The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland is a gorgeous book inside and out. The cover is to die for and inside the book each chapter is named after a different wild flower and accompanied by a stunning illustration. Even if you never read this book, you’d want to own it based purely on its visual loveliness. So it’s good to know that it’s also a wonderful story.
This debut novel tells the story of Alice Hart, a young girl whose childhood is marred by a terrible tragedy that sees her mother, father and dog killed in a fire. Up until this point, Alice has grown up isolated on a property under the thumb of her abusive father. Alice is emotionally scarred by all that she has been through. Continue reading →
Until recently I wasn’t a huge Young Adult (YA) book fan. Don’t get me wrong, I still read books like The Hunger Games trilogy and the Twilight series but I mostly did this because the popularity of both of these series was too huge to ignore. Even my husband and my dad read and loved The Hunger Games. But I thought these books were an anomaly that transcended their intended audience. Gosh, what did I know?
I didn’t read YA books because as an adult I assumed these books were too juvenile for me. I didn’t even read books in this category when I was a teenager. At about age twelve I just jumped straight to reading all the adult books on my parents’ book shelves. Continue reading →
Why did I wait so long to read this wonderful book? I had seen The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah being raved about for years and for some reason I never read it. It was only when I visited my parents’ place and saw this book on their shelf that I finally decided to give it a go. Even then it sat in my to be read pile for ages, alone and unloved, until I picked it up recently and started reading. And then I couldn’t stop until I had read it all. Continue reading →
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan is a book I wanted to read for a long time but never quite got around to reading. Then I heard about the movie coming out in a few months based on the book–and that was all the encouragement I needed to finally pick this up. I’m so glad that I did! It was FUN from start to finish and so enjoyable to read.
Like the title suggests, it’s a book about fabulously wealthy Asians. Most of the action takes place in Singapore and follows the lives of three very wealthy, interconnected families–the Youngs, the Shangs and the T’Siens. Into their lives comes Rachel Chu, a New York college professor who has no idea that her boyfriend of two years, Nick Young, is seriously wealthy and connected back home. Plus he is one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors and has a meddlesome mother who will do anything to stop Rachel and Nick becoming a permanent item. Nick invites Rachel to Singapore for the wedding of his best friend (in what will be the wedding of the year) and Rachel has no idea what she’s about to walk into. Continue reading →
Why do you like reading books? That’s a question I often get asked in a horrified tone by the non-bookish people in my life. People who never read, don’t understand why I do. I’ve long since given up trying to win them over to reading. In fact, I often turn the question back on them and ask ‘Well, why don’t you like reading?’ For me, reading is something I do as naturally as I breathe. I just have to read because I love it. But let me try to delve a little further into the ‘why’.
I love to read because I’m interested in the world and other cultures. I can learn so much about places I may never go from reading about them. Or I end up visiting these places because I’ve read so much about them. One of the reasons I went and lived in the UK for a year and a half was because of all the English literature I read.
Circe by Madeline Miller was a book that I gobbled up in a few days. I tried to pace myself but I just couldn’t. The magnificent writing, the story, the characters and settings all just flowed so beautifully and made this such a pleasant reading experience.
Without giving too much away, Circe tells the story of the nymph Circe (fancy that), daughter to the sun god, Helios. She is one of his many children and is considered ugly and weak-voiced compared to all the other gods. She is laughed at and ignored by her family, until the day she discovers an ability to transform gods and people using herb lore and witchcraft. Continue reading →
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James is a continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but with a difference–it’s all about a murder. The action takes place six years after Elizabeth and Mr Darcy’s marriage. They are now the parents of two boys and set to host an annual ball. Jane and Mr Bingley arrive at Pemberley and join Colonel Fitzwilliam and Darcy’s sister, Georgiana. On the eve of the ball the peace at Pemberley is disturbed when a hysterical Lydia Wickham arrives unannounced, screaming that her husband George Wickham is dead.
Something sinister has happened in the woods near Pemberley which will drag Wickham back into Darcy and Elizabeth’s lives.
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah was an amazing read. At first I had trouble getting into it (not the book’s fault), but then the story suddenly latched onto me and sent me on an entertaining and emotional ride. I am very rarely reduced to tears when I read, but this book had me wiping away tears on public transport and having to hide behind my sunglasses. Be careful reading parts of this book in public!
The story is told from the point-of-view of Lenora (Leni) Allbright, who we first meet at thirteen-years-old. She is the only child to a beautiful, fragile mother and a damaged father. Her dad was a POW during the Vietnam war and returned a changed man, prone to outbursts. But her parents love each other intensely. Continue reading →