For the third or fourth time in just a couple of weeks I find myself coming upon a series part-way through. But thankfully – once again – it was certainly not a problem. And I enjoyed this a lot, so have already added this book’s predecessor (cos there is only one) to my ‘must borrow or buy’ list.
The publicity surrounding The Truth and Triumphs of Grace Atherton suggests it would be popular with fans of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman – my favourite book of 2017, so I happily moved away from my crime fiction and thrillers to dip my toes into the quirky world of Grace Atherton.
It has to be said however, that Grace and Eleanor have little in common. And that’s not a bad thing. Anstey Harris’s Grace is very different to the prickly Eleanor (who readers couldn’t help but love) however this grabbed me from the first sentence…
We were staying at David’s apartment in Paris the night the woman fell onto the Metro tracks.
I don’t tend to give books as gifts but that’s only because I worry the recipient will think it’s one I got for free! However… they’re ideal presents and this time of year non-fiction books (including memoirs, cookbooks, self-help books) are out in force because they are – indeed – excellent gift ideas!
I’m not hugely into non-fiction. My eyes glaze over at the idea of someone’s memoir – no matter how interesting their life might be, or how inspiring they are. But two hardcover books have arrived (at casa Debbish) recently that I think would make excellent gifts.
I’d had an advance copy of this book for quite some time before I finally read it. I’d been waiting until closer to its publication date, but had I realised I’d enjoy it as much as I did, I might not have left it so long.
The book’s author, Sarah Vaughan was formerly a news reporter and political correspondent so is well-placed to write about politics and British Parliament and she certainly includes a lot of information about political landmarks and easily and casually references political machinations and the political game-playing ‘behind’ the politics.
Every Breath You Take is the fifth book in the series by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke, featuring Laurie Moran – producer of a TV show which delves into unsolved crimes. (And usually uncovers dastardly deeds. Not to mention the odd killer or two.)
The last book in the series, The Sleeping Beauty Killer saw a few changes with the departure of Laurie’s love interest (and the show’s host), lawyer Alex Buckley and I wondered if that meant he’d be gone from our lives as well as Laurie’s.
This will sound weird (and I know that’s never stopped me before) but there was something about: the title of this book, its cover and name of the author which made me think I was about to embark on Nordic Noir. And I was a little worried as not all books I’ve read which have been popular in their country of origin have translated as I’d hoped. (And I guess the same can be said when a great TV show is remade in English and into something a little more mainstream.)
However… all of those weird prejudices aside, this book was very very different to whatever it was I’d imagined and was – most certainly – an excellent read.
Last year I read Megan Miranda’s ingenious All The Missing Girls. It was cleverly written. Backwards. Like the movie Memento. I very much enjoyed the novel but the logical part of my brain tried to piece everything together chronologically and I was a little concerned it didn’t entirely flow as it should have.
The book – Miranda’s first non young adult novel – was very well received though and her second book has been eagerly awaited.
In 2013 Anna Romer released her much-lauded debut novel Thornwood House. I completely missed that, but around this time in 2014 I read and reviewed Anna Romer’s second book, Lyrebird Hill, a quintessentially Australian novel unfolding in two timeframes. In that review I commented on my usual reticence to read historical fiction, but found myself intrigued by the secrets, lies and family drama being unearthed.
Romer’s topped that with her latest novel, Beyond the Orchard. It’s a book that took me by surprise, forcing me to read it in a sitting (!!!). Romer’s talked in interviews about her inspiration – from stories, fairytales and legends and her fascination with old letters, diaries and long-held secrets. It brings a lyrical and almost mystical quality to her work that has the ability to enchant readers.