I have to admit that I hadn’t read Less; A Novel, the Pulitzer prize-winning read by Andrew Sean Greer, and that might be why the sequel seemed to misI have to admit that I hadn’t read Less; A Novel, the Pulitzer prize-winning read by Andrew Sean Greer, and that might be why the sequel seemed to miss the mark for me.
There is no doubt that Arthur Less is a wonderful, unique character and Greer’s writing style is almost musical, drawing you in as if stepping into a cool stream on a hot day. I drifted along with Arthur and followed his quirky journey across the “mild mild west” meeting a strange array of literary characters. I particularly liked Freddy Pelu, Arthurs’s patient and a wonderful partner and their dynamic is authentic, moving and sensitively portrayed.
However, something just didn’t stick, didn’t grab me in a way a book with such good pedigree should. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe I should read Less; A novel and see if I can work out why....more
Old Country is one hell of a read. If you loved the Stephen King Classics, you will devour in one sitting, it’s truly gripping!
I love the way Matt andOld Country is one hell of a read. If you loved the Stephen King Classics, you will devour in one sitting, it’s truly gripping!
I love the way Matt and Harrison Query can create not only a unique horror plot, but can create a deep sense of loneliness, isolation and building tension. The cast of characters is small, however, each one is so carefully and thoughtfully developed that you care for all of them. Particularly the ever faithful Dash.
With each changing season, the small isolated country ranch and the land it sits on slowly reveals itself in a novel that is sure to be an instant horror classic. I would LOVE for it to be made into a Netflix series!
loved both The Girl Before and The Perfect Wife so kinda knew what I was getting myself into with this next domestic noir My Darling Daughter from JP loved both The Girl Before and The Perfect Wife so kinda knew what I was getting myself into with this next domestic noir My Darling Daughter from JP Delaney. I was not disappointed.
The relationship between Susie and Anna is a complex one. All those feelings of guilt and abandonment intertwined with love (or, is it power?) are acutely described within the pages. As the pace builds and the plot unfolds I could literally feel the tension brewing which had me reading this one in just two sittings, I just couldn’t put it down. Anna in particular is one creepy teenager with many layers to her character, all of which come across as authentic.
If you love domestic noir, My Darling Daughter certainly won’t let you down. Just be prepared and get your book nook set up as you won’t be moving until the last page!...more
I love children’s books with fantastic illustrations. As a child myself I was (and still am) a big fan of Quentin Blake. I also had a range of hardbacI love children’s books with fantastic illustrations. As a child myself I was (and still am) a big fan of Quentin Blake. I also had a range of hardback books called Value books which I went back to time and time again finding out about Helen Keller or Benjamin Franklin. Forty years on I still have vivid and fond memories of these books and The Big Book of Exhibits will be no different for new readers.
The illustrations are fantastic, and so are the quirky and interesting exhibits nestled in the pages. A perfect book gift for any inquisitive child ages 9 and up and one that will become a treasure found under the Christmas tree for sure!...more
If you follow my blog, you know I love an excellent twisty-turny thriller with a surprise ending. The It Girl is all of these things and if you’re looIf you follow my blog, you know I love an excellent twisty-turny thriller with a surprise ending. The It Girl is all of these things and if you’re looking for a holiday read to get lost in, this should be ‘added to cart‘ immediately.
I loved the setting of Oxford and the range of characters, all very well thought out and it’s clear author Ruth Ware spent a vast amount of time really thinking through the friendship dynamics and in particular the personality traits of Hannah and April.
Now, don’t expect an immediate pay-off in the thrills section. The book starts off with a slow burn as the relationships of the main cast of characters are revealed in a ‘now and then’ chapter order. However, once you get to know each of these flawed characters, the pace starts to quicken and the page turns become more urgent. I was glued right to the end of the last page.
Grab your copy of The It Girl today, published by Simon and Schuster Australia...more
I love good historical fiction. The reimagining of real people from hundreds of years ago, re-creating worlds that existed back in time is one of my fI love good historical fiction. The reimagining of real people from hundreds of years ago, re-creating worlds that existed back in time is one of my favourite ways to while away hours within the pages of a book.
