I haven’t uploaded a book stack in what feels like a very long time. The sunshine filled days this summer had me out doing things, not curled up on a rainy afternoon reading. So my reading only happened when I could snatch a minute here or there when I woke up, went home for lunch or before I went to sleep. Despite the limited time I had, I have managed to get through the birthday books my sister bought me and a couple of others. I have a few to keep me going to the end of the month and then I have some waiting in my Amazon basket for when payday comes around. This is, however, my most recent book stack. If anyone who knows me would want to read any of these just let me know as I have finished with them.
Little Fires everywhere – Celeste NG
I didn’t know what to expect from this book. It was a book I had seen in every store I passed this summer and was pleased to see it was one my sister had bought me for my birthday. It was the last book I have read in this stack so there might be a touch of familiarity as to why it is at the top but I do feel I got the most out of this story. Celeste’s talent lies with intertwining the lives of characters. The story is set in the early 90s with a few references to Jerry Springer, VCRs and the fact that no one communicates via mobile phones. The story initially begins with a house fire but as it develops the narrative moves on to babies, and ultimately what makes a good mother? There was a lot of narrative and background story to this novel but it never lost you and it never felt jumpy. She posed questions, made you think, reassess. You resonated and warmed to characters who initially felt cold. I didn’t want this story to end, it was the type of novel where you can already imagine watching it as a film, deciding who you would have playing each character so I was delighted to read that Reese Witherspoon is turning into a tv series!
The Cows – Dawn O’porter
This was by far the most addictive read of the stack. It was nothing groundbreaking with regards to narrative however it was such a compelling read I couldn’t put it down. When I started reading it I wasn’t that interested in having a book on the go, I was fully engrossed in Power on Netflix and was not interested in having any other distractions. I picked it up expecting to read a page or two but I don’t think I put it down until I had finished it all. The story follows three women, Camila a famous blogger, Tara a single mother trying to path a life for her and her daughter and Stella, in her late 20s who has lost her twin and her mother to cancer. The narrative follows these three through their lives in a short period of time, highlighting how we perceive others lives and how we only see our own struggles. The book really hit home the message that it’s never too late to change your situation, you can turn shit into good opportunities and to never judge a book (i.e peoples lives) by a cover, or what you read and see online.
Together– Julie Cohen
This was another birthday book purchased by my older sister and the one I was most excited about to start with. I don’t know why I thought it was set in England after reading the blurb, it must have just been an assumption but the book is set in Maine America in the present day. The story begins with Robbie, an elderly man, who although no one mentions it is suffering with dementia and is deciding to end his life before it takes over too much for his beloved wife Emily. The story then works backwards untangling a secret they both share together, finishing the book at the beginning of their story.
I loved how the book was set out, although a little hard to understand to begin with it soon made way and flowed nicely. The structure and writing style is very similar to versions of us which I have mentioned many times so I really enjoyed it. I found this book impossibly hard to put down, the characters captured you in instantly. There were plenty of twists and shocks, especially towards the end. One I am still not too sure about, I am not sure it was the right direction or decision for the book and I felt it left a few loose ends although after reading other reviews it doesn’t seem to be a shared concern so maybe it was just me. I loved reading this book however and would fully recommend to others as a holiday read.
Did you see Melody– Sophie Hannah
You should always take it as a warning when a book has received no formal reviews from press and have to use personal names. This story was bonkers, literally plucked out of thin air. There are crazy things that happen in the world, granted. But this didn’t seem plausible in the slightest. Cara is running away to a 5-star resort in America to get away from here ‘perfect’ husband and two children. You would think he had done something awful for her to spend a good chunk of their savings on such an extravagant holiday where she could think? I mean most of us would just stick a raincoat on and go for a walk. A whole host of things go wrong for this poor lady who is obviously very traumatised (insert all sarcasm) when she sees someone she can’t have seen because the girl she has seen is supposed to be dead, her parents are currently in prison serving time for her murder. And yes ladies and gentleman that is the story. I know I am the idiot who read it, and it really got no better than that. I am not saying I could have done a better job either, but then I never wanted to be a writer. Thankfully this was a book I found at a family member’s house and I didn’t pay for it. If you like really big writing, a bit of a crime drama and a completely unrelatable story then give it a read, however, there are so many better things you could waste your time on.