Saturday, 21 March 2015

Cecelia Ahern: How to fall in love

Christine Rose is crossing the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin late one night when she sees a stranger, Adam, poised to jump. Desperate to help, she talks him into a reckless deal: if he gives her two weeks – till his 35th birthday – she’ll prove that life is worth living. But as the clock ticks and the two of them embark on late-night escapades and romantic adventures, what Christine has really promised seems impossible...

An easy bath-tub read about falling in love when you least expect it. The story about Christine and Adam is a little predictable, but the conversations between Christine and her friends and family are written well, so that they do make for funny and relaxing reading. A very quick read and lovely chick-flick by Ahern again.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Karen Perry: The boy that never was

Three-year-old Dillon vanished in the middle of the night. His father Harry can't forgive himself for not protecting his only child. Yet Harry isn't blamed by his wife Robin: she bares her own secret guilt. Five years later, thousands of miles away, Harry spots an eight-year-old boy in a crowd - a boy he is convinced is Dillon. Desperate to find his missing son, Harry's obsession tears apart his marriage, exposing shameful secrets and shattering the one thing he and Robin had left - trust. Why won't Robin believe Harry? What is she hiding? Can the boy really be Dillon? And how far will Harry go to find their lost son?

This is another story about communication or the lack thereof in a relationship. Both Harry and Robin have their secrets and actually tear their relationship apart rather than attempting to fix it. The story is told from Robin's and Harry's perspective so that the reader can identify with both quite easily. I must admit that I do not really like Harry for his unfaithfulness, but his conviction and obsession to find the dead boy is amazing. Interesting story.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Emma Healey: Elizabeth is missing

Meet Maud. Maud is forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn't remember to drink it. She goes to the shops and forgets why she went. Sometimes her home is unrecognizable - or her daughter Helen seems a total stranger. But there's one thing Maud is sure of: her friend Elizabeth is missing. The note in her pocket tells her so. And no matter who tells her to stop going on about it, to leave it alone, to shut up, Maud will get to the bottom of it. Because somewhere in Maud's damaged mind lies the answer to an unsolved seventy-year-old mystery. One everyone has forgotten about. Everyone, except Maud...

This was a fantastic story. Maud is a loveable character and her difficulties with her memory cause her and thus the reader great distress. The storyline is gripping, and as a reader I was keen to find out more about Elizabeth and why she is missing. The way the story is written is unique and it actually makes the reader feel as if you were the one that has got dementia, which is somehow a little disturbing, as it shows how other people around you will react to you, and how you feel when you are lost like Maud. A fantastic read!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Celeste Ng: Everything I never told you

Lydia is the favourite child of Marilyn and James Lee; a girl who inherited her mother's bright blue eyes and her father's jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, James is consumed by guilt, Marilyn is determined to make someone accountable, Lydia's older brother, Nathan, is convinced that local bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it's the youngest in the family - Hannah - who observes far more than anyone realises and who may be the only one who knows what really happened.

This is an interesting story about a family whose members keep their own wishes, wants and needs secret from everybody else. And so it happens that wishes are imposed on others and actions are interpreted wrongly, which in turn leads to further complications. A heart-felt story about communicating with your loved ones and how important it is to stay true to yourself. Hannah, who is the youngest and therefore not quite as adept at playing emotional games, turns out to be the most perceptive and honest character of them all. But then she also doesn't struggle to fit in, unlike Nath and Lydia whose looks make them stand out quite prominently. A great story.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Karen Joy Fowler: We are completely beside ourselves

This is the story of an American family, middle class in middle America, ordinary in every way. Meet the Cooke family: Mother and Dad, brother Lowell, sister Fern, and our narrator, Rosemary, who begins her story in the middle. She has her reasons...

I was ready to give up on this story. I had gotten to page 75 or so, and I still couldn't really understand why this book had been praised so much recently. Well on page 77 came the revelation and this changed the nature of the book so that actually I was eager to find out the full story about Rosemary, Lowell and Fern. A fantastic read and I would love to be able to discuss this with a range of people in a book club or so.