Chen has created, not a god-fearing, vision-seeing saint, all pretty and demure in flag-bearing armour. Here, in Joan, Chen has created a fierce young woman who has to fight many battles of her own as a young child before she even thinks of becoming the hero and saint that France demanded.
Joan is a very detailed read, conjuring up vivid images of France and the key cast of characters surrounding this young woman who had a path set in front of her, seemingly before she was even born. The details required to re-create the past has not come at the cost of pace. A very engaging read and one of my favourite reads of the year!
Love historical fiction? Check out some of my recommendations here and follow Duffy for the latest in hidden book gems!...more
Cold, Cold Bones ticks all the bookish boxes for me when it comes to a great thriller read.
Well-polished characters. Tick.
Just the rCold, Cold Bones ticks all the bookish boxes for me when it comes to a great thriller read.
Well-polished characters. Tick.
Just the right amount of ‘OMG Gross’. Tick.
Perfectly paced. Tick
Strong female characters without the cliché. Tick.
Plot twist. Tick.
Cold, cold bones is a must-read for anyone who loves to lose themselves in a dark, twisty thriller. Kathy Reichs demonstrates in her twenty-first novel that she remains a Queen in thriller writing....more
Whoah. This book really is a little gem and I cannot believe this is a debut novel. If you loved The Stranger In The Lifeboat and The Midnight LibraryWhoah. This book really is a little gem and I cannot believe this is a debut novel. If you loved The Stranger In The Lifeboat and The Midnight Library, you will adore Isaac and the Egg.
Isaac has hit rock bottom, but we aren’t sure why. He screams into the woods one dark rainy night, but something screams right back.
We know a tragedy happened, but there is something else lurking beneath the storyline and the thread is delicately pulled. As you turn the pages you reveal the real story of Isaac and the one who returned the scream in the woods that night, which will leave you with one hell of a book hangover.
I haven’t loved two characters more since Lily & The Octopus. Isaac and the Egg is a class read full of hope, sadness and a wonderfully gentle sense of humour too....more
I really enjoyed Lily Bailey’s memoir Because We Are Bad, and was intrigued to learn that Lily had written a fictional children’s book.
When I see BlueI really enjoyed Lily Bailey’s memoir Because We Are Bad, and was intrigued to learn that Lily had written a fictional children’s book.
When I see Blue is as tender and heartfelt as it gets. My nephew struggles in some of the ways Ben does and for me, it was an enlightening read, giving me the opportunity to live my life through his eyes. As an adult, the threads of the story unfolding about Ben and the fight against the bully in his brain also resonated. After all, most of us suffer from moments of negative self-talk, anxiety, worry and that constant inner critic in our everyday lives.
When I See Blue is a sensitive, nuanced must-read for any child or adult struggling with OCD and anxiety.
If you enjoyed Space Hopper and Lenny’s Book Of Everything When I See Blue should be your next read....more
A Delicate Game is a must-read for so many reasons. You don’t need to be in professional high contact sports to learn something about the sheer enormiA Delicate Game is a must-read for so many reasons. You don’t need to be in professional high contact sports to learn something about the sheer enormity of damage caused to those who play sports, whether it’s professional or Sunday little league.
I’ve been interested in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) ever since I saw the tragic documentary about NFL player Aaron Hernandez and have noticed the rise in sporting stars who end their lives, or suffer from dementia far too early for their years.
There are some incredibly raw and touching stories to be found within the pages of A Delicate Game, and some paragraphs, I warn you, are very hard to digest. You know the ending for the subjects, but you can’t help hoping for a different outcome. Hana Walker-Brown has a knack for intricate descriptors which place you smack bang in the living rooms and kitchens of those who have borne the brunt of brain injury through sport and domestic violence.
Is the sporting industry really improving? Or are we hoodwinked with marketing campaigns and foundations in support of mental health issues such as depression which are the direct result of constant head knocks that sporting bodies deem a necessary part of the game?
A Delicate Game will leave you with more questions than answers, but it will also give you a deeper knowledge and understanding of the effects of brain injury. You don’t need to be knocked out in a ring to suffer the long term and irreversible consequences....more
If you like satirical humour with a bit of bite, then Conspiracy is for you. There were quite a few laugh-out-loud moments within the pages and even iIf you like satirical humour with a bit of bite, then Conspiracy is for you. There were quite a few laugh-out-loud moments within the pages and even in the footnotes.
