Perhaps if I had read The Golem of Hollywood I would have found The Golem of Paris a more interesting read. As it happened I found it difficult to con Perhaps if I had read The Golem of Hollywood I would have found The Golem of Paris a more interesting read. As it happened I found it difficult to connect with the characters and a little lost at times when it came to the story.
The Kellerman's (father and son) combine mystery and Jewish mysticism in this novel that sees LAPD detective Jacob Levy intrigued by a cold case double murder of a young mother and her son. And when Jacob's catatonic mother reacts violently to a glimpse of his case file, he is determined to investigate further, leading him to Paris, where his present and past collide.
Dark and twisty, The Golem of Paris is a complex read, and at over 500 pages I found it a little long but there were times when I was caught up in the mystery. ...more
All That is Lost Between Us is a compelling modern domestic thriller from Sara Foster.
Unfolding from the perspectives of the four members of the Turne All That is Lost Between Us is a compelling modern domestic thriller from Sara Foster.
Unfolding from the perspectives of the four members of the Turner family, it is a story about guilt, secrets, betrayal and loyalty.
Seventeen year old Georgia Turner, high school student and champion Fells runner, is preoccupied by a secret she can't share, not even with her best friend and cousin, Sophia. Anya is frustrated by her inability to connect with her increasingly withdrawn daughter who spurns both her concern and affection, as does her husband, Callum. Callum, mired in unspoken resentments, has thrown himself into his voluntary work with the local Fells rescue team, and taken solace in the attentions of a younger colleague. When Zac accidentally discovers a shocking photo hidden in his sister's bedroom, he is at a loss as how to best deal with his discovery.
A hit and run incident involving Georgia and Sophia is the catalyst that drives the members of the Turner family to the brink of crisis. As suspicion grows that the actions of the unidentified driver was deliberate, Foster builds the tension as secrets begin to collide.
One of the main themes Foster's story thoughtfully explores is the vulnerabilities of family. Emotional distance has frayed the bonds between husband and wife, parent and child, in All That is Lost Between Us. The strained relationships are sensitively and realistically portrayed, disconnected, they are each vulnerable in the crisis and struggle to bridge the gap to offer each other the support they need.
Georgia's angst is well drawn, her increasingly fraught emotional state is believable as she obsesses over her secret with the self absorption of youth. I empathised strongly with Anya, it is difficult to let your children pull away from you, to find the balance between encouraging them to make their own choices, and protect them from their inevitable mistakes. My oldest daughter is 19 and I too feel as if she is "breaking off a piece of my heart and taking it with her." as she forges her own life.
Set in England's Lake District, Foster's descriptions of the landscape are vivid and evocative. The rugged beauty of the Fells, its craggy peaks and forested valleys and sheer cliffs, reflects the changeable emotional states of the characters.
All That is Lost Between Us is a captivating read I'd recommend to both an adult and mature young adult audience....more
Breakaway by Kat Spears is contemporary young adult fiction for an empathetic and perceptive reader.
In the wake of his younger sister's death, JasonBreakaway by Kat Spears is contemporary young adult fiction for an empathetic and perceptive reader.
In the wake of his younger sister's death, Jason Marshall is sad, angry and lost. As his single mother sinks into depression, Jaz should be able to rely on his best mates, but Mario is too busy getting high, Jordan is distracted by his new girlfriend, and Chick has his own problems.
Written in the first person, Jason doesn't really have insight into much of what motivates him, nor Spears other characters, so the underlying pathos that unravels his story has to be pieced together from the context and subtle leads in the narrative.
Struggling with his past and present, Jason is a sympathetic protagonist. Desperate to protect himself from further pain related to his father's desertion, his mother's emotional absence, and his sisters death, he retreats into himself, often taking refuge in an abrupt, defensive and sarcastic attitude.
While previously the linchpin for his group of best friends, Jason simply doesn't have the emotional strength to confront either Mario or Jordan, or cope with Chick's distress at the relationship drift. It's easier for him to just let it go and pretend it doesn't matter, or to blame circumstances outside his control, especially as his experience has taught him that everybody leaves.
Raine proves to be an excellent distraction for Jason. Convinced she couldn't be interested in him, he feels in control of their interactions, and most importantly to him, there is no risk of the rejection he fears. Raine in turn is good for Jason, calling him out on his worst behaviours and attitudes, and eventually offering him hope that things can be different.
An edgy, poignant coming of age novel exploring the themes of friendship, loss and love, Breakaway reflects the ordinary, often messy, complicated and dark, reality of adolescence. ...more
I couldn't resist the premise of Libby Cudmore's debut novel, The Big Rewind. I have a cracked vinyl case full of mix tapes, including the odd one or I couldn't resist the premise of Libby Cudmore's debut novel, The Big Rewind. I have a cracked vinyl case full of mix tapes, including the odd one or two given to me by ex-boyfriends that I have never been able to throw away, even though I haven't had a working cassette player in more than a dozen years.
Wannabe music journalist Jett Bennet is rocked when she discovers the bloodied body of her neighbor and friend KitKat while dropping off a mis-delivered package containing a mix tape full of songs about love and heartbreak. Despite a lack of grounds, police suspicion falls on KitKat's missing boyfriend Bronco, but Jett, who temps as a proofreader at a private investigation firm, speculates that the mysterious compiler of the mix tape may have motive, and with the help of her best friend, Sid, hunts for the sender.
The Big Rewind is a murder mystery and a love story. As Jett searches for the person responsible for KitKat's murder, she reminisces about her romantic past, browsing her own collection of mix tapes from former lovers. On her mind is the one that got away -Catch, even as her feelings for best friend Sid begin to change.
"There isn't a better feeling in the world-not an orgasm, not a first kiss, not even that glorious soaring sensation you get when those first few notes of a new song pierce your chest and fill your whole body with absolute bliss-than acknowledgement that your mix tape was not only received and played but enjoyed. It's a dance of sorts, balancing songs you think the listener will love while trying to say everything that otherwise dries up in your throat before you can get out the words."
I liked Jett, though given she is aged only in her mid twenties or so, her sense of nostalgia is a little excessive and her fixation on her lost loves is a little unhealthy. Her motovation for solving the murder is a little flimsy but she unpicks the mystery in a way that makes sense given her lack of experience.
The Big Rewind has a turn of the century hipster vibe what with Jett's mentions of Trader Joe's, French Press coffee makers, kale and pot brownies, and visits to vegan bakeries, strip joints, retro vinyl record stores, and basement clubs which is a little painful, but also kinda fun.
What I probably enjoyed most was Jett's eclectic taste in music, dozens of songs mostly from the 1980's are referenced throughout the novel, playing to mood and emotion.
The Big Rewind is a quick and easy read, quirky and fun.
Want a playlist to listen to while you read? You might like to start with the following songs mentioned:
Keep Me in Your Heart - Warren Zevon What You Doing in Bombay - Tenpole Tudor Simply - Sara Hickman Champagne - July for Kings Truly Madly Deeply - Savage Garden Pure - Lightning Seeds The Book I Read - Talking Heads 2 became 1 - Spice Girls All for Love - Bryan Adams She is My Sin - Nightwish I'm Gonna Be (500 miles) - The Proclaimers Bury My Lovely - October Projects Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First) - John Mellencamp Sunrise - Simply Red Waiting for the Weekend - The Vapors...more