So, it’s that time of year again when we start setting ourselves new goals and resolutions for the year ahead. This often includes people saying that they are going to make more time for reading. Often easier said than done, and as much as I love whiling away the hours in bookshops and libraries, few of us actually have the time. So, each month TLW will bring you a small selection to help your decision a little bit easier. You can impress them at the next book club meeting by already having your recommendation ready and waiting (instead of like me looking blankly back at the expectant faces when you hear those dreaded words ‘so, Jo it’s your turn next’!)
I have already decided that one of my resolutions is going to be making sure that I plan in a regular ‘digital detox’ or Sunday switch off and getting stuck into some of these beauties.
From the author of Life of Pi, this looks like it will appeal to some of my favourite things – history, travel, and life in far-off lands – as an added bonus, one of the main characters is a chimpanzee!
It also tackles the theme of Saudade which was once described as “the love that remains” after someone is gone. Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places, or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again.
The Independent describes this as – A beautifully written and evocative story about two lives, and their great love. Robbie and Emily met in 1962, but the novel starts at the end when elderly Robbie is struggling with Alzheimer’s and Emily still feels the weight of their shared secret. The chapters descend in reverse chronological order, through their lives, from old age and living in Maine, back to raising their child, family arguments and their first days together as students. Their secret, as it turns out, is well worth the wait. The book has the solid weight of two lives well lived, and the writing from Julie Cohen is rich in detail and memory.
I think that the back cover blurb speaks for itself.
This is how a family keeps a secret…and how that secret ends up keeping them.
This is how a family lives happily ever after…until happily ever after becomes complicated.
This is how children change…and then change the world.
This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess.
When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.
Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.
This Is How It Always Is is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it’s about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again, parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts, children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don’t get to keep them forever.
We have to support our debut novelists and I love the sound of this ‘whodunit’.
Sarah Schmidt retells the story of a fascinating murder case. A mother and father are brutally killed and all eyes are on the daughter. Did she do it? As people try to piece together what happened, it becomes more apparent that the outwardly respectable Borden family had their fair share of issues. Told through the different perspectives of the Borden household the events of that fateful day slowly come to light.
And last but not least for January is the long-awaited ‘The Book of Dust’. Phillip Pullman first published the highly acclaimed ‘His Dark Materials’ a staggering 22 years ago! In this first volume La Belle Sauvage, he takes us back to the epic parallel world of magic and adventure. I cannot wait!
I live in Manchester, UK and I am a writer and ghostwriter (actually prefer AngelWriter as a title - I'm working on making it a thing!). I am passionate about bringing other peoples stories, as well as my own, to life. Life is busy as a proud single mum of 2 teenagers, a house full of pets and a job to work around, but writing is my passion and I am super excited that my first novel, The Suitcase is now out on Amazon and has had an amazing response. I am completely overwhelmed and thrilled with the reviews. Book 2 (still needs a title) is a work in progress and will hopefully be out later this year. My Grans story has inspired me beyond words and has given me an acorn of an idea that I want to grow to help and inspire other women. Watch this space!
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