Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (physical copies)
A very unique premise – in basic terms, ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ is written as Rhys’ imagined prequel to Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre.’ Interestingly, the setting this time is 1830s Jamaica, and the beautifully descriptive language is informed by Rhys’ own experiences growing up in the Caribbean.
‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ is dark and unsettling, and the landscape is almost another character itself. It’s a fascinating insight into colonial attitudes and the difficulties of feeling unmoored in a changing world.
Benjamin Labatut – When We Cease to Understand the World (physical copy, eBook)
I really enjoyed this book, which blurs the lines somewhat between fiction and non-fiction. Labatut takes the stories of various scientists and mathematicians and creates a strange “non-fiction novel” hybrid out of them. It has the informative aspects of non-fiction but the literary beauty of fiction and is unlike any other book I have read.
My favourite genre to read is probably contemporary fiction. I love books where if my family ask what they’re about, I always seem to say ‘nothing much’! This book has suburban drama and family dynamics at their best.
The story involves the relationships between the families of two NYPD officers from the early 1970’s to the present. Family life is depicted brilliantly with lots of subtle observations relating to social issues, marriage, family, and parenting, and how the risk factors associated with addiction and mental illness can follow and affect multiple generations. Perseverance, forgiveness, and overcoming adversity were prominent themes throughout.
I loved the writing style and the characters in this book. If you enjoy books by Anne Tyler, Liane Moriarty, or Celeste Ng, then you’ll probably enjoy this one.
‘Little Boxes’ is a coming-of-age story about friendship and love, loss, and survival and the first novel by Cecilia Knapp.
After Matthew’s grandfather dies suddenly, four friends struggle to face the trauma of their pasts in the wake of this fresh tragedy. Leah and Jay, a couple since their school days, find their relationship tested, while Nathan deals with a vast and unrequited love, and Matthew grapples with his sexuality.
In the days that follow, Matthew begins to unearth his grandfather’s past. He finds a different life, full of secrets, and discovers that he and his grandfather may have had more in common than he once thought.
Set in Brighton, after years of close childhood friendships these four friends begin to see they have different views and ambitions in life that they want to achieve, and they must find their own strength however hard it may be to follow their head not their hearts to find their own happiness whatever people around them say or think, even if it means leaving their old friends behind to explore a different life outside of Brighton.
The Secret Voices by M J White (Pen name for Miranda Dickinson) (physical copies)
I recently posted about this book as it was coming soon to Warwickshire Libraries, what can I say except Wow, what a book! If you’re a thriller or suspense novel reader, then this is absolutely for you.
I received my reserved copy on Monday and had read it by Wednesday. It would have been a whole lot quicker if I didn’t have to work and sleep. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, willing the characters on, right up until the last few pages. Let’s hope this is the start of a whole series of books involving Dr Cora Lael and DS Rob Minshull.
I don’t want to say too much about it because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but if you are going to read one book this year make it this one. One of my best reads this year.
A missing child, an acting Detective Superintendent out to prove his worth, a Detective Inspector terrified history is repeating itself and the only hope Hannah has, Dr Cora Lael who can hear her through the objects that she has touched, what more could you want from a suspense thriller. Thank you, M J White (Miranda Dickinson).
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (physical copies)
This is the first in a series I’ve had my eyes on for a while now and wow am I glad I finally picked it up; this is such a beautiful, heart-warming story.
The ensemble cast of the Wayfarer’s crew are really the heart of this story: stuck together on a long job requiring them to travel across the galaxy they are forced to learn about themselves and grow together as a “feather family”, as Sissix would say.
If you don’t read a lot of sci-fi this would be a good place to dip your toes in. Now I’m looking forward to devouring the rest of the series.
Blind Spot by Paula Hawkins (physical copies)
The closest of friends since they were children, Edie, Jake and Ryan thought the bonds between them were unbreakable. But then Jake is brutally murdered, and Ryan is accused of the crime. Edie finds herself alone, her world shattered and their past steadily catching up with her.
I have really enjoyed all of Paula Hawkins books to date so had to read the latest. But this is the first time that I’ve read a ‘quick read’. I can’t believe how much story got packed in! Lots of twists, turns and developed characters for those 128 small pages.
We hope you’re having a great summer and getting lots of books read, whether you’re staying at home and reading in the garden, in a local park or if you are venturing further afield and reading while lazing by a pool.