A favourite sensational novel (which isn’t a novel)

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.

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One thought on “A favourite sensational novel (which isn’t a novel)

  1. I thought I left a comment here but obviously cocked it up! Can’t remember what I wrote now except – did you ever ask your parents later in life about that little episode?!! Lovely story.

    I remember being shocked at seeing my first F word in a book when I was a teen & some stuff I should not have been reading about at my tender age. Similarly it was a book I ‘borrowed’ from my friend’s mum’s collection (I must remind her of this!). Was by Joan Collins’ sis but can’t remember name but it was a shocker to me – maybe not to the oldees!

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