May has been a better month for us, one in which there has been greater leisure for books. Here’s what I have been reading this month.
Sebastian Faulks- Where my heart used to beat- There is a lot in this novel to make you think. Both world wars, a love story, a bit of a mystery, psychology, psychiatry, travel and a most satisfactory ending. I’d not read anything by this author before although my son Mr J who does not read as much as my other sons, was very keen on the book Birdsong, and kept urging me to read it, so maybe I will now. The only thing I have to say against it is that it does dot around a lot and you must have your wits about you!. A jolly good read.
Joanne Trollope- City of Friends- The theme of this book is can women have it all, a satisfying career and a good home life. There are four women who met at college,all live in London and all have money type jobs in whatever people who work in London do all day. Stacey is married, but is made redundant when she asks for flexi working so she can also care for her Mum who has Alzheimer’s. Melissa is a single Mum with a teenage son. Gaby has a husband and three children and is the ultimate career woman, husband doing the domestic stuff, and Beth who is gay and a university professor. An enjoyable read with just about credible characters.
Jane Gardam- Last Friends- I’ve read this out-of-order , it being the third in the trilogy of books featuring a group of ex pats from Hong Kong. The first I read was Old Filth. I will be honest , this book was a bit disappointing. I loved Old Filth, especially the bit about the Raj Children, sent back to England at a ridiculously young age to boarding school. This third book focuses on the early years of Old Filth’s rival at law and in love , one Terence Veneering , child of Florrie who was a coal merchant and an acrobat from Odessa. Orphaned during the war, and making his own way through life down to charm , intellect and force of personality. Some how though the story never seemed to get going. A pleasant enough read, and I have now got a copy of the middle volume , I am told that it is better.
Ann Cleeves- The Seagull– The latest in the Vera series and very good indeed. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Jane Gardam- The Man in the Wooden Hat. Well what do you know, there sitting on the shelf when I went in to do my shift was the second book in the trilogy. It was a nice enough read, but I felt disappointed. The synopsis in the front mentioned Betty’s childhood in a Japanese internment camp followed by a job at Bletchley Park. And yes there is mention of both, but I would have liked at least a chapter on each. Most disappointing, a bit like the first book and the RAJ orphan. I mean imagine a story that mentions being say part of the royal household and a job in espionage, and then gives just a few sentences to this and the rest is about a one night stand a happy marriage. It seems cheating somehow to hint at something really interesting and then not write about the back story. Oh well, I can’t like all the books in the world!
Thanks everyone for all the recommendations last month. You may see that I have taken you up on some with the ones I have currently on loan for June.
When I requested the new Kate Mosse, I saw I was 22nd in the queue for it, so imagine my delight when it turned up just a few days later for me. It’s a brand new book and the one I am starting with as I doubt I will be able to renew it, sure to be a waiting list now.
Did you read anything good in May? Do tell. And if it is a while since you visited the library, why not pop along, there is so much happening in libraries these days.