Conspiracy talks through the big ones (QAnon and COVID-19) and the smaller ones and demonstrates that this isn’t a new thing that we, as humans have recently cottoned on to. Conspiracy shares that we’ve been doing it for thousands of years, we just can’t help ourselves.
Conspiracy is a sassy b*tch of a book but it will also get you thinking, I really enjoyed it and would definitely explore other books by Tom Phillips and John Elledge....more
Well, Michael Robotham certainly knows how to write a classic main character. Cyrus Haven survived a family tragedy, one his brother was responsible fWell, Michael Robotham certainly knows how to write a classic main character. Cyrus Haven survived a family tragedy, one his brother was responsible for, to then rise up the ranks of the police force. Two women go missing and as the clues come together, Cyrus’s world seemingly starts to fray.
I was hooked from the first chapter and had no idea this was part of a series, Lying Beside You stands firmly on its own merit. The characters of damaged yet brilliantly smart Cyrus, headstrong but troubled Evie and dark and tortured Elias underpin a cast of characters in this fine thriller suspense that had me gripped right up until the end.
If I had one tiny gripe it would be that it was a tad too long. I think 50 pages shorter would have made the race to the end punchier. Or, maybe, I was skipping pages in the last third of the book to just to find out what happened!
I will definitely be reading more in the Evie and Cyrus series....more
WOW. Truly Darkly Deeply has everything if you are a true crime and thriller fan. Matty Melgren has the charisma of Bundy and the absolute darkness anWOW. Truly Darkly Deeply has everything if you are a true crime and thriller fan. Matty Melgren has the charisma of Bundy and the absolute darkness and evil of Ramirez and yet, he still feels like a very unique character. Sophie is a great central character and I love the way Victoria Selman focuses on those closest to Matty who have to pick up the pieces and live with the legacy of loving a serial killer. The conflicting feelings and complete head f&ck of discovering someone you loved really weren’t who you thought, or were they?
The twist at the end I did not see coming and read this book in two sittings it was that good.
I highly recommend Truly Darkly Deeply if you are looking for an original and addictive thriller....more
I’m never one for fad diets or ones that restrict food groups. It’s just not me. That’s probably why I’m a little curvier and softer in the middle thaI’m never one for fad diets or ones that restrict food groups. It’s just not me. That’s probably why I’m a little curvier and softer in the middle than I should be. However, I do try and exercise when I can and I’m always looking to eat a little healthier and of course, lose a little weight.
The Fast 800 Keto was a quick read for me. I personally didn’t buy into it all and didn’t suddenly find a groundbreaking way to live and lose weight in a heartbeat. What I did find though, were little reminders of what I know I should be doing. Low carb, non-processed, high protein with a little intermittent fasting thrown in.
I did have a huge problem with recipes printed in the back of a paperback book. Recipes should always be on white glossy paper with pretty images to entice you to cook and create. I glanced at a few, but it’s just not the inspiring medium for recipes and you will not change my mind.
Maybe I would have enjoyed and got a little more out of The Fast 800 Keto if the book itself was printed differently. Either way, I did end up ordering healthy non-processed groceries for the month, and I will be adopting some elements of the keto diet. I just won’t be drinking the Kool-Aid....more
January seems to be the time that everyone starts down the self-improvement route, but is there just too much pressure to achieve your goals and meet January seems to be the time that everyone starts down the self-improvement route, but is there just too much pressure to achieve your goals and meet the plans? Why do we set ourselves up for so much pressure in January?
Step Into You isn’t just a self-help book to get you re-focused. It specifically speaks to females with a strong focus on those feelings of overwhelm and burnout, which many of us have had to deal with over the past couple of years. For myself, I’ve had periods where I felt like I was treading water, or stuck in treacle. Unable to move forward and get my energy and focus back to where it was, or even what to focus on. So, any book, tools or resources which are out there to help tackle this, well I’m down for reading.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BE MOTIVATED WHEN YOU’RE EXHAUSTED – STEP INTO YOU
This is one of many ‘A-Ha’ moments in this book. I feel like I’ve worked so hard the past couple of years and had added layers of anxiety, worry and stress being parted from my family for two years due to COVID. There have been other obstacles along the way and I haven’t had a proper holiday or break. How am I expected to be energised and focused when there has been no downtime and very little RnR since 2019.
