I was thrilled to see reviews starting to pour in for Rosie Alison's novel, The Very Thought of You, which has been longlisted for the Orange Prize for fiction, together with heavy-hitters such as Hilary Mantel, Sarah Waters and Andrea Levy.
The book was first published last year, and it was a great word-of-mouth success. We sold out two entire printruns of our trade-paperback edition, and it was selected by three prizes – but no reviews came. Last week we released the mass-market paperback, 13,000 copies, and the Orange longlist couldn't have been more timely, as we are about to reprint.
After the longlist announcement, the Telegraph reviewer, the first off the mark, described the book as "elegantly constructed, with a plangent dying fall of a twist in the final scene", while yesterday the Times called it "melancholic, mysterious and heartbreakingly gorgeous". The Guardian, on the other hand, is not wholly convinced by it, but concedes that Rosie's "debut is enjoyable enough, moving even … It is a sincere attempt to depict the reverberations of war … Anna is a likeable and memorable heroine."
You can never make everybody happy – but I am delighted that this wonderful book is finally attracting the critical attention it deserves.
Since our blog counter tells me we have reached over 1,000,000 hits (whatever that means – probably nothing), I'd like to offer a free copy to the first person who posts a comment – which I am not going to publish, don't worry – with his or her address.