Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty

Contemporary Fiction 5*'s
Contemporary Fiction
5*’s

Published by Penguin May 2010

Having read and loved The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty, earlier this year I decided to pack one of her previous books for my holiday onto my trusty kindle. This book was chosen for light relief on the beach after lots of murderous crimes, and I’m so grateful for my sunglasses as there were, I hate to admit, a few teary moments.

Imagine how it would feel to have lost ten years of your live, particularly if those ten years included the birth of a child that you think you are pregnant with. This is what happened to Alice Love following an accident at the gym.

When Alice comes round she soon realises that she is no longer the same person she was back in 1998. Her friends, her sister, her mother and her husband have all changed and so has she. The premise to Liane Moriarty’s book is an interesting one, which leads Alice to remember who she was and confront the woman she has become. Alice turns to her sister to fill in the missing gaps but Elizabeth has suffered in the previous ten years and the book is punctuated with her homework for Dr Hodges. The third great woman that populates these pages is Alice’s adopted Grandmother Frannie. Unmarried Frannie stepped in and helped Alice’s mother when the loss of her husband meant that she was unable to care for her two young daughters. These fantastic, yet far from saintly, women add some special layer’s to Alice’s story.

This is a light read with lots of humour on the pages disguising a book which tackles the challenge of how to grow without losing sight of who you really are and what really matters to you. There are some incredibly touching moments as Alice struggles to mend the bonds in numerous relationships that over the years have stretched out of shape. Liane Moriarty is a master at writing about the domestic details of life which might sound boring but when illuminated with her humorous take on life creates a cosy feeling of familiarity so that I was rooting for everything to work out for Alice.

“Ben told me that Tom had just spoken on the mobile to Alice and according to Tom she didn’t say anything about falling over at the gym and she sounded “Just like Mum except maybe ten to fifteen percent grumpier than usual.” I think he’s learning percentages at school right now. ”

A wonderful read which caused laughter and tears to this reader, one which I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to others.

Read my review of The Husband’s Secret by clicking on the cover
The Husband's Secret

Posted in Books I have read

Holiday Reading 2013

Kindle

Sadly the week before my holiday I realised my original Kindle Keyboard had died, the screen just wouldn’t clear previous images. KK did me well lasting 3 years (almost to the day) so it was off to order a newer model to avoid my holiday reading being thrown into disarray!  Being a list maker and my holiday reading list had been in production since May as books were swapped in (and more rarely) out, tracked on eReaderIQ for those crucial price drops  until a select few were chosen to accompany me on my 2013 holiday!

My new Kindle arrived on island, two days later I had the magic card through the letter box instructing me to take my id and card to the post office.  I woke up bright and early on the day of departure, rushed to the PO and quickly transferred the relevant books ready for reading.

So what did I read?

Holiday Pics

Sixteen Sixty-One was an even better read than expected.  I think that anyone who has been in  a difficult relationship will relate to elements of the story related by Natalie Lucas. This is not a poor little me story as I had half-expected, rather it lets the reader see how the relationship started, and why it continued. Best memoir this holiday!

The best historical read was The Silent Tide by Rachel Hore set in the late 1940’s, perfect for book lovers as it concerns the world of publishing and authors!

This is where I confess that for all my planning I had a DNF this year.

The Last Gift

I read about a fifth of this before I decided that I couldn’t spoil my holiday with a poorly researched book. I’m not quite sure what the time setting for this tale but believe it was the mid nineteenth century. The problem I found it hard to believe a number of things:
Parents have only one child following death of twins born when said child was 6 (possible but not typical)
Catholic’s mentioning going to chapel
Being so poor yet far fewer mouths to feed than many at that time (one child was not common at that time)
Mother able to write letters but daughter had to wait until she was a nursemaid to learn how to read them from the governess (which she mastered really quickly of course)

So this one was not for me and Carla Acheson will have to depend on far more forgiving readers than me.

The winner of my award for perfect beach reading was What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty mainly for its novel approach to a bit of romance although it must have been windy on the days I read this as my eyes kept watering! This is quite unlike The Husband’s Secret which is one of my favourite books of 2013 but the strength of writing shone through.

I have now added another downfall to e-readers.  Although I find mine essential for holiday reading, when everyone else adopts them I am unable to tell what is being read up and down the beach.  Out of the physical books I did spot The Husband’s Secret was the most common….

My favourite holiday read was The Burning Air by Erin Kelly for sheer mastery of story-telling with this chilling tale set in Devon. The book is set over the weekend of 1 November 2013 and is claustrophobic, surprising and populated by brilliant characters.

I have read books set in the Netherlands, Australia, Birmingham and Devon. I have read lots about mother’s relationships with their child(ren).  I have read two books called The Doll’s House (one by Louise Phillips and one by Tania Carver). I have thought about how I would react in all sorts of scary situations (I usually use my brave alter ego for these wonderings) and in short have read a great selection of books. I will be sharing reviews for each and every one over the next few days.

I’m now off The Guide Dog for the Blind Annual Book Sale because I clearly need some more books!