Step Into You has great summaries at the end of each chapter to reinforce key points and some exercises to not only keep you engaged in the book but to reflect on your own status and work out what you need to get back on track.
START WITH TINY – STEP INTO YOU
Don’t set huge goals, just start small and pick tiny things to motivate your day. This reminded me of Atomic Habits, and I realised I had let this mindset slip. To help me with my tiny goals I was recommended a snazzy little App called Fabulous, so I get notifications on my phone to remind me to action my tiny goals and when I complete a few on the trot, it really does kick start some positive changes.
There are is also some sound financial advice to be found in Step Into You along with understanding when to tap into your male and feminine energy (yes, we have both!)
I was pleasantly surprised by Step Into You, so if you are a female suffering from burnout, low energy and lacking focus, you might just want to give it a read!...more
loved Anatomy Of A Scandal and cannot wait to see it on Netflix, so when I was offered Reputation to read and review, I instantly said yes!
Reputation loved Anatomy Of A Scandal and cannot wait to see it on Netflix, so when I was offered Reputation to read and review, I instantly said yes!
Reputation follows the story of Emma, a successful MP who is rising through the ranks and gaining publicity. What started out as a career to help others, is now the central focus of her life, costing her a marriage and possibly the relationship with her teenage daughter. As with all political games, the moment you start, the deeper you get, the harder it is to extricate yourself when the pressure mounts.
As always, with Sarah Vaughan’s books, she takes you deep into the walls of Westminster and unveils the conspiracy, political plays and backstabbing that has been happening within those walls since the 1500s.
It’s a heftier book than Anatomy of A Scandal, and my initial reaction was whether the pages would hold my attention for so long. However, the plot of Reputation rolls out at a well thought out pace and the chapters are small enough to keep you engaged, and you aren’t entirely sure who did it until right at the end!
A smart, suspenseful read you can lose yourself in....more
I was a little apprehensive taking on A Still Life to read and review. It was that slump between Christmas and New Year when you feel lethargic, muddlI was a little apprehensive taking on A Still Life to read and review. It was that slump between Christmas and New Year when you feel lethargic, muddled and apprehensive about the year to come. Would reading a memoir about suffering and life-long invisible illness be helpful? Or, would it send my mood even lower?
Let’s be honest, A Still Life was never going to be a laugh out loud account of how fun it is to live with chronic illness. However, Josie George has an amazing talent for writing. Her prose is poetic and at times almost sent me into a calm, meditative state. As the seasons shift and Josie tells the story of her life from childhood, but also over the course of one year, she shares not only a personal story but also a dazzling writing talent.
A Still LIfe shows that if you change perspective on what could be perceived as a relatively small life, you unfurl one that is detailed, rich and full.
If you are feeling in a self-reflective or contemplative mood, then dive into A Still Life, you won’t be disappointed....more
The Gosling Girl is instantly one of my favourite reads this year, and I can't see many others topping it. Michelle Cameron is one of the most hated wThe Gosling Girl is instantly one of my favourite reads this year, and I can't see many others topping it. Michelle Cameron is one of the most hated women in Britain. She committed a heinous crime, that of killing a sweet, innocent 4-year-old girl in a horrific way. Michelle was just 10 years old when she committed this crime.
I was glued to every single page of this book and read it in one sitting. I was instantly triggered by the tragic murder of two-year-old James Bulger by two young boys who lured him away from a shopping centre in Merseyside with the sole intent to torture and murder that little boy. Robert Thomson and Jon Venables were just 10 years old at the time, innocent-looking school photos looking back at us on the nightly news. I was seventeen at the time and when I think back to the vitriol and hate lobbed at these two young boys, it really made me feel confused and uncomfortable. I could never say at the time of course publicly, seventeen year old me was not equipped to face that backlash. These kids were, after all, pure evil according to the tabloids. Nothing more to discuss.
