Bookplanet: Romantic novel of the year
'A tragi-comedy of unrequited love and misunderstanding has beaten tales of predatory women, sexual ambivalence and adultery to win the FosterGrant Romantic Novel of the Year Award. First-time novelist Katharine Davies beat several acclaimed authors to scoop this prestigious literary prize, awarded in past years to popular writers such as Joanna Trollope, Rosamunde Pilcher and Cathy Kelly. Davies, who taught English at schools in the UK and Sri Lanka before moving to Wales to write, beat off competition from a strong shortlist, which included celebrated novelist Andrea Levy, to win the £10,000 award. Her book, A Good Voyage, is loosely based on Twelfth Night. It was described by the judges as a "superbly constructed, magical story that brilliantly contrasts the timelessness of romance with the grittiness of reality".
"A Good Voyage takes readers back to the roots of romantic fiction in all its joys and turmoil," said judge chairwoman Danuta Keane. "It was a clear winner in a strong field of titles that ranged from domestic dramas to high politics. This is an astonishingly well-crafted first novel, peopled with believable, empathetic characters, and characterised by a poise and lightness of touch that evokes the magic and pathos of Shakespeare's lovers and losers. It is a wonderful illustration of romantic fiction at its best."' More here. Sounds like a novel that's much less fluffy than one would expect.