Wednesday, February 11, 2009

RNA Romantic Novel of the Year announced

...and it's a historical novel. Julia Gregson's East of the Sun, a story about love, friendship and adventure in 1928 India, is the winner for 2009, as announced yesterday at the RNA's Awards Lunch in London. East of the Sun, a Richard & Judy Book Club pick during summer 2008, was published by Orion in 2008 and will appear from Touchstone/Simon & Schuster US in June (trade pb, $16).

On the shortlist were Cecelia Ahern's Thanks for the Memories, Lesley Downer's The Last Concubine (set in 1860s Japan), Linda Gillard's Star Gazing, Susanna Kearsley's Sophia's Secret (alt title The Winter Sea, timeslip/romantic suspense with a historical novelist as protagonist!), and Judith Lennox's Before the Storm (generational saga set in early 20th c Cornwall). More details on the shortlisted books at the Romantic Novelists' Association website.

For those unfamiliar with the award, "romantic novel" does not mean "romance novel." It is better described as a novel with romantic elements. Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl won the award in 2002, as did Rosamunde Pilcher's Coming Home in 1996, Reay Tannahill's Passing Glory in 1990, and Valerie Fitzgerald's Zemindar in 1982. See a list of all winners here.

Of the novels on the 2009 shortlist, only the Ahern and Gregson appear to have US publishers (or will; the Ahern is due out in April). Alas.

7 comments:

  1. I read this last summer and enjoyed it. Congrats to Julia Greson on winning the award!

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  2. I've never heard of it, but it looks good. I'm a sucker for novels about India, and the '20s would be a very interesting period.

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  3. I too read it last year and really enjoyed it. Just recently I read her other novel, The Water Horse, which is set in the period of the Crimean War and that was really good too.

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  4. I'm glad to hear the good reports on East of the Sun. I've yet to be disappointed with past winners of the RNA award - Coming Home and Passing Glory are among my all-time favorites.

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  5. Must add this one to my list!

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  6. Thanks for featuring the award, Sarah. (I'm one of the short-listed authors.) Your readers might like to know that The Book Depository in the UK will send books all over the world post-free.

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  7. Thanks for stopping by, Linda, and congratulations on the RNA recognition! Also appreciate the reminder about Book Depository - I'm a frequent customer and highly recommend them.

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