Category > Contemporary fiction

Perfect

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

Perfect, Rachel Joyce, book reviewByron Hemmings is a clever boy with an equally clever best friend James Lowe. When they hear about adding an extra two seconds, the idea astounds them both. But then Byron notices his watch moving backwards at the exact time the accident happened, and nothing will ever be the same. Together, these boys attempt to put things right during that spring and summer of 1972. 40 years later, the mental institution that Jim has been in and out of since he was 16 is closing its doors. Now Jim has to figure out how to live in the real world, and how to protect it from any harm he might cause. In this fascinating story, told in chapters that alternate between 1972 and 40 years later, Rachel Joyce (author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry) once again takes us on a uniquely personal journey in her second novel Perfect.


Continue reading

The Treasure of Kafur

Buy book online

Buy book online

The Treasure of Kafur,  Aroon Raman, book reviewGoing through the first few chapters I was tempted to ask whether Aroon Raman’s latest was fantasy or adventure because the hero is just 19 and accompanied by a troop of animal friends, a cow, a tortoise and a pair of ravens with whom he seems to be able to converse quite easily. It took a little time adjusting to that, but not too much since the animals are not too busy being twee and, in fact, so little time is given to their animalism that they could just as well be human.

It is 1580 and the ruler of Khandesh, the despotic Asaf Baig is gathering forces together to rise up against the Emperor Akbar who in twenty years of rule has made many enemies.


Continue reading

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion, Fannie Flagg, book reviewMrs. Earl Poole Jr., better known as Sookie, is almost 60 and still can’t get out from under her overpowering, and mentally unstable mother, Lenore Simmons Krackenberry. Lenore’s rich Simmons background and standing in the community is in a league of its own, and not one that Sookie ever felt comfortable in. But apparently, much of her family history was fiction. When Sookie finds out the truth as it applies to her in particular, it puts her into a tailspin, and takes her back to events in American history she never knew existed in a journey of discovery both of her own life and her heritage. This is Fanny Flagg’s The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion.

There are far few too authors out there that can make their readers laugh and cry at the same time.


Continue reading

The Puttermesser Papers

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The Puttermesser Papers, Cynthia Ozick, book reviewRuth Puttermesser is a keenly intelligent woman and a fervent feminist, who by all rights should have been living an exceptionally amazing life. But despite her Ivy League law degree and total dedication, at age 34 she seems stuck with her lack of ambition in an ambiguous sounding New York City municipal department. But that doesn’t mean she’s boring. In fact, she’s anything but that, mostly because she’s been observing things – everything. So when work suddenly turns sour she takes things into her own hands. But are the upheavals and chaos that ensue her own doing, or not? This is The Puttermesser Papers by Cynthia Ozick.


Continue reading

The Mysterious Ailment of Rupi Baskey

Buy book online

Buy book online

The Mysterious Ailment of Rupi Baskey, Hansda Sowvendra Sekhar, book reviewThe Santhal villages of Bengal and Jharkhand remain much of a mystery for most readers. Visitors to Shantiniketan admire their art and silver work or glimpse them in Satyajit Ray’s Aranyer Din Ratri. What is known is that the women are liberated, beautiful and drink haandi and that the Santhals are a very private, fiercely independent people. Hansda Sowvendra Sekhar’s debut novel takes us into the heart of the villages and into the stories behind their lives. Witchcraft or dahni-bidya is rife and women are rumoured to feast on human livers. In the middle of this comes the story of Rupi Baskey who delivers a child in the paddy field – an opening that reminds me of another novel, possibly Sarita Mandanna’s Tiger Hills, but one which seems to work here, though the story of Rupi gets diverted to the back story of her family, her step mother and her mother in law Purki.


Continue reading

Season to Taste or How to Eat Your Husband

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

Season To Taste or How To Eat Your Husband by Natalie Young, book reviewLizzie Prain is a fifty-something housewife in rural Surrey. She has been married to her dull husband Jacob for thirty years, and enjoys cooking, gardening and walking their dog Rita in the local woods. When the neighbours at the farm up the road mention they haven’t seen Jacob for a while, Lizzie tells them that he has left her for another woman and won’t be coming back. In fact, last Monday morning she spontaneously caved Jacob’s head in with a spade as he was planting a tree in their garden. Ever the practical sort, Lizzie’s thoughts turned immediately to how she will dispose of the body. Worried that burying Jacob in the woods will lead to his discovery – and be unpleasant for whoever did the finding – and burying him at the house would prevent her from ever moving away, she comes to a firm decision. The only way to dispose of Jacob is to eat him. After all, it would be morally wrong to waste all that meat.


