I know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but that belonging to Izzy Bayliss and The Girl I Was Before is so lovely I just had to invite Izzy onto Linda’s Book Bag with a guest post. Luckily Izzy agreed and is writing in praise of fiction’s escapism today. The Girl I Was Before was published by Blue Gate on 21st August 2016 and is available for purchase in e-book here.
The Girl I was Before
When Lily McDermott walks in to find Marc, her husband of just three months in bed with actress Nadia, life as she knows it is over. Lily thinks things can’t get any worse when she sees photos of her husband and his new lover splashed across the glossy magazine pages, but when she loses her job too, she is at her lowest ebb and turns to baking to soothe her soul.
Wounded and broken she has to try and pick herself up again with the help of her best friend Frankie and with her encouragement, Lily decides to turn her hobby into a business and sets up Baked With Love. However whatever Lily does, it seems disaster soon ensues and when handsome stranger Sam comes to her rescue, Lily isn’t quite ready to turn her back on her marriage.
Can Lily risk opening her heart again or is she destined to allow Marc to shadow her life forever?
The Perfect Escape
A Guest Post by Izzy Bayliss
One of my favourite parts of the day is when I climb under my duvet, let my weight sink into the mattress beneath me, reach over to my bedside table and pick up my book. It’s my time to escape from a hectic day. I can switch off from word count woes and temper tantrums and get lost in a different world far beyond my reach. Depending on the book I’m reading, I could find myself immersed in a cookery school set amongst the lavender fields of France or I could be in a Fifth Avenue penthouse with the snow tumbling softly past my window. This is the beauty of reading fiction. It allows our brains to tune out and to recharge for a while.
Nonfiction snobs would argue that we can learn nothing from fiction but there are lots of benefits to it. For example, it expands our creativity. How many times have you read the same book as a friend but both of you form a totally different picture of the protagonist in your mind? In real life you might be finding it hard to meet your dream man but you can meet your perfect alpha-male in a romance novel and best of all, he’ll never let you down. When we read fiction we are constantly drawing upon the well of our imagination.
Fiction can also help to educate us as well as empathise with a situation. In Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong we can all but feel the bitter cold experienced by WWI soldiers as they stood in water logged trenches or the claustrophobia and fears of suffocation faced by the tunnellers as they burrowed deep underground towards enemy lines. In Victoria Hislop’s The Island, we can imagine the feelings of despair experienced by those diagnosed with leprosy in Greece as they left everyone they loved behind and set sail for the colony of Spinalonga. Fiction can serve as a reminder to appreciate the things we take for granted.
Life can be so overwhelmingly busy and crazy at times that we sometimes need to escape and that’s what fiction gives us. Every time you pick up a piece of fiction you are carried off to another world and the best bit is you get to choose where. So where are you off to tonight?
(What a great question Izzy!)
About Izzy Bayliss
Izzy Bayliss lives in Ireland with her husband, children and their dog. A romantic at heart, she loves nothing more than cosying up in front of the fire with a good book. Her motto is that reality is over-rated and she is happiest staring into space and day-dreaming.