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Kristin Hannah picks the five novels that have most influenced her life

04 April 2021 - 08:50 By Kristin Hannah

1. JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, because it is a beautiful, emotional, imaginative exploration of friendship, courage, and hope. Sam Gamgee and Frodo Baggins will always be two of my favourite characters.

2. The Prince of Tides, which is a lyrical, powerful look at a dysfunctional family. Pat Conroy's prose is impossible to forget.

3. Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind is the novel that inspired me to write an historical novel. I loved the magical combination of forbidden love and the Spanish setting.

4. The Stand by Stephen King. I could have picked any number of King's novels, but I chose The Stand because it is an American epic, broad in scope and intimate in characterisation. I love the grand battle waged between good and evil.

5. Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. Quite simply, this is my favourite American novel. Very few novels have stayed in my consciousness as deeply as this one, and Scout and Boo and Atticus are enduringly memorable characters, as is the Southern setting. [To Kill a Mockingbird has become a classic of modern American literature, winning the Pulitzer prize in 1961.]