Excited to start this, I love books set in bookshops (largely due to my dreams of running my own one day) so hoping this doesn‘t disappoint.
Kristin Hannah is a definite favourite of mine and so far this book does not disappoint.
This was not quite as good as the reviews had me believe. Whilst the writing is spot on and carefully portrays Belfast during the troubles I never quite felt the build up to the tragedy you knew was on its way, was effective. It just felt a bit flat for me. However from a historical point of view it was brilliant and I felt the feelings of the characters and their behaviours brought a real depth to the description. A solid read but not a rave!
Sitting with this book on my lap now, not ready to admit I‘ve finished. I‘m not sure I remember the last time I read a book that broke my heart like this one. A beautiful book, full of carefully crafted characters, flawed but beautiful. I loved them all. However Marx was one of my all time favourite literary characters. An outstanding book, worth all the hype. I adored it. I‘d give it 6 stars if it was an option.
I felt like Demon had led a 100 lives before he even turned 18. An excellent piece of storytelling. I found it hard to keep going at times as the content is so grim in places but also this is the skill of Kingsolver to confront you as a reader to the sad and devastating lives of children who experience life this way. I think this one will last in my memories for a long time.
Just over half way through this and really enjoying its narration. I‘ve read quite a few reviews and feel this book definitely has a love/hate relationship with its readers. It‘s what put me off reading it initially. Have you read it? What did you think? Genuinely curious to know your thoughts.
Finally warm enough to read in the garden! Finished the tagged this weekend. Really dragged my heels on this one as the first 100pages were pretty hard going. However you needed to understand exactly what growing up in this family was to understand that to walk away from it took incredible strength. I was surprised how tearful I felt at multiple points during the last 80 pages. A difficult but interesting read.
Bank holiday weekend sorted. Already half way through Black Cake which I put on my TBR pile a while back after it was recommended by the Obamas. Unfollow is my pick for book club this month, after being challenged to pick a non-fiction book. Have read good reviews so hopefully it doesn‘t disappoint.
Oh, this is going to be good! Started this whilst waiting for my youngest at the track. Can‘t put it down, it drew me in from the first page. Reminding me of another favourite of mine Plainsong. Can‘t wait to see where this book goes.
My last book of 2022, reaching 45 for the year. The most I have read in years. Stepping away from my phone and spending more time reading has reminded me why it is my favourite thing to do. This book is an insightful view on a direction you can quite easily see modern society going. Whilst it is easy to judge the main character, the skill of the author encourages you to look at all sides. A little woolly in the middle but it finished strong. 3/5
Loved this book! It is Hollywood glamour from the outset and such an enjoyable read. I laughed, cried and felt so much for the characters in this book. Its beautiful story telling and it has confirmed I‘m a big Taylor Jenkins Reid fan. Highly recommend! 5 🌟
This was a real page turner. Told through a series of flashback and current events it cleverly weaves together the pasts of each characters. The result being that you are swept along in their mystery of Joy Delaney‘s disappearance, never being quite sure who may be involved. Twists and turns along the way meaning I often found myself thinking about this book during the day. I‘ve enjoyed most of Moriarty‘s books but this one more than most.
Martha sees all her flaws but is powerless to do anything about them. She is looking at herself in a mirror screaming at herself to get it together but her reflection just keeps fading away. Countless prescriptions have dulled the edges of her life and include the advice not to have children. Once properly diagnosed at the age of 40, she realises that to be a mother is all she has ever wanted. The revelation is heartbreaking.
I‘m a fan of many of Jodi‘s books but this one wasn‘t for me. Based on the pandemic, it is clever, well researched and I imagine very true to life for many who lived through it. The twist in the middle is quite a shock and definitely added a dynamic to the story that I wasn‘t expecting. However this one just recalled too many memories of a time I don‘t wish to relive in a book. I‘m sure for many this will be therapeutic, I‘m just not one of them.
I‘m glad I‘ve read this book and would highly recommend but be ready to deal with the honest depiction of this horrific period of history. The author is on a mission to make you see and feel it all.
Cora‘s escape on the Underground Railroad is a non- stop ride of fear and danger. She is never able to feel truly free, haunted by a past that nips at her heels the whole way through. A richly developed character who you will hope for endlessly.
I think what resonated most with me in this book was how accurate I felt it‘s portrayal of marriage was. A marriage that is pushed up against the ropes, when all feels helpless. Celestial and Roy are separated by prison, Roy accused of a crime that Celestial knows he didn‘t commit. Devotion, shown through letters starts to wain as one goes forward in life and the other is incarcerated. It‘s heartbreaking but honest. Deserving of its rave reviews.
This book was epic, all 670 pages of it but I‘m so glad I chose it to be a holiday read so that I could be fully absorbed in it. A book with layers like this needs to be given the time it deserves to be truly loved. Marian Graves dreams of being a pilot and to circumnavigate the globe. So the story is set in motion as the author traverses the 20th century through the lives of 2 women predominantly but many other beautifully written characters. 5🌟
I stumbled upon this book whilst looking for a book club recommendation by the same author and oh my goodness what a find. I adored this book from the first page, it‘s clever, beautifully written and such a thoughtful and sympathetic insight into the many struggles people have. This beautiful quote ‘He was my echo, everything I do is quieter now.‘ Speaks of a love we all dream of. So happy to have found this author. 5 stars 🌟
I like a clever book and multiple narratives often captivate me, however this just felt like a bad case of repeated deja vu. The character of Amber is instantly unlikeable and her cocky arrogance is really irritating! The other characters do little to ingratiate themselves to you, although I did find Magnus‘ narrative more honest than the others. I‘m sure there are many who loved this book but for me it tries to be clever and just falls flat.
