Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (August 1)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

Well here we are August already and my TBR is still growing exponentially to the rate that I read.

I’ll start, as always, with the approvals I’ve gained from NetGalley and first up is a book I chose following a brilliantly tempting review on FictionFan’s Book Reviews: Traitor’s Storm by MJ Trow, the sixth book it the Kit Marlowe series.  Her comments about the humour in this book caught my attention:

‘There’s lots of humour in the book and although the body count is pretty high there’s nothing gruesome about it – the violence all takes place off-stage’

Traitor's Storm

Blurb

Christopher Marlowe faces the might of the Spanish Armada in the sixth of this intriguing historical mystery series
May, 1588. With Elizabeth I’s court rocked by stories of an imminent invasion and one of his key undercover agents missing, Sir Francis Walsingham despatches Kit Marlowe to the Isle of Wight off the south coast: the first line of defence against the approaching Spanish Armada.
Lodging at Carisbrooke Castle with the Isle of Wight’s Governor, Sir George Carey, Marlowe finds the Islanders a strange and suspicious lot, with their own peculiar customs and dialect. But is there reason to doubt their loyalty to the Crown? And is the Island really haunted, as some believe? Of one thing Marlowe is certain: it’s no ghost behind the series of violent and inexplicable deaths which plague the region. But will he have time to uncover the truth and expose the killer before the might of the Armada descends? Amazon

Next up I have a copy of Quarter Past Two on a Wednesday Afternoon by Linda Newbery which I decided was a book for me after reading an enticing review on Mad about the Books. I am a huge lover of looking back into the social history of recent times so the following quote struck a chord:

‘Sandra’s tale serves to remind us that the 1960s were not a swinging time for everyone and that plenty of ‘Victorian values’ still held sway.’

Quarter Past Two on a Wednesday Afternoon

Blurb

It was the day when everything stopped…
At quarter past two on a hot afternoon in August, Anna’s beautiful, headstrong elder sister Rose disappears.
Twenty years later, Anna still doesn’t know whether Rose is alive or dead. In her early thirties now, she sees her future unfolding – with sensible, serious Martin and a grown-up, steady job – and finds herself wondering if this is what she really wants.
Unable to take control of her life while the mystery of her sister’s disappearance remains unsolved, Anna begins to search for the truth: what did happen to Rose that summer’s day? NetGalley

I bought a copy of Shame by Karin Alvtegen after coming across a review on Ms. Wordopolis Reads which caught my attention, especially the following sentence:

‘she goes deep into the minds of these damaged women and conveys the depths and changes in their feelings very closely’.

Shame

Blurb

Two women trapped by a past that won’t let go . . . At first sight, Monika and Maj-Britt are as different as two people can possibly be. They have nothing in common but the determination to obliterate their memories and be left alone. But when a tragic accident brings them face to face, the emotional voids at the centre of their lives threatens to engulf them and they are forced to confront the secrets and the sadness they had hoped to bury. A suspenseful psychological thriller, Shame reveals the ordinary days of the odd and the lonely as they twist into self-destruction and holds out a glimmering hope of redemption and acceptance. Amazon

I was delighted to receive a copy of The Girl On The Train by debut author Paula Hawkins which is due to be released in January 2015 from the publishers Hatchette, this sounds like just my kind of read!

The Girl On The Train

Blurb

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and every night. Every day she rattles over the same track junctions, flashes past the same stretch of cozy suburban homes. And every day she stops at the same signal and she sees the same couple, breakfasting on their roof deck, living the perfect life that Rachel craves for herself—a lifestyle she recently lost. She looks forward to observing this household every morning, even makes up names and narratives for its residents. Then one day Rachel sees someone new in their garden, and soon after, the woman who lived there disappears.
Unable to keep this information to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and in the process is drawn into the lives of the couple she thought of as Jason and Jess but whose names—she has learned from the news—are really Megan and Scott Hipwell.
But the police accuse Rachel of being unreliable, and it’s true that her memories can’t always be trusted. Plus there are the stories that her ex-husband’s new wife has been spreading about her. By the time Megan’s body is found, Rachel is in over her head, intricately entangled in the details of the investigation, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she put others in danger? Has she done more harm than good? Goodreads

Please share your finds with me.

Posted in Books I have read

Monsoon Memories – Renita D’Silva

Women's Fiction 4*'s
Women’s Fiction
4*’s

I was intrigued by the blurb when contacted by the publisher to see if I would be interested in reading this book. What follows is an unbiased review but I am really glad I was chosen to read this book that has that unique something that makes it immensely readable.

Monsoon Memories is an evocative book describing the life of Reenu, an eleven year old girl. Reenu visits her Grandmother in Taipur and finds a picture of a girl hidden in the family photo album. Having decided to be a sleuth like her heroine Nancy Drew she is determined to find out who the girl is and why she has been erased from history. Far away in England working as a programmer is Shirin, a woman haunted by the past and torn between enjoying the happy memories of her life as a child in India and being afraid of acknowledging the events that led her to leave. Between them Shirin and Reenu tell us a painful story of a family torn apart.

The heart of this story is family relationships including all the variations. The characters are brilliant; I loved Aunt Anita, Madhau the servant and the spirited Reenu. The heat of India, the monsoons and the casual poverty that surrounds the family is well described, as is the food. In fact food seemed to be mentioned continually; illustrating how important it was to the structure of the day, I found this occasionally intrusive (possibly as I haven’t eaten many of the Indian dishes described in loving detail.)

The structure of the story is measured and steady; at no point did I feel it was drawn out unnecessarily. The reader has different parts of the tale told from both Shirin’s and Reenu’s viewpoint which drew me in so that I was rooting for a happy ending for all the lovely characters, both minor and major bought to life in this book.