If you have suddenly found yourself swamped with academic obligations and in need of an engaging outlet, then let me do you the honor of introducing Sidney Sheldon. Sheldon is an American director, writer and producer who has, over the span of his life, sold millions of copies of his novels worldwide; he is currently the most translated author to ever exist. Sheldon’s legacy includes a wide array of page-turners that are worth checking out.
First up is Sands of Time, an engrossing tale set in 1976 Pamplona, Spain that oversees the lives of Jaime Miro, a revolutionary whose sole purpose is to gain autonomy for the Basque people, and his two companions who share the same ideal. Although Miro’s zest for freedom fighting and prison breaks create enticing visuals, it is the story of the four nuns turned fugitives that really takes the cake. Each nun has an intriguing backstory. Lucia is the daughter of a formidable mob boss and is hiding within the walls of the Cistercian convent. Graciella, on the other hand, is escaping her past through finding conviction. Megan shares that conviction but unknowingly comes from one of the most powerful families in New York, and Teresa has deemed outside life unworthy due to her misgivings with romance. Overall, this novel explores the dangers of revolt and the hopeful despair that often comes with love in a timeless manner.
A personal favorite of mine is The Other Side of Midnight, a historical novel spanning both World Wars. The novel follows Noelle Paige, an eccentric woman who comes from a low-income family. She seizes control of her life through the mastery of seduction but later falls in love with the wrong man. This is definitely a great book for all fans of the concept that “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” If this does interest you, also check out the sequel, The Dark Side of Midnight.
Now that we have romance and thriller down, it is time we stepped into sci-fi territory with Doomsday Conspiracy. After being sent out on a covert mission to Switzerland by the National Security Agency, Robert Bellamy finds himself thrown into the world of conspiracy theories, uncovered government secrets and the possibility of contact with extraterrestrial life. If you’re a sci-fi geek looking for a touch of environmentalism in a fantastical world, then Doomsday Conspiracy is the novel to read.
At the risk of veering too much into the romantic section of Sheldon’s work, The Stars Shine Down is simply a must-read. With roots in the mining districts of Nova Scotia and an eventual lead-up to a dazzling life in Chicago’s real estate scene, Lara Cameron’s character is a force to be reckoned with throughout the entire novel. Through her life story, we see the complexities that come with being a successful businesswoman who still grapples with difficulties of past poverty and future hopes and dreams. The Stars Shine Down is perhaps Sheldon’s least jarring book due to its minimal gore and violence, but it contains a sweet touch that you won’t find in many of his other novels.