The Gosling Girl explores these themes deeply and with sensitivity. It also shines a light on racism in our society today. We've seen this highlighted in global mainstream media recently with the whole of Australia alerted to the fact that little Cleo Smith had been abducted from a campsite and the whole world was following the case of Gabby Petito. Both of them picture-perfect, fair-skinned, light-haired females. Whilst both of these cases warranted news coverage and an extensive search for them, it is clear that column inches and 24/7 news loops do not focus on the thousands of black children and women who are in danger and go missing every single day.
I was so engaged in this book and my mind spun back and forth. One minute thinking that Michelle Cameron was being vilified and hunted at times like an animal. Other times, I was sharply reminded that an innocent girl had her life taken away, a family shattered. The Gosling Girl takes you through the lives of these people, on both sides of the looking glass.
If you are intrigued by true crime, the inconsistencies of the justice system and are looking for a read with suspense and a few twists and turns. The Gosling Girl should be on the top of your reading list. Intrigued by The Gosling Girl? Check out the amazing and interesting author Q&A page from Simon & Schuster ...more
Duffy's Thoughts On The Selfless Act Of Breathing It's a little hard for me to review The Selfless Act Of Breathing. Not because it isn't written well,Duffy's Thoughts On The Selfless Act Of Breathing It's a little hard for me to review The Selfless Act Of Breathing. Not because it isn't written well, the character of Michael is just perfect and the prose is haunting and beautiful. You can tell that JJ Bola is a poet at heart. It's hard because the character triggered the same anxious feelings, which thankfully have been fleeting for me, however, a much heavier burden for some people I have loved dearly in my life.
Author JJ Bola writes with complete empathy and sensitivity, and you can't help but care for Michael from the get-go. You want him to be safe, and you want his savings to last forever. I found the themes of masculinity and mental health absorbing and the characters who Michael meets along the way are perfectly flawed.
It's not the easiest of reads given that we have all gone through a second year of struggles and anxiety, so don't expect an uplifting read here. However, if you are in a period of self-reflection, or have, or know someone who might be struggling with the same feelings, make sure The Selfless Act Of Breathing falls into their hands. ...more
I love Jimmy Carr. One of my favourite TV shows is 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown and I’ve seen Jimmy Carr perform stand up a couple of times and lovI love Jimmy Carr. One of my favourite TV shows is 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown and I’ve seen Jimmy Carr perform stand up a couple of times and loved every show. So, as soon as I saw Before & Laughter was available to read and review I snapped up a copy.
Sadly, I haven’t been this disappointed in a book since reading Lenny Kravitz self-absorbed memoir, and I couldn’t quite figure out why.
There are plenty of jokes in Before & Laughter, but not one of them made me so much as chuckle, and the “comedians are great because (insert why here)” was a bit repetitive. The self-help stuff was ‘ok’ but am I really taking life advice from Jimmy Carr? Particularly after reading Mitch Albom, Matthew McConnaughey’s Greenlights and Courage Is Calling by Ryan Holiday? I won’t even touch on the tax thing.
My conclusion is that what makes Jimmy Carr a great comedian is Jimmy himself. The voice, the razor-sharp delivery and voice inflections, the laugh that makes you laugh, and the facial expressions. It’s like having a favourite song, a real banger that has you cranking the volume every time you hear it. But, if the lyrics were printed on a page of a newspaper, in amongst the star signs and crossword, you’d miss it completely. It just wouldn’t be the same.
So, I will continue to be a fan of Jimmy Carr, watch his TV shows and buy a ticket to see his amazing stand-up shows, but, I will, unfortunately, give the books a swerve....more
The Dirt by Motley Crue is probably one of my favourite music biographies. I also thoroughly enjoyed the hedonistic movie of the same name starring MaThe Dirt by Motley Crue is probably one of my favourite music biographies. I also thoroughly enjoyed the hedonistic movie of the same name starring Machine Gun Kelly, and it was reading this book and watching the movie which made me start listening to some of the band’s music. Unfortunately, before this book and movie arrived in my orbit, I had little knowledge of who they were, aside from the Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson tabloid dramas. Nothing of their music or their meteoric rise to fame.
