I get wonderful emails from readers, but this charming account especially moved me.

Dear Ms Gulland

Some people have said that I should not make the following admission but I
have, on a number of occasions, fallen foul of female acquaintances when I
have occasionally admitted that, as a male baby boomer privately educated in
the UK, I tend to overlook books by female authors. I can only be truthful,
and have always put it down to education and “conditioning” by the boys’
school I attended, along with its male-dominated reading lists.

On Friday last I found myself in the Sydney City Library and decided, on the
spur of the moment, to borrow the first book by a female author that my eye
landed on. It was “The Many Lives….” and I have not been able to put it
down over the weekend. It has turned out to be one of the most enjoyable
“penances” I have ever received.

You will probably be disappointed that I did not buy the book, but I do
intend to buy the sequels.

Thank you.

Stephen Baddeley

When asked permission to quote his letter on this blog, Stephen added:

My city library does have the balance of the trilogy on the shelf, but only the third book was available when I checked. It is ever thus with lending libraries, so I reserved the 2nd part of the trilogy and naturally took possession of the Last Great Dance …

Last weekend I couldn’t wait to follow the sequence and started the third book regardless. Apart from work and golf, I haven’t put it down, and I have had to explain to fellow golfers why I have been reading these books at the club before each round, rather than gathering with them on the veranda for a drink before the round!

My imagined reader is a woman, but I like to think that my novels appeal to men, as well.

Thank you, Stephen!