William Nicholson puts such thought into his novels. He's not 'just' a skilled storyteller with a screenwriter's ear for dialogue, his books are layered with themes, people and episodes which link one to another, although each stands on its own, and those common elements have so much heart behind them - emotional honesty, compassion - that the reader surely can't fail to respond to that openness in the writer himself.
His latest, Reckless (which as I write is a Kindle bargain) moves from the 1940s to the early '60s, the Cuban missile crisis and the Cold War. Rupert Blundell is strategic adviser to Lord Mountbatten, Chief of Defence Staff, and as his confidant and wise counsel he has a part to play in the high stakes game of diplomatic and military manoeuvrings, but it's his personal life which preoccupies Rupert, and a relationship which develops from unlikely beginnings.
Elsewhere in London, Rupert's young family friend Pamela Avenell is in search of 'life', and falling in with Stephen Ward's coterie, this beautiful but naive girl ultimately finds herself questioning her ambitions.
International politics, real people and events provide the setting for a most touching love story, but it is in his fictional characters' personal predicaments and development that William Nicholson excels, and where his romantic idealism proves irresistible.