It's often said that prolific readers have vast imagination – perhaps they just have vast curiosity. There are as many sorts of books as there are people who read, and to envisage a world where no-one ever wrote a book again is like trying to visualise the end of the world – possible but not probable, for writing is a response to the demand for depth and solace in the individual soul which reaches out for connection to what else is possible within other souls.
Follows the actions of a family in London during the summer heatwave of 1976. The mother & father, originating from Ireland, have three adult children all successful in their own way, but when the father goes missing it unfolds the issues which each of them is undergoing. A very thoughtful and ponderous book, a meandering sort of writing which appeals to people who like observation and wit rather than plot. Patience is needed whole the characters unfold fully and the back plot is told. But it’s value and charm lie in the warmth and authenticity of these real human being. Worth a read if you love families, modern life and the stresses of each.
Story of a French Architect in 1942 Paris caught between the Nazis and the Resisstance who becomes notorious for building hiding places for Jewish victims of the regime. A novel which begins lightly and then darkens and pulls you in. Superbly written and simply told. Honest and raw in narrative spiced with humorous warmth. Brilliantly constructed characterisations and plot. A very rare sort of novel which defies genre.
If you like conspiracy mixed with action, then this is for you. FBII, SIS and antiquarian book sellers handling a rare book from the middle ages, sought after by all the powers that be and pointing to a hidden library. A life and death rush to get to the prize and escape alive again. Good plot, likable character. The style is not ‘Dan Brown’ and the narrative is very compelling. A good read which requires concentration on who is on whose side.
Three couples unfold a story of ideals, land feuds and past life memory. Diverse personalities of differing ages, temperaments and professions. English rural life combines the infinite and seamless potential for life beyond the known agenda with the continuing mundane struggles of pressure and success amid the well-heeled and the poorer. An interesting montage of plot and action that spins the story into realms unexpected. Told with simplicity, wit and acute observation into human affection and frailty, it is unsentimental and honest. The style of writing evokes visual drama and is a colourful arc of discovery.
A stunningly impressive read. A psychological thriller which brings you in from page one. Dark in essence it falls short of the macabre by its empathy and insight into human nature at its frailest. A must read for anyone who loves to be gripped by suspense and intrigue. Contemporary fictional drama at its best.
A riveting revelation of an attraction between two women in the repressive era of the nineteen twenties London, from this master novelist who gave us ‘Fingersmith’ and ‘Tipping The Velvet’ The plot is flawless and the narrative unswerving in its climactic ascent to an accident which becomes a crisis and turns the tale into something else entirely. This book is probably the kind to be read twice.
This is one of the ‘Jack Reacher - trouble shooting investigator’ series by this prolific author. And if you like the getting down and dirty with integrity type heroes, and if you’ve never read any of this man’s novels, this one is a good place to start. Lee Child has a way with descriptive narrative and plot that lifts his work away from the mundane thriller pulp fiction. A woman and her child fight for freedom from a tyrannical rich Texas family while her abusive husband is set to leave jail, and then things go from bad to worse.
If you like the English Lake District, and amateur sleuthing and dogs, you may enjoy this tale of parochial life in the county renowned for Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. The plot is somewhat hard to follow, but reveals a very surprising ending. Set mainly in a floristry shop and surrounding township it evolves in a seven or eight day period of comings and goings and skullduggery. It is a more gentle who-dun-it and not without its comic interludes. We suspect it may be of fascination to people who are frequent visitors or lovers of that part of the world. Revoking the familiar surroundings and landmarks, from this author who also wrote ‘The Cotswold Mystery” series.
This is a masterpiece of observation by a contemporary writer who excels in historical fiction. The story or Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, two women who were real people existing in the early 1800’s and put the Dorsetshire coastline on the map of geological history Both from different social classes they are collectors and hunters of fossils and rare curiosities to be found in the cliffs and sands around Lyme Regis. At a time when women were not recognized for their academic skills they form an unlikely alliance and close bond born of the finding of a prehistoric relic of an animal. Tracey Chevalier is known most for her best selling ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ but everything she produces has her unique touch of realism and truth into the times she writes on. This book does not disappoint.
One of the most original novels you may ever read. This quirky story is gripping and humorous. It details friendship between adolescent boys in the fierce landscape of the desert and the harsh environment of a supposed correctional centre in Texas. The text is sparse and the dialogue succinct. It takes you in and absorbs your imagination to the point where you live the experience with the characters. A relatively short but exhilarating read.
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