I thought the film was pretty bleak, so I wanted to read the book to see if it was different. If anything, it is significantly more bleak, but also simpler, and somehow more affecting. Florence Green is a widow who opens a bookshop in a small, not especially lovely, coastal English town. It’s not a happy story, not even a little, and it isn’t about the power of books, really, either. It is, however, a quietly powerful story of relationships, strength, and quirky personalities.
A short, dark tale about a group of people on an experimental archaeology exercise. There are students and a professor from a university, and a family whose father is obsessed with ancient Briton, and the environment and immersion in the time, has unintended consequences for some. It is a creepy, atmospheric, and timely story about growing up, the abuse of power, and identity.
Set between 2011 and 2015, this is the story of Marianne and Connell whose relationship begins in secret while they are at school, and how it and they change as they leave their small town and go to Dublin for university. It’s about class, communication, love, abuse, mental illness, friendship and the struggle to find one’s place in the world as an adult. It’s very modern, and made me feel old, but it was very compelling.
Annabel Grey has lead a charmed life, but now her mother has gone away and she is left with her elderly aunts, who own a magic shop. All of a sudden her world is turned upside down as she is a witch, and finds herself on a dangerous quest. It is a dark tale about a fight between good and evil, and the power, bittersweet consolations, and hope of friendship.
A story that reimagines the beginning of the little mermaid story, full of friendship (love), revenge and magic. The pace builds throughout the story, making the second half of the story more enjoyable.
The landscape of Tasmania is wonderfully described in this story, being both wild and comforting. There is mystery, friendship and love in there but the overiding message is all about the environment. While this is an important message I think it could of been handled a little more subtlety and let the story and characters shine more.
Reading the book after seeing and loving the film version, is one of my favourite things. The book is so slim, and very spare, so didn’t take much longer than watching the movie. It’s the story of a number of women working in a fancy Sydney department store in 1959. There’s glamour, romance, awakenings, wit, and light. It was a joy to read and to watch.
“Bogey brain…smelly sausauge…”
This is a hilarious and warming story of two cheeky little creatures that fall out and fall in again over a lolly. Filled with the best nonsense name calling it is a story with a message about making friends.
Mums, dads and older siblings will have a great laugh reading this aloud to their own cheely creatures.
Swing Time is the story of two brown girls from London, who love to dance and have a complicated relationship. We follow them from childhood to adulthood, in London, New York and Africa. It is, as you would expect from Zadie Smith, beautifully written, and I never found it dull, but I was not entranced, either. The narrator, not named, is detached, without ambition, even shiftless, so I found the themes of parenthood, race, belonging, poverty, charity, fame, purpose, and meaning not, perhaps, as powerful as they might have been.
A mystery story with a whole lot of layers (social and personal). The storyline kept me intrigued and moved along well. A thoroughly modern story with great characters. Although not a big dramatic ending – it fitted in well with the story and I left the story satisfied (also a bit emotional).