Continue reading

The Thread

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The Thread, Victoria Hislop, book reviewDuring the 20th Century, the sea-side Greek city of Thessaloniki saw it all – fires, wars and earthquakes. This is the backdrop of Victoria Hislop’s novel The Thread. In it, we get to know the story of this city through a fictional cast of characters. As the book opens, Katerina and Dmitri’s grandson has come to visit. He asks them why they still live in this city, since their children and their families are all in England or the USA. The answer to his question is the story of these two people and this special city.

Novelist Hislop is well known for her love of the Mediterranean. Her first novel “The Island” was about Crete, and her second “The Return” was about Granada, Spain.


Continue reading

The Kitchen Daughter

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The Kitchen Daughter, Jael McHenry, book reviewGinny has Asperger’s, and one of the few things that calms and comforts her during times of stress, is cooking. So when she’s trying to cope with the sudden death of her parents by making one of her grandmother Nonna’s recipes, and Nonna’s ghost appears in the kitchen, she’s not sure what to think. Is she being cursed or has she got a gift? One thing for certain, she can’t tell her sister Amanda, or she’ll certainly have to move in with her and her family. More importantly, what was the message Nonna was trying to tell her, just as she faded away? Whatever it was, Ginny knows one thing – she wants to be left alone to find out and take care of herself, no matter what Amanda thinks. This is The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry.


Continue reading

The Invention of Wings

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The Invention of Wings,  Sue Monk Kidd, book reviewWhat is the worst thing that you have ever received as a birthday present? Some dreadful knitwear that you have been obliged to wear when visiting the person who burdened you with it? Perhaps something dull or mundane or embarrassing which showed an utter misunderstanding of you as a person? Something ugly that you have had to put out on display to avoid hurting the feelings of the giver, despite hating it? Spare a thought then for Sarah Grimké. For her eleventh birthday, she received another person as her present, complete with a gaudy bow tied around her neck.

The year is 1803 and the place Charleston, South Carolina. Sarah is a younger daughter in the wealthy and prominent Grimké plantation family, a family that owns nearly twenty domestic slaves just to keep their elaborate household running.


Continue reading

The Secret Life of Bees

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd, book reviewLily is a girl who has a special relationship with bees. In the hot, sticky South Carolina summer, she lays awake into the night to watch them crawl through a crack in her bedroom wall and dance around the room. Where most children would be scared of such an invasion, she finds it magical. One night, she is so struck by the wonder of this sight that she feels she will just burst if she doesn’t share it with someone; the only other someone in the house is her father, T Ray, who is decidedly unimpressed with being awoken. This does not really surprise Lily, for T Ray is a bitter man who is generally unimpressed with Lily herself. Aged fourteen, her mother has been dead for the past ten years, leaving her with just T Ray to live with and a surrogate mother in the help, Rosaleen.


Continue reading

The Truth About You

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The Truth About You, Susan Lewis, book reviewIn Susan Lewis’ latest book, The Truth About You, Lainey Hollingsworth is determined to find exactly that – the truth about her past. Her mother, now deceased, never told her anything about her real father, and now that she is no longer around to ask, the only way to find out is for Lainey to travel to her native Italy and to the town where she was born. However, in order to do so, she also needs to sort out her life at home even if that means uncovering some unpleasant truths. Where is her husband Tom just when she needs him and what does her teenaged daughter Tierney get up to? There are more secrets than she probably wants the answers to. When she does learn the truth about herself, how will she cope? And in doing so, will she be there to support her family and help, them come through their own trials?


Continue reading

The Outline of Love

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

The Outline of Love, Morgan McCarthy, book reviewGreek myth tells us of the young maiden Persephone, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, who was abducted by Hades while out playing in the fields with her companions one day. Hades takes the girl to his underworld realm and makes her his bride, while above ground her mother Demeter, goddess of the harvest, searches in anguish for her lost daughter, pleading for Persephone to be returned to her. When she learns that Zeus has conspired in Persephone’s fate, she refuses to let anything flower or fruit until her daughter is freed from Hades. Persephone is eventually returned so that her mother may restore balance to the world, but as she was tricked by her husband into eating his realm’s food, she is condemned to spend each winter as queen of the underworld, with her return to Earth each spring signalling the time that Demeter will bring life and colour back to the world. In Morgan McCarthy’s new book, The Outline of Love, we are given, if not a reworking, then certainly a parallel story that is broken up into ten parts, each preceded by a piece of the myth that creates a spine of structure throughout the text.


Continue reading

prev posts prev posts