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WHAT BOOK would author Santa Montefiore take to a desert island?

WHAT BOOK would author Santa Montefiore take to a desert island?

Author Santa Montefiore (pictured) would take Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth to a desert island

…are you reading now?

Sue Monk Kidd’s The Book Of Longings. This author is one of my favourites — I adored The Secret Life Of Bees and The Invention Of Wings, which were both wise, charming and sensual.

This, her latest book, doesn’t disappoint. It’s the imagined story of Jesus’s wife. A challenging and sensitive subject, but beautifully written, as are all her books.

…would you take to a desert island?

I would take Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth. I think he is the greatest spiritual teacher of our time. I’ve read The New Earth so many times already, but the lessons penetrate more deeply with every read.

It’s a lifelong challenge to get beyond the ego to the awareness that is in the background, the real, eternal, I.

Eckhart is wise and deep and so uplifting, because we can all reach enlightenment. It’s not about dogma, belief systems, ideology or religion, but about our state of consciousness.

We’re all one — it’s our ego that creates the illusion of separateness. Quite simply, Eckhart makes me feel happy.

…first gave you the reading bug?

The author is currently reading Sue Monk Kidd’s The Book Of Longings

The author is currently reading Sue Monk Kidd’s The Book Of Longings

Probably Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind In The Willows (right). Either that or A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh — I can’t really recall.

But those beautifully written stories about animals who talk and wear clothes and live in hollow trees or houses in riverbanks inspired me so much as a child and fired up my imagination. The characters are just so well drawn.

We all know people like them. And because the writers don’t talk down to children, but use normal language, they are timeless and are enjoyed by people of all ages. Inspired by the worlds they created, I started writing myself.

…left you cold?

I’m ashamed to admit — because she’s such a famously brilliant writer — that Hilary Mantel does not appeal to me.

I’ve read her books, but I find them cold and lacking in sensuality and emotion. They’re just not my thing.

The Distant Shores by Santa Montefiore is out now (Simon & Schuster £16.99). 

To buy any book reviewed here, visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193 

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