Mum and Dad took a while to read Anatomy of Murder, but that’s because Mum was reading it out loud to Dad a couple of chapters at a time after lunch. They like it. I made them cry. Good.
Mum reading aloud was a big part of my childhood. She does it very well, and they found it was a good way of keeping my brothers and me quiet in the back of the car on long journeys. My brothers are a few years older than me, so Mum had to find things that she thought would appeal to all of us. She found the classics worked. Austen, Dickens. We used to ask her to read to us on holiday too. I’ll always remember hearing the opening scene of Bleak House for the first time. We were in Scotland in the caravan and the weather was foul, but we all sat round the gas lamp playing patience and listening to that description of London in the fog and playing patience. I suspect my brothers were carving things. My father was probably washing up. It was rather magical. I would never have been able to read that alone at that age, but it played out like a film in mind to the hiss of the lamp. There, that’s why I’m a writer now. My mother hypnotised me into it.