and a bit ashamed.
It was seriously only in the past couple of years that it occurred to me that, rather than my parents confiscating it, one of them (or, you know, both) may have just taken it to read themselves. Gosh.