Full disclosure, I’ve done hardly any reading recently! Life gets in the way of even the most avid reader. In fact all the books I have read I’ve done so in a couple of days, rather than reading every day. In June I go on holiday to Italy though, so I already have the Kindle loaded and know I’ll make up for lost time. Here’s what I read in March and April…
Red Clocks by Leni Zumas
Red Clocks tells the story of a not too far-fetched America where abortion is once again illegal, as is IVF and single parent families. It follows five women with different issues around motherhood, pregnancy and abortion. I was really looking forward to reading this as I’m, you know, hashtag woke and all for women’s reproductive rights. However, I found the book really, really hard to get into at first. The plot is actually very interesting but I don’t feel I got to know any of the characters in any depth – it was like I was floating above them, rather than walking with them. Towards the end I enjoyed this more but the writing style was hard to get on with. I think this will be worth another read now that I’m prepared for the strange, staccato prose though.
Trying by Emily Phillips
This book hit very close to home although I am in no way, shape or form trying for a baby or having a baby anytime soon. But, as we get older, I’m sure motherhood occupies at least a tiny corner of very woman’s mind, right? Trying follows Olivia and her husband Felix as they try (and fail) to conceive, they’ve moved to the suburbs of London to prepare and as their attempts at conceiving unravel, as does their marriage. I think the reason this resonated so much is that the characters’ lives are so close to my own – living in London, good jobs but poor. And what could be a ‘woe is me’ tale is actually super funny and uplifting. Plus, the hardback cover is gorgeous.
How To Stop Time by Matt Haig
While the cynic in me tells me that this book is a blatant rip-off of the so-bad-it’s-good Blake Lively film Age of Adeline, the bibliophile in me says ‘this is a great book, stop being so cynical’. And How to Stop Time is good, and easy, which I think makes a book even better. I started reading this by the Lido in Hampstead on Saturday and had finished it by the end of the weekend (and would have read it faster were it not for a pesky bday party). The main character has a condition where he doesn’t age and so he’s lived a long time, the plot flits between present day and at various junctures throughout history. You won’t be able to put this down, buy it for your next holiday.
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
I was kindly sent some copies of this for my book club but annoyingly it took me 4 months to get around to reading this – after the 5th amazing review from people who had read it, I set aside some time to finally get into Bluebird, Bluebird. And I’m so glad I did, this book played out so cleverly. What starts out as one story (the unexplained murders of a black man and white woman) explodes into a series of interconnected events set against the backdrop of rural Texas. The theme of race is woven through the tale, but it’s never heavy handed and you’ll be rushing to finish to find out what happened. I was impressed with the way so many loose ends were neatly tied up and I’ll definitely be searching out more Attica Locke novels.
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