So I thought I’d try something a bit different today, what with it being a Monday morning and all. Also, I’m feeling a little bit lazy after the weekend. My brain is somewhat scrambled and I’m having trouble forming coherent sentences today.
Instead of posting my usual longer reviews, I thought I’d offer a brief summary of some of the books I’ve read over the past couple of weeks, to give a brief taster of what I’ve enjoyed, or haven’t necessarily liked so much.
- A Crack in Forever-Jeannie Brewer– a moving and poignant story of a young couple who seem to have the world at their feet until one of his teenage mistakes comes back to haunt him. Well-written and sensitively handled, I enjoyed the majority of this novel, though I found the ending somewhat rushed and a tad far-fetched in places. It did have me in tears however with all of the angst. Possibly not a book to encounter if you are feeling sad. 4 stars out of 5.
- The Parasites- Daphne Du Maurier– not, I have to say, my favourite Du Maurier to date. This is a story of complex sibling relationships, of rivalry and of love. Atmospheric as always and beautifully written, I actually found the story itself to be somewhat dry and the characters not especially realistic. This book was something of a disappointment in comparison to her other novels, at least for me. I had expectations of it rivalling Rebecca or Jamaica Inn in its brilliance, but alas, that was certainly not the case. 3.5 stars out of 5.
- Sarah’s Key- Tatiana de Rosnay– a beautifully written heartbreaker of a story. Set against dual time-frames, one in the 1940’s and one in a more contemporary setting, this was a fascinating account of a forgotten part of France’s history set against the backdrop of the Holocaust. I found myself engrossed in this book at least seventy-five percent of the way through, but its ending was something of a let-down. The contemporary timeframe was also far less interesting than the historical one, though I often find this to be the case. 4 stars out of 5.
- The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing– Tarquin Hall– The second book in the Vish Puri detective series was happily a worthy follow-up to the first. Full of colourful characters, vibrant settings, subtle humour and offering a tantalising glimpse into modern India, it was a crime novel I enjoyed greatly. These books always leave me longing to try Indian street food too! This was the perfect escapist reading in fact, after a few heavier books I’ve encountered lately. 4 stars out of 5
- A View of the Harbour- Elizabeth Taylor– this character-driven story offers a voyeuristic insight into the lives and habits of the residents of a sleepy seaside town. Though a bit of a slow-burning read, I found it nonetheless to be an enjoyable one and I really love Taylor’s ability to craft believable characters. From the bedridden, bitter spinster to the glamourous divorcee who is having an affair with her best friends husband, this novel was evocative of another era and written in a very atmospheric manner. I do prefer Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont, by this same author, however. 4 stars out of 5
At this moment in time I am reading two Guardian definitive reads… books: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. Needless to say, I am enjoying both of them so far, though with Plath I had anticipated something especially bleak and depressing. Her writing style is wonderful however. I have estimated that I have read roughly ninety novels out of the list of one thousand so far. Not bad going but still a lot left to read!
I will be back in a couple of days with my April Reading Analysis. 🙂