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Friday, 28 September 2012

Desert Island Castaway Nancy Bilyeau tells me her choice of books

Nancy Bilyeau
Nancy Bilyeau is the author of the new historical fiction smash, The Crown. Nancy has spent her life working with words - she has worked on the staffs of Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Good Housekeeping. Most recently, she served as deputy editor at InStyle magazine.

Nancy has interesting ancestors. In 1661, Nancy's ancestor, Pierre Billiou, emigrated from France to what was then New Amsterdam when he and his family sailed on the St. Jean de Baptiste to escape persecution for their Protestant beliefs. Pierre built the first stone house on Staten Island and is considered the borough's founder. His little white house is on the US national register of historic homes and is still standing to this day.

Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Whilst I am over at Unabridged Chick and at History and Women Nancy is keeping herself busy on my Desert Island reading her three books, and cooking up a wonderful meal - sorry Nancy it will be on an open fire, but you can always use it as research for your next Tudor blockbuster!

Nancy's choices:

Classic: "The Age of Innocence." The descriptive writing is gorgeous; the character work is so subtle. Only problem is how desperately I want Newland Archer to climb the stairs, in Paris, to see Ellen Olenska again. Oh, Edith Wharton...

Contemporary: If I am to be airlifted to the desert island right now, then I must bring Deborah Harkness's "Shadow of Night." I'm about one-third of the way through, and I have to know what happens next. It's set in my beloved Tudor era--the late Elizabeth age--and I've already discovered that certain legendary poets were actually demons. Explains a lot!

Nonfiction: "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook." Because on a desert island I am obviously going to be barefoot, but on this particular island I'm hoping for a state-of-the-art kitchen and fresh ingredients so I can work on my cooking.  My family will be delighted. Too bad they won't be on the island.

THE CROWN  - An aristocratic young nun must find a legendary crown in order to save her father—and preserve the Catholic faith from Cromwell’s ruthless terror. The year is 1537. . .
Read more about Nancy and her books at

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