The First 21 tells the tale of a young Frankie Feranna, who is raised by various interesting, wanderlust filled and yet ultimately caring people who picked up a bass guitar and became a member of one of America’s largest rock bands. Taking dead-end jobs to buy a guitar, forming bands in mates garages, and getting the crap kicked out of him for parading the halls of his High School with big hair and a women’s jacket turned inside out. Throughout his childhood, it seems to me that Frankie Feranna stayed true to himself and the only thing that ever really changed was his name. Frank changed his name to Nikki London, then Nikki Nine and then eventually settled on the name now etched in music history, Nikki Sixx.
Nikki writes really well. I loved the flow of his words on the page and the emotion which comes through at certain times of his life. His unwavering love for his sisters and the sheer rage and frustration triggered when talking about his mom. I’m no die-hard Motley Crue fan, nor am I an avid subscriber to Rolling Stone magazine. I prefer dance music and 90’s RnB if truth be told. However, that didn’t stop me from enjoying every page of The First 21.
This isn’t a book solely for musos. If you love a good memoir, then I highly recommend The First 21. There is a reason Nikki Sixx has topped the New York Best Sellers list for the third time!...more
Gilda is a train wreck of a human. Lurching from one job to the next, hiding dirty dishes in a wardrobe because she can’t face the washing up, and hosGilda is a train wreck of a human. Lurching from one job to the next, hiding dirty dishes in a wardrobe because she can’t face the washing up, and hospital visits so frequent, the janitor knows her by name. We follow Gilda as she tries to navigate the calamity which is her life and from the moment she accidentally ends up with a new job when all she really wanted was a counselling session.
Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead is a unique read. It’s an acute observation of someone who is struggling with mental health issues, blending macabre thoughts and actions with deadpan humour. If you live with anxiety and other mental health issues, you will likely resonate with Gilda. As frustrating as she is at times, those intrusive thoughts are there for all of us at times. It’s just that we usually push them out of our heads and never EVER think to share them. Here, those thoughts and feelings are laid bare on the page in all its honesty and without any sugar coating.
The supporting cast of characters adds colour, light and a splash of wholesomeness to balance out the darker side of Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead. This book won’t be for everyone, but I really enjoyed it and in particular, Gilda, an anti-heroine if ever there was one....more
The beginning of Buy Now Pay Later was really interesting. I learnt the history and origins of some of AuI have to confess, I didn’t finish this read.
The beginning of Buy Now Pay Later was really interesting. I learnt the history and origins of some of Australia’s biggest retail brands. However, once the Afterpay story began, I was put off with the privilege and fawning of Founders Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar. This is far from a ‘local boys done good’ story, privileged upbringings and abundance of opportunity were the key factors that brought about one of Australia’s successful business stories.
Maybe, for me, the timing was off to be reading of such success and excess when we are still in lockdown and people around me are losing their jobs, homes and suffering from stress. I just got a slightly icky feeling as co-authors Jonathan Shapiro and James Eyers scattered the pages with pats on the back for a bunch of businessmen.
Buy Now Pay Later is a telling of one of Australia’s biggest success stories. I just wish this version had a more balanced view and a touch of humility along the way....more
When Leanne Lovegrove asked me if I would be interested in reviewing her new book, A Good Life, I jumped at the chance! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed her paWhen Leanne Lovegrove asked me if I would be interested in reviewing her new book, A Good Life, I jumped at the chance! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed her past reads and her latest release is no exception.
What I love about Leanne’s stories is that they bring together great, realistic characters with heart and soul and always manages to tie in a contemporary and topical angle. In Unexpected Delivery, Leanne highlighted the very real struggles Australian Farmers face and in A Good Life Leanne explores two struggles. One is the internal conflict many of us have when we choose to follow our real passion instead of earning a regular wage at a regular job. Two is the struggle for those who have been convicted of a crime. Who want to get back on the straight and narrow, and to contribute and redeem themselves in society.
The small cast of characters are well developed and balance each other perfectly. Millie is, in particular, is a special character and it shines through the pages that Leanne loved writing this parallel story arc. I hope that there is a spin-off prequel that delves into Millie’s early years!
I thoroughly enjoyed A Good LIfe, and if you enjoy a contemporary Australian story with a dash of wholesome, then you should grab yourself a copy today!...more
If you love a good domestic thriller and authors such as Gillian Flynn, Louise Candlish and Robyn Harding, you will love Such A Quiet Place.