This book felt personal to the author and I wasn‘t surprised to read at the end that it was loosely based on her own experiences. Both of the female voices are strong and easily distinguishable as they tell the same story from their perspective. I felt immersed in their stories and therefore parts were uncomfortable to read. It is the talent of the author to evoke these feelings in the reader and I think for Jones this is very much her intention.
I have long since learnt that Hannah doesn‘t really write happy endings, more often bitter-sweet and often heartbreaking. Set during the Great Depression, the rich story telling transports you back in time to the Great Plains where you feel deeply the hardship and struggle so many endured. The character of Elsa is so tenderly written that I found myself desperately hoping she‘d get her happy ending. If only Hannah wrote those now and again. 4/5🌟
Having read the Vanishing Half last year, I was really looking forward to this and it didn‘t disappoint. I really loved the book and found the carefully woven tapestry of the different types of mother fascinating and insightful. To be a mum, to want to be, to not being able to be . Each story is told in such a clever thoughtful way that it evokes so many different feelings in the reader. A book full of soul, I‘d highly recommend it to others. 5 🌟
This book would not be for everyone, the blurb leads you to expect a different narrative than the one you end up getting. I kept waiting for Hariut to be captured and each time I thought it was about to happen the narrative switched again and it felt quite disjointed. Despite this I enjoyed the multi-layering of voices and the different perspectives gave a richness to the historical aspect of the book. Not an easy read but worth the effort.
This book is like a gentle breeze on a summer‘s day. It leaves you with a deep seeded contentment that only the most special books can. Offering a window into the soul of small town America, I was mesmerised by the beautiful storytelling from the first page. This is a book that will stay with you long after you have carefully placed it on your bookshelf. To be read again multiple times in the future.
This book was reasonably enjoyable and the plot twists were just enough to keep me intrigued until the end. However I felt it lacked another voice and the choice of Hannah as the sole narrator meant you didn‘t get the opinions and thoughts of Owen and his daughter. An interesting choice considering the story centred around their lives. If you like thrillers it‘s not a bad choice. 3/5 stars.
A sisterhood exists in one of Pompeii‘s most notorious brothels where the brutalities of life as a slave are shared in intimate detail with the reader. Amara, once a doctor‘s daughter struggles more than most with the life she finds herself in. Despite her loyalty to the other women in the brothel she is not prepared to settle with what fate has dealt out to her and her journey to becoming a freed woman is captivating in places. An enjoyable read.
The 10th book towards my target of 50. Every time I read this book, I take away something new, whilst many reviews focus on the religious element of the narrative, this book is so much more to me. Friendship, love and loss are the prevailing factors I feel. This quote sums it up perfectly ‘When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time.‘ Such a beautiful book.
Utterly gripping says The Guardian, not so much say I. I really struggle when I don‘t like any of the characters in a book, you don‘t root for them and you don‘t care what happens to them. Set to the backdrop of a small rundown seaside town, this book is bleak! Slowly it winds its way to a conclusion with so many characters who are never really developed, that when the killer is finally revealed it all feels a bit flat. 2/5 stars for me.
This book hurt my heart in places. Beautifully written but at first I struggled with how the stories would link (for I felt sure they had to). When they do it‘s one of those moments when you pause on the page and a wave of emotion hits you. Leo Gursky is instantly likeable and you find yourself wishing throughout the book his life would have a different end but it seems just to have had a great love was enough. The world needs more Leo Gurskys. 5*
This year I have challenged myself to read 50 books, most of which will be first time reads but this book has to be added to the list. Words can‘t really express how much I adore this book. Picking it up is like a conversation with an old friend. If you haven‘t read it, I highly recommend you do so and soon.
The imagery in this book is so vivid, it felt like I was there. Definitely a book that will sit with me for some time to come. After a horrific storm, wipes out the island of Vardo‘s men, the women left behind have to learn how to survive. The storm however is to be only the beginning of the troubles these women come to endure. Based on actual historical events the depiction of the witch trials during this time is chilling and heartbreaking.
A bit of a lighter tone. I have to admit that Karen Swan‘s books always give me a warm feeling but the ones set around Christmas time are my favourite. Midnight in the snow mixes the slopes of Austria with a tragic story of the lows that can come with competitive sport. A light, easy read but hugely enjoyable.
Wow, the good reviews are well deserved. I found myself thinking about the characters in this book all the time. Your heart will ache at the end but the carefully woven timelines are so beautifully written you won‘t want to stop. Hamnet tells the story of the tragic life of Shakespeare son, alongside presenting a rich tapestry of the lives of himself and his wife. The author describes this book as her ‘idle speculation‘ it is far from that.