Book review: Dear Child by Romy Hausmann

Sunday, May 17, 2020 Permalink

I was worried I was offering up spoilers by saying Dear Child by Romy Hausmann very much reminded me of Room by Emma Donohue. And then I read the media release and discovered it’s promoted as ‘Gone Girl meets Room’.

It certainly reminded me of Room – initially at least. Of course I’ve read other similar books as the theme of women / children in long-term captivity (having escaped) was pretty popular for a while. (And sadly it seemed fiction was mirroring what we were reading in the newspapers for a while.)

Interestingly this book (originally written in German—translated by Jamie Bulloch—and set in a town near the Czech border) offers something slightly different, as we fairly quickly learn that many of the assumptions we make aren’t—in fact—correct.

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four-stars

Book review: If It Bleeds by Stephen King

Sunday, May 3, 2020 Permalink

I don’t read short stories. And yes I know, it’s weird and makes no sense. However as I launched into Stephen King’s newest release If It Bleeds, I was reminded that much of his early work, that I loved, were (in fact) short stories.

The title’s namesake, If It Bleeds, is in fact possibly almost a novella and is a sequel to The Outsider. It’s complemented by three other shorter stories and I actually… preferred a couple of those as I’m not a huge fan of the fantasy / horror genre. Twisty yes, but I’m a lover of logic so I like trying to wrap my head around something mysterious or even mind-bending, rather than fantastical. If that makes sense.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Seven Lies by Elizabeth Kay

Friday, April 24, 2020 Permalink

Debut author Elizabeth Kay works in the publishing industry so knows what works and what doesn’t.

It’s obvious our host Jane is one of the increasingly popular ‘unreliable’ narrators. She tells us that herself at the beginning. About the lies she’s told and what happens as a result. My own thoughts on Jane changed and morphed however… there’s a reluctance initially, to engage. But then we get to know her. We learn her story and it’s hard not to warm to her and like her. But then… well, then things change again. And if you’re like me you can kinda sympathise yet grimace at the same time!

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four-stars

Book review: The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Monday, April 20, 2020 Permalink

Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare was one of my THREE favourite books of 2019. Unfortunately – and unfairly for her – it meant she had a lot to live up to with the release of her second book.

Fortunately for her (and thankfully for me), O’Leary certainly didn’t fall into the dreaded second-book trap (ie. in which it’s a disappointment: either an ‘actual’ disappointment, or just in comparison to the debut) as I was absolutely smitten with her new novel, The Switch.

I read it over two nights – which is unusual for me as I’m normally all about instant gratification. However, I had to put it aside on the first night and returned to it the next and….  those who know me would have seen my tweet (below)… I was enjoying it so much that I didn’t want it to end.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel

Wednesday, April 8, 2020 Permalink

I enjoyed The Roanoke Girls published in 2017 but Amy Engel’s latest release, The Familiar Dark, actually frog-leapt over several other books for a rather superficial reason. Its slimness.

Don’t get me wrong, the backcover blurb made it sound gripping, so I was keen to read it—but given everything that’s happening in the world—like many others, I’m struggling to maintain focus for extensive amounts of time. Large tomes have felt a little overwhelming. But I knew (again from the blurb) this would be a book I could read in a sitting. (And it was!)

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four-stars

Book review: The Paris Secret by Natasha Lester

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 Permalink

All of Natasha Lester’s novels have featured ground-breaking women. Those ahead of their time – battling society’s norms and often weighed down by the expectations of those they love.

Her books I’ve enjoyed most have probably featured women with more virtuous pursuits (and I don’t mean to imply beauty products/make-up or designing fashion aren’t lofty life goals). Her first book, A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald featured a woman battling to get into medical school in the early 1920s; her last, The French Photographer a female war photographer.

Her books unfold in multiple timeframes, usually the past and present(ish). Her latest, The Paris Secret is no different and is probably my favourite since her first. Not only did I enjoy the characters and their stories, but Lester’s writing is quite exquisite.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The River Home by Hannah Richell

Friday, February 28, 2020 Permalink

A local friend was raving about Hannah Richell’s writing (and books) and I had to admit I hadn’t read any.

Thankfully I’d requested her latest and I can see why my fellow-avid-reader loves her work. Her writing is stunning. I’m not a very visual person so some of her incredibly descriptive prose is probably wasted on me, but she strings words and phrasing together in an almost lyrical fashion. As if it comes easily.

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four-stars

Book review: Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 Permalink

I starting reading this book amidst a terrible case of murder / suicide in my home state. Domestic violence rather than child abuse reared its ugly head but it involved the murder of a family – as a result – there have been many discussions since about men hurting children they purport to love.

Kelly Rimmer’s latest book Truths I Never Told You unfolds from the points of view of two women. One struggling to engage with her child, and the other struggling against the urge to lash out and harm hers.

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three-half-stars