Harper, thIf you love a good domestic thriller and authors such as Gillian Flynn, Louise Candlish and Robyn Harding, you will love Such A Quiet Place.
Harper, the main protagonist lives in an idyllic enclave called Hollow’s Edge. A Stepford-Esque neighbourhood where everybody knows everybody else, there are community meetings and parties at the communal pool. It’s also a neighbourhood where one false move can have you excluded from the inner circle and where secrets are never kept for long.
Ruby was convicted and then acquitted of the murder of two of her neighbours. On her release, she returns to Hollow’s Edge to get under the skin of the residents who testified against her. However, is Ruby back for revenge? Or, to finish what she started?
I had no idea of the ending until I read the last few pages. Such A Quiet Place is a highly polished domestic thriller with a watertight plot. I loved how just when you thought you had it all sussed out, the focus shifts to another member of Hollow’s Edge which has you back to square one. A thoroughly enjoyable and suspenseful read.
If you enjoyed Come Again by Robert Webb and the movie About Time with Bill Nighy, you will adore Space Hopper.
I read a hell of a lot of books. Some gIf you enjoyed Come Again by Robert Webb and the movie About Time with Bill Nighy, you will adore Space Hopper.
I read a hell of a lot of books. Some grab my attention, others, unfortunately, have my eyes glazing over, skipping paragraphs and pages. I tend to gravitate towards domestic thrillers with a killer plot twist because I’m always searching for something ‘new’. I get tired of the same old tropes. When it came to picking up Space Hopper as next on my to-read list, I really had no idea what to expect. What I got was a beautiful, bonkers tale that had my heart and took me right back to being a 70s/80’s kid. When you’re heading into the 8th week of lockdown, a book you can lose yourself in for a bit is a big deal, and Space Hopper got me right in the feels.
Space Hopper is a gem.
Author Helen Fielding must have drawn on her own childhood or that of close family members to craft such a perfect cast of characters. I wasn’t irritated by a single one, which is quite rare for me! The first 30 pages are completely mental, but once you get your head around the storyline, you will spend the pages routing for Faye and thinking about family members you have lost and the memories you cherish as a kid.
Space Hopper will leave you wondering. Would you go back in time, if you could? Or, would you rather keep the rose-tinted memories you have? Would you risk losing the present to go back to a past that meant so much to you as a child?
Helen Fielding has delivered a left-of-centre, unique piece of fiction that has fast become one of my favourite reads of 2021 so far....more
There is such a surge in popularity for domestic thrillers with huge plot twists such as The Undoing, Big Little lies and of course the OG of domesticThere is such a surge in popularity for domestic thrillers with huge plot twists such as The Undoing, Big Little lies and of course the OG of domestic thrillers, Gone Girl. The pressure on authors to come up with a storyline after storyline that is both complex, yet engaging, with that all-important surprise twist, must get harder and harder.
The Heights pulls it off.
I couldn’t wait to read the latest from Louise Candlish as I had read a couple of her other books. Those People was enjoyable, but one of my favourite suspense reads ever is The Other Passenger. I hold that book in such high regard, that a small part of me was a little nervous to read The Heights. Would the plot draw me in? Would I buy into the characters and their story arcs?
To be honest, it was mixed. The book is split into four parts and also then and now timelines. The main character, Ellen is an over-anxious (and quite frankly annoying) parent of two children. Lucas is her biological teenage son and Freya is the stepdaughter she shares with her husband Justin. Vic, Lucas’s Dad is also heavily involved in their lives. They all just seem to be navigating the stresses of raising a teenager in a normal family setting, until tragedy strikes.
This is where it gets interesting. The plot is a slow build but as you hit the second third of the book, the story picks up pace and the reader locks in for the ride. Without giving away spoilers, Candlish’s careful development of a cast of characters that are all far from perfect begin to show their true colours. The Heights also touches on themes of injustice, drug use, mental health, and lastly manipulation, which I feel is the driving theme of this book.
I didn’t like the characters as much as The Other Passenger, however, The Heights is sharp, clever and will leave you thinking ‘what would you do?’....more