I’m a massive fan of author Marian Keyes and I’ve been reading her books for years. So, you can be sure that I snapped up her latest book Grown Ups as soon as it was released. It’s a seriously chunky read at over 600 pages long. But I found it easy to get through.
Set in Ireland, Grown Ups tells the story of three women: Jessie, Cara and Nell. They are married to the three Casey brothers (Johnny, Ed and Liam). The Casey family likes getting together regularly to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and to go on holidays. They appear to be one big happy family. But like all marriages, and all families, there are plenty of problems, secrets and tensions lurking beneath the surface. And this tension is about to explode at Johnny’s birthday party. Continue reading →
I recently did a reread of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I read this many years ago and had pretty much forgotten everything. But the TV series was fresh in my memory. I wanted to do a reread before moving on to the sequel The Testaments. I was once again blown away by this powerful book. It’s a book with themes that are scary because they are so plausible. Continue reading →
A Lifetime of Impossible Days by Tabitha Bird tells the unforgettable story of Willa Waters aged eight, 33 and 93. In 1965, eight-year-old Willa receives a mysterious box. Inside is a jar of water and the instructions: ‘One ocean: plant in the backyard.’ In doing so, Willa creates a time portal that allows her to visit her future selves.
In 1990, Willa is 33, a wife and the mother of two small boys. She’s dealing with dark memories from her tragic childhood. When she encounters her eight-year-old self in the garden it sends her spiralling out of control.
Beartown by Fredrik Backman is one of those books I’ve been seeing around everywhere for a long time. When I discovered a copy at a second-hand book sale I went to recently, I finally picked it up.
Beartown is a small, struggling town nestled deep in the forest in Sweden. But this sporting town felt like it could be anywhere – in Canada, America, even Australia if you swapped hockey for rugby league. Beartown doesn’t have much going for it besides its ice hockey team. The townspeople’s lives revolve around the ice rink and the fortunes of their team echoes the fortunes of the town.
This season a win by the junior hockey team in the national championships could change everything for the teenage players, the club management and trainers, their families and the rest of the town.
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary was such a fun read. I saw this book everywhere before finally jumping on the reading bandwagon — and I’m so glad that I did. I loved this story. The writing reminded me of Jojo Moyes and Marian Keyes — both who are favourite authors of mine. The story also reminded me of my own experience moving into a share house and finding love. But more on that later…
The Flatshare tells the story of Tiffy and Leon. Tiffy works as a book editor for a craft book publisher. She has to find somewhere affordable to live in London (in a hurry) after breaking up with her douchey boyfriend, Justin. Continue reading →
Paris for One is a short story collection by Jojo Moyes. I’m a big fan of Jojo Moyes but I don’t usually like reading short stories. I personally prefer novel length books to short stories as just when I start getting invested in the characters and plot BAM… the story ends.
BUT I really enjoyed Paris for One. Firstly, because I love the way Jojo Moyes writes and have read so many of her books over the years. Secondly, because it was a great collection of stories. And lastly, because dipping in and out of these short stories made for great reading at a time when I was finding it hard to concentrate on my reading. Continue reading →
For Christmas my husband gave me The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus (along with a whole stack of other books). This bumper bind-up includes five books by Charlaine Harris. For those of you who don’t know, Charlaine wrote the Sookie Stackhouse series of thirteen books which the TV series True Blood was based on. She’s also written a few more series.
The five Lily Bard books in this 935 page brick of a book include:
These five stories revolve around Lily Bard, who is a plain speaking, tough woman in her thirties who runs a cleaning business. She lives in a sleepy little town named Shakespeare which is located in Arkansas. Lily always seems to get involved in the murders and mysteries that crop up in this small town. She is also the survivor of a brutal attack that left her scarred and in the news a few years ago and she came to Shakespeare for a fresh start. Continue reading →
I devoured Landline by Rainbow Rowell over a 24 hour period but it left me with mixed feelings. Landline is about a TV writer, Georgie McCool, who is married to Neal and has two young daughters. When Georgie has to write a new pilot in the lead up to Christmas with her writing partner, her husband takes the kids to his mother’s place without her.
Georgie then can’t reach her husband on the phone. He’s not replying to any of her calls or texts. But then she manages to reach him with an old phone and landline from her childhood bedroom. The only problem is that she’s magically connected to a past version of Neal from years ago before they were married.