I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's not complicated or deep in any sense but it's a good page turner nonetheless.
I grew up in a seaside town in the...moreI thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's not complicated or deep in any sense but it's a good page turner nonetheless.
I grew up in a seaside town in the 1980s so I could identify with a lot of this story - in fact what I loved most was the reminiscing about the fashion and the music and the posters of Morton Harket (and I really loved those posters).
The book tells the story of 39 year old Sarah Ribbons who is returning to her hometown for a school reunion. The bulk of the book centres around her final year and the drama associated with being a 15 year girl - falling in love, falling out of love, falling out with friends.
Isabel Ashdown paints a vivid picture of this era and you really do feel transported there. Anyone who has been a teenage girl will feel an enormous amount of empathy for a lot of these characters. Even the more loathsome of them are brilliantly dipicted.
The story slowy builds towards a more sinister plot line which is pretty obvious from the outset but the way that the story and the tension is built is what makes it a page turner.
If you're looking for a light read I highly recommend this.(less)
I'm a sucker for a good crime novel. I love the plot; the twists and turns, the red herrings, the final unexpected twist in the tale. I love trying to...moreI'm a sucker for a good crime novel. I love the plot; the twists and turns, the red herrings, the final unexpected twist in the tale. I love trying to unravel the mystery myself, the suspense the author builds throughout, feeling exhausted as I finally get to that last page and find out whodunnit! But most of all I love the characters, often complex, usually flawed in some way.
Unfortunately, Wrong Man Running satisfied very few of these cravings.
It tells the story of Rick, a rising star in the DA's office, recently divorced from his wife and father to two small children. Rick is handed the case file for a series of vicious assaults on women, all known to him. What starts as a strange coincidence soon becomes a life changing experience for Rick, as the police turn to him as their prime suspect. As the evidence mounts, Rick must quickly find a way to prove his innocence and find the man he believes is framing him.
It got off to a good start. It's an interesting storyline with a character that I genuinely started to build some empathy with. But for me, as the story developed I just found it harder and harder to really believe in the characters. Some of their reactions to events just didn't really ring true and in some cases actually felt quite implausible.
The story also got to a point, for me, where it became a little predictable and the ending really came as no suprise. There were a couple of twists along the way, but overall I was left with a couple of unanswered questions and a feeling of deep disappointment.
I'm genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It's by no means a fast paced psychological thriller but it is compulsive reading and it had...moreI'm genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It's by no means a fast paced psychological thriller but it is compulsive reading and it had me wanting to turn the pages (or at list click through on the Kindle!).
The story is a reflection, by the main character (Nick), of his time in Moscow as a young lawyer. It's told by way of a narrative to his fiance which in itself is interesting given the events that follow! He meets and falls in love with a Russian girl and experiences the hedonism of a culture free from morals! I think I knew what was coming from a very early stage of the book but unlike other novels this wasn't a disappointment. The joy for me was in the way the story unfolded and the Nick's response to the events, in particular his thoughts and emotions.
It's a book about love or lust, curruption and hedonsim. I think the author did a fabulous job of bringing modern day Moscow alive in my mind. The narrative is wonderful and I can't wait for his next novel!(less)
On a snowy Christmas Eve, Cleveland Amory is on a rescue mission. His subject, a bedraggled, starved and injured cat. H...moreThis was such a charming read.
On a snowy Christmas Eve, Cleveland Amory is on a rescue mission. His subject, a bedraggled, starved and injured cat. He takes him home, cleans him up and falls in love with him. The story tells of how Polar Bear wormed his way into Cleveland Amory's heart and the unlikely friendship that developed from there.
As the owner of two very batty cats I absolutely loved the way the author talked to, or rather, negoitiated with Polar Bear! I think most cat owners will identify with a lot of these tales.
I was also interested in reading about Amory's experiences working with the Fund for Animals (an organisation he founded)
This is the first of, I think, three books that Amory has written about Polar Bear and I've added both of them to my TBR shelf.
My only real criticism of the book is the written style that Amory uses. There were altogether two many commas and hyphens for my liking. It made it difficult to follow on occasion and I found myself having to re-read passages several times to make sense of it.
