I first remember reading Rosamunde Pilchur's work -- her short stories -- in GOOD HOUSEKEEPING magazine. I didn't read any of her novels until much later, and I confess that I completely missed her Mills & Boon-slash-Jane Fraser period.
The later novels are the ones that fed my appreciation of her work. For one thing, I like "cozies," i.e., family sagas that make the reader care about what happens to the story people therein, sans the car chases, explosions, and gratuitous s-e-x.
And I like to "travel" when I read, to be transported "Somewhere Else," to feel that I'm actually there and learning new things, all the while being completely entertained.
Finally, I like the Cornwall roots, I think because of the Cornish miners who emigrated here to work the mines in Gold Hill. (As I've said before -- maybe -- two of my great-great grandfathers had dealings with with gold mines -- one as an owner, one as a miner.)
I loved THE SHELL SEEKERS, and I read WINTER SOLSTICE while keeping a vigil at my late sister-in-law's bedside.
But SEPTEMBER is the one that speaks to me most, simply because of this one passage:
"...Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word it always was. Let it be spoken without effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well."
From SEPTEMBER © 1991 by Robin Pilchur, Mark Pilchur, Fiona Pilchur and Philippa Imrie.