Everything I read this month was on the Kindle, which was a little disappointing. I don’t ever want to prefer reading via a Kindle over a ‘proper’ book. My problem is that our bookshelves are jammed pack, full almost to the point of overflowing, so there’s a no-book-buying embargo just now. And our library has disappointingly few new novels.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: “In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother- who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.” Another story based around a dark secret, but one I enjoyed all the same. It’s beautifully written and the characters are engrossing.
Together by Julie Cohen: “Their love was unstoppable, their life was a lie.” This story kept me reading to the end because I wanted to know what their secret was … and then wished I hadn’t. The ‘secret’ was horrible. There is also a nod to the real life events of stolen babies and forced adoptions mentioned in the superb novel, Before We Were Yours.
Dadland: A Journey into Uncharted Territory by Keggie Carew: This was recommended to me and I wasn’t disappointed. As the author’s father’s memory begins to fail, she embarks on a quest to unravel his story, and soon finds herself in a far more consuming place than she had bargained for. “Tom Carew was a maverick, a left-handed stutterer, a law unto himself. As a member of an elite SOE unit he was parachuted behind enemy lines to raise guerrilla resistance in France, then Burma, in the Second World War. But his wartime exploits are only the start of it…”
Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys: “England, September 1939 – Lily Shepherd boards a cruise liner for a new life in Australia and is plunged into a world of cocktails, jazz and glamorous friends. But as the sun beats down, poisonous secrets begin to surface. Suddenly Lily finds herself trapped with nowhere to go … Australia, six-weeks later –
the world is at war, the cruise liner docks, and a beautiful young woman is escorted onto dry land in handcuffs. What has she done?” There were lots of undercurrents running through this story, almost too many and certainly enough to become confusing at times. That said, I enjoyed it, and even though you know how it ends right from the beginning, there’s still a decent twist.