I once grew my hair to look like Audrey Tautou in Amélie. I realised that the comparisons were not in my favour. Comparing new books to Harry Potter is a similarly risky move, but in this case, I think it works. As I read Nevermoor: The trials of Morrigan Crow, I was strongly reminded of Harry Potter many times, but in a good way. The story of cursed child, Morrigan’s, rescue from death, and removal to Nevermoor where she competes to join the Wundrous Society is full of delightful characters, twists and turns, joy, fear, sadness, laughs and a lot of fun. It’s great for younger readers, and, like all good books for young people, for those of any age who love a heartwarming, sweet, and funny tale of wonder.
This book starts with a murder scene; the nanny kills her two young charges before attempting to kill herself. What follows is the lead up to the horror, and it is a clever and disturbing look at the struggles of modern parenthood, career, city living, and the fascinating situation of inviting someone into your one to care for your children. I raced through it to the abrupt, but not unsatisfying, end.
A good Australian historical / rural / romance / mystery story, all elements I love in a story. The story kept me interested throughout. I liked that the author presented the past through diary entries and letters – a different, but fitting way to tell the story.
Four and a half stars for this, my favourite Forna book yet. It’s the story of two people who meet by chance, in London, neither of them English. Jean is an American, studying urban foxes, and Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist. They join together, along with a crew of immigrant workers, to search for a lost boy, and find more than they were looking for. It’s a quiet novel, very thoughtful and intelligent, and I just fell in love with the characters.
Patrick Melrose is now 22, and on his way to New York to pick up His father’s ashes. We spend two days with him there, as he bombards his body with a frightening amount of drugs, and wrestles with himself, his acquaintances, and the world. It’s black, funny, and so very clever. You will need a strong stomach….
Life lessons from the master Houdini makes for an interestng read. Terry has lost his way and after meeting Hal is introduced to the life of Houdini, focusing on his time spent in Australia. The author’s fasciniation with Houdini is very evident. The premise of the story was good but the emotions of the characters were flat, making it just an OK read.
This is chick lit with an educational purpose. A single mother, Jess, and her ten year old son travel to France to spend time with his father. Jess and Adam split up ten years ago, but her mother, who is ill, is keen for her grandson to connect with his father. Her mother’s illness weighs heavily on Jess, and this trip is significant for a number of reasons. The French countryside is lovely, the characters attractive and the interactions pleasantly predictable. The education is related to a particular disease, but the moral is not unusual for this sort of book; live life to the full. I must have seen this highly recommended somewhere, to have put it on my list, and it certainly wasn’t horrid, but I need a bit more to be really moved by a book. For fans of Me Before You, which doesn’t mean that someone dies!
In post-war London, two teenagers, Nathaniel and Rachel, are left in the care of an odd, possibly criminal man, and his assorted friends. It is a confusing time, and years later Nathaniel looks back and tries to make sense of it. It’s an evocative story about intelligence work during WWII, the perspective of young people, parenthood, and memory.
Three and a half stars for Hold, a story about Belinda, a Ghanaian teenager who, having adjusted from village life to that of a housegirl, makes another move, to London. In London, she lives with a Ghanaian couple, and their daughter, Amma, who is struggling, and her parents hope Belinda can get her back on track. It is a quiet coming of age story, dealing with culture, duty, shame, belonging and growing into a sense of self. My favourite character was the younger Mary, left behind in Ghana; spirited and funny. The pace of this novel is slow, and it didn’t move me quite as much as I feel it could have.
Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion Cooking is a handy book when you have an excess of produce from the garden! If you still have some pumpkins left, this is a great spring recipe. Very tasty it was too! It’s so easy to Google recipes these days but it is nice to sit and drool over a lovely recipe book which this is. This is the perfect book for using up the excess seasonal produce.