Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Recent Reads ( Part 2 )

More recent reads from me. I heard good things about 'The Burning Air' by Erin Kelly and it was a very good thriller. It took me quite a while to realise the narrator's gender, I had presumed wrongly and I'm not sure if that was a deliberate plot device. A child goes missing after being looked after by the girlfriend of a family member, she isn't who she appears to be, but who is manipulating her? It is cleverly written and kept me gripped until the end.

'The Middlesteins' by Jami Attenburg was rather melancholic. Edie is morbidly obese and is eating herself to death. The book charts her family life, her background and how we are all bound by familial and emotional ties. It is a well written story set in contemporary Chicago but left me feeling so sad.

'Amity & Sorrow' by Peggy Riley was a strange read. The sisters of the title are spirited away by their mother from the quasi-religious cult they have been raised in. There are hints that Sorrow has been a victim of abuse but she is desperate to return to her father who leads the cult. The landscape of the American mid-west is beautifully described and it certainly is an original plot. The ending was a bit disappointing really but it was still a good read, on the whole.

My favourite book of this bunch was 'Instructions for a Heatwave' by Maggie O'Farrell. Set in the hot summer of 1976, a man goes out for a paper and fails to return. The plot concerns the effect this has on his wife and three ( very different) children. I loved the characters in the story and it was very funny in parts, and very touching too. Maggie O'Farrell is an excellent writer, I love her style, wit and humanity.

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