The excerpt "Expectation" in the photo above touched me deeply. The main character Nora is completely lost and alone and suicidal so she takes an overdose. During that state of unconsciousness and coming back to life again which I know about all too well, she gets a second chance. She gets this wonderful opportunity to visit the midnight library and try out hundreds of versions of how her life could have turned out. It's a brilliant concept, that suspension of time. I'll never get bored of it.
I found the story both beautiful and humbling. Haig writes about the darkest of subjects with such light. I didn't even know that was possible. I only know how to blacken and comedise my bleak experiences and depressed state of mind when I'm telling my own lived stories. It's refreshing and calming to know I am not alone and it's interesting to read about mental health from a male perspective.
Maybe I will try "Reasons To Stay Alive"...
But Amy has to get on with it. She's running a household, looking after her children and working full time and all that can't just be paused. Yep, it's difficult not to hate Hugh!
This is wise writing, glorious, believable. One of those life affirming novels for us women, who are trying to juggle it all. You will laugh and you will cry.
Continuing with the retrospective book reviews, I think I purchased this one for South Africa, early summer 2017. I had begun a trend of buying books at WH Smiths at Heathrow to distract myself from my grief because I was acutely aware I wasn't enjoying travel as much, even though I continued to travel and had further trips planned for the year (Canada and Prague). It was on my flight to Canada later that summer when I watched the film and was disappointed to see it had been Americanized. I'd had in my mind that they would keep the English backdrop. What I'd loved about the setting for the book was that it was familiar to me; the names of the places and the stations along the train route. To me, that does make a subtle difference when I'm reading a storyline; something that's only become noticeable to me in recent years.
So, to the story! It really is full of twists and turns and again, like my previous review, I did not see the ending coming. I whipped through it because I quite literally couldn't put it down. I think it's incredibly clever writing when you reveal pieces of information bit by bit and timed to perfection. Hawkins is controlling the narrative superbly through a drunken, unreliable spokesperson. "Suburban Noir" - I love that description. Taking ordinary, potentially boring lives and twisting it into something thrilling and suspenseful. Extremely good psychological fiction.
think in hindsight it would've only added to the tense and compelling plot.
I did end up reading this book in fits and starts, having to completely start over several months after Col's passing, as I'd lost the thread a little and that is one of my pet hates when reading what I know is going to be a great story. However, once I did start over, I couldn't put it down. Page turner is such a cliche, but this is one of those.
At the time, when I too was feeling quite suicidal and lost in my grief, I could really get behind Mia (one of the two main detectives) and feel the absolute pain she is going through. You'll see what I mean when you read it. I was in a dark place and so is she. Desperately dark to the point of being in a cabin, alone, far from anyone, with a stash of pills and alcohol to keep her company. Oh, and the sea right outside. Talk about temptations at every turn!
I loved the whole cult aspect giving the murders another dimension and I really didn't see the ending coming until it was upon me. The remoteness of the locations also set the scene exceptionally well. Kudos to Bjork.
This was a new author for me so I didn't know what to expect. I presumed a light hearted chick lit read with a nice, easy going story - and that's exactly what I got - plus a generous helping of familiarity (the author lived and worked in Bristol and the story was set in Bath, where I was born), along with some fantastic storytelling and great plot twists. I guess that's what separates good writers from great writers... the ability to take life and make amazing books out of it, conveying a whole range of everyday emotions with such beautiful writing.
I am a big fan of village story telling. It's fascinating what goes on behind closed doors and you can always have a close knit cast who weave in and out of each other's lives. Falling For You does just that. Maddy is single and the one chap she wants, she can't have. Sound familiar? Of course! But as the story develops you find out why, the history behind the two families and the reasons for the hatred. Mansell charts Life's ups and downs for this brilliant set of characters and it's all so believable.
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.