I feel the need to start by saying that I'm not a fan of romance novels so I'm a little surprised at how much I fell in love with this book. In fact I...moreI feel the need to start by saying that I'm not a fan of romance novels so I'm a little surprised at how much I fell in love with this book. In fact I have now downloaded everything I can find by Michael Baron.
Anything is a love story with a magical twist. It raises the question of what you would do for the person you love most in the world. And if doing that thing meant upending the world as you know it and sacrificing your own happiness, would you do it anyway? Michael Baron explores these questions with his trademark emotional insight, along with a touch of fantasy.
It tells the story of Ken and Melissa. Ken has led a fairly typical batchelor life until the moment he met and fell in love with Melissa. A week before the wedding, while searching for the perfect gift, Ken is offered a rare glimse into Melissa's past in an attempt to get know the girl who became the woman he loved. While there he stumbles across a dark secret that has shaped her entire life.
Ken has an opportunity to go back in time to change this event but he does not think about the consequences and what might happen if he and Melissa never met.
This is a heartfelt story of the depth of one man's love and the lengths he will go to ensure the happiness of the woman he loves. It's such a compelling read and not just because of the storyline. Baron writes his characters in a way that really brings them to life. You can genuinely feel the emotion each character experiences and it's this that keeps me coming back to Baron for more!(less)
This was a really good, light and entertaining read.
Set, unsurprisingly, on the island of Ischia, it tells the story of Helen and Liddy, two school f...moreThis was a really good, light and entertaining read.
Set, unsurprisingly, on the island of Ischia, it tells the story of Helen and Liddy, two school friends working as au pairs for two strands of an Italian family. It's 1979 and Helen has persuaded Liddy to join her for the summer. It was meant to be an idyllic summer spent soaking up the sun and letting loose before returning to university. It's not long, however, before the ideal is replaced with a nightmare of kidnapped children and forbidden love affairs.
Twenty-five years later Liddy befriends Helen's daughter, Allie, and starts a chain of events which will lead Allie to uncover the dark mysteries of her mother's past and leads her on her own voyage of discovery.
The story flits seamlessly between 1979 and present day, and between the various characters' perspectives. It was easy to follow whose perspective the story had switched to.
I found Helen very hard to empathise with in the early stages of the book but had similar problems with Liddy at some point. They were both flawed and thats really what makes them such real characters.
All in all, I really enjoyed the book. It makes a great holiday read.(less)
This is an absolutely charming book. Written through the eyes of a young genius (Lou) it tells the story of her relationship with a young homeless gir...moreThis is an absolutely charming book. Written through the eyes of a young genius (Lou) it tells the story of her relationship with a young homeless girl (No) and the impact she has on the lives of a family coming to terms with a tragedy from their past.
Lou has a wisdom far beyond her years as she is forced to grow up quickly in the wake of tragedy, yet she maintains the innocence of her youth is so many ways. What starts as a school project soon turns into an obession for Lou, that is her friendship with No and ultimately her desire to try and save her from the life she has come to know on the streets.
This friendship has a profound effect on Lou and her family and although not quite the happy for No, Lou's family are undoubtedly changed forever.
I loved reading this through the eyes of such innocence. If you're looking for action this is not the book for you but I found it an utterly compelling read (and in fact started and finished on my journey to and from London yesterday!)
I've noticed a bit of a theme to my book reviews in that I only tend to give them to the books that really move me and this was certainly no exception...moreI've noticed a bit of a theme to my book reviews in that I only tend to give them to the books that really move me and this was certainly no exception.
I read most of this book with a lump in my throat and unashamedly sobbed my way through the last 30 or 40 pages! The story itself is tragic, moving and thought provoking but the language and the writing is what really gives it the emotion. I got the feeling that the author had more than the usual research understanding of the subject matter and on reading the authors notes at the end it's clear she does.
The book tells the story of Lina Vilkas, a 15 year old Lithuanian girl who is arrested, along with her mother and brother, by Soviet secret polic and deported to Siberia where she is first forced to work in the labour camp and later shipped to the artic circle. Lina is a promising artist and a spirited teenager forced into a life she didn't deserve. Her father has been sent to a Soviet prison and Lina attempts to find him through her pictures.
