Monday, 1 September 2014

Summer Reading

This summer I have read these four books:

Bones Under the Beach Hut by Simon Brett

This book is from a series about two amateur sleuths Carole and Jude, who solve murder mysteries that they happen to stumble upon.  It is very "Rosemary and Thyme" in style and kept me interested but I wouldn't rush out to buy any more in the series. 

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

One of those books that I kept meaning to read one day. Used by many schools in the UK for GCSE English Literature but not liked by former Education Secretary Michael Gove because it is American literature. Being a teacher I have heard the students talk about this book over the years and so I knew where it was heading but that didn't distract me from the tension that slowly builds up over the course of the book. Steinbeck paints you a picture of the setting and the characters that you won't forget. The shear hopelessness of their situation is lesson for us all in so many ways; I for one hope this remains on the GCSE reading list.

Secrets of the Lighthouse by Santa Montefiore

This is the second book I have read by Santa Montefiore as I read The Summer House a year or so ago. There is similarity between the two being that of rich families and their troubles, which might put me off reading any more if I'm honest. Whilst I enjoyed these books and the stories that gradually unfold, I did find them predictable. Anyhow - this book follows Ellen as she runs away to Ireland to escape her forthcoming marriage, she falls in love with the place, her long lost family and of course - a man, Conor! Part of the story unfolds through the eyes of Conor's dead wife, which does give an interesting aspect to the events as you move along. 

One thing I do like about Montefiore's books are the front covers which all have the back view of a woman alone in a large landscape. 

Indelible Ink by Fiona McGregor

I bought this whilst on holiday in Australia and I chose it because it is set in Sydney. I think having been to a lot of the areas mentioned in the book really helped bring it alive for me but if you haven't been to Sydney don't let that put you off reading this book - it's a gem. I should just say though, if you don't like course language then this isn't the book for you. 

Indelible Ink is told through the eyes of Marie King - aged 59 and her three grown up children, but mostly through Marie. It is a realistic and gritty tale of these Sydneysiders and their trials and tribulations. Marie is divorced and finding a new way of life through getting tattoos; her daughter Blanche is a career woman struggling with her ticking hormonal clock; Clark is a single dad in love with a married woman and Leon is in love with a man who has moved on from him. 

A memorable book that leaves me wanting to read more FionaMcGregor (I would love to see this as a film or a mini-series too). 

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