It's hard to see where there might be hope in such desperation but I think this story is one of hope, survival and unexepected kindness.
This is a very impressive first novel - I defy anyone not to be moved by it!(less)
I've seen mixed reviews for this book and whilst I can completely understand the comments, they are some of the reasons why I loved it so much.
Ruth a...moreI've seen mixed reviews for this book and whilst I can completely understand the comments, they are some of the reasons why I loved it so much.
Ruth and Chris are a married couple trying hard to deal with the fallout from his affair with a younger woman a year ago. With two young and high maintenance children and demanding careers, they are a family in crisis. In an attempt to regain some control they hire a nanny, Agatha. Aggie soon becomes indespensible, the house has regained some order, the children adore her, but is all really what it seems.
It's a sinister story made all the more so by the realism with which it is told. The suspense is built slowly, deliberately so. You spend a lot of time getting to know the characters and to be quite honest it took me that time to really empathise with either Ruth or Chris. Both are fundamentally flawed and I seesawed between both of them in terms of the sympathy I felt for their situation. For me that is really a good indicator of how real the characters felt.
As the suspense built to the climax I felt a disturbing and chilling feeling in the pit of my stomach as I realised what was about to happen and the ending did not disappoint.
I thought this was a brilliant first novel. It won't be everyone's cup of team but it was quick and entertaining read that I highly recommend.(less)
I hardly know where to begin with this book. I found this the most deeply moving book I've read in a long time - I even have goosebumps thinking about...moreI hardly know where to begin with this book. I found this the most deeply moving book I've read in a long time - I even have goosebumps thinking about it!
It's a beautiful story of love, loss and grief all set against the backdrop of the unbearable horrors of the Pol Pot regime. This is not my usual read but I was utterly captivated from start to finish. Although it only took me a day to read it is by no means light reading.
It tells the story of Anne, a 16 year old growing up in Montreal. She meets and falls passionately in love with Serey, a student from Cambodia. They begin an all consuming love affair and when Serey returns to Cambodia to search for his family, Anne is devastated. Ten years later she travels to Cambodia in search of Serey and when she finds him they continue their love affair. Serey keeps a lot of his life secret from Anne and when she loses him again we hear of her desparate struggle to find him but more chillingly we hear much of the atrocities of that time.
It's hard to know what moved me more - the strength of Anne's feelings for her first love, or the brutality that she describes on her journey to find him. Either way, this novel is so beautifully written I can imagine that I will come back to it time and time again. (less)
I read this book whilst lying by the pool in Spain. Thank god for big sunglasses! This was an incredibly emotional read for me and had me absolutely c...moreI read this book whilst lying by the pool in Spain. Thank god for big sunglasses! This was an incredibly emotional read for me and had me absolutely captivated by the characters from the first few pages.
Michael Baron tells the heartbreaking story of Gerry, a single parent struggling to raise his infant son following the untimely death of a wife he loves more than words can describe, and the disappearance of his daughter who ran away with her older boyfriend, shortly before the death of her mother.
This story is told with such emotion that it is hard not to get swept away in the pain that Gerry is obviously feeling. The characters felt very real to me, so much so that it almost felt like an intrusion reading about them.
It's hard to believe this is a first novel - the characterisation is incredibly strong, the language is evoctative, raw and sensitive, but most of all it is beautiful.
I'm not a fan of love stories but there is no getting away from the fact that this is one that has moved me. But it's about so much more than the traditional love story, its a journey through love, loss and grief and I can't wait to pick up his next few novels.
The language used is simply brilliant, the dialogue
The depth of feeling that this man has for his wife is such that you ...(less)
It may have been free but this one wasn't for me. I thought the storyline showed some promise but it was a badly edited book and this seriously interf...moreIt may have been free but this one wasn't for me. I thought the storyline showed some promise but it was a badly edited book and this seriously interferred with the flow. I persevered but that's more because I can't bring myself to leave any books unfinished but I wished I had given up a lot sooner.(less)