Recent Reads this Autumn

November 11, 2016 No Comments


It’s
been a while since I’ve done a post about what books I’ve had my nose in, but I
think it’s about time to write up some of my recent reads. This started as a bit of a mammoth post with 8 books in it, but it was so long I’ve split it up for you, (and taken out a couple, that as I wrote about them, I realised I’d really not liked!). I don’t want anyone falling asleep during it!

I read
this book in one sitting whilst having a bout of insomnia. I started reading as
something to help me go back to sleep, but that was a mistake. I couldn’t stop
reading.

The
book follows two sisters from the beginning of world war II through to the end,
showing us how their lives change and showing us the impact that women had on
the war effort in France. The book is based on the true stories of women during
the war, but this isn’t a ‘true’ story.  

As
the book starts, one sister, Vianne, is in her late 20’s, living a happy life
with her husband and daughter, she is a schoolteacher in rural France. The
other, Isabelle, is in her late teens, being thrown out of yet another boarding
school and running back to their absent father in Paris. As the war escalates,
Vianne’s husband is conscripted and Paris is under attack so Isabelle, against
her wishes, is sent to live with her sister. On her journey to her Vianne’s  she
meets a young convict, Gaetan, who over the course of their journey starts to
shape her future for the rest of the war! Vianne on the other hand is coping
with the fact her home has been commandeered by a German officer, and she is
increasingly becoming alarmed by the lack of food available and the increasing antisemitism, as her best friend is Jewish.   

The
Nightingale follows the way that the war affects both women. From Vianne’s
journey where protecting her daughter is the her top priority to Isabelle,
where helping the war effort, and making a difference is her top priority.

I know
the book isn’t 100% factually correct, but it’s a novel, not a history book. It
had me gripped. I couldn’t put it down because all I wanted to do was find out
what had happened to the sisters. And oh my, the ending, it had me in tears. But
that might have been the hormones I have been pumping in my body recently

I think this was a 99p kindle download, which of late has been pretty hit or miss (hence the removal of a few books from this post when I started thinking about them) but it’s one of the ones I enjoyed. It’s the first in a series so I’m sure there will be more of them banded about!
The story is set in the Scandinavian Archipelago islands, predominately, Sandhamn, and feature police detective Thomas, who grew up in the area, and his childhood friend, Nora, who is on the island for the summer with her family
Thomas is sent to Sandhamn to investigate the discovery of a body washed up on shore, in a fishing net. The body is ID’d as Krister, a man who has been missing for a few months and afetr a short investigation, the death is thought to be an accident. Until the cousin of the Krister is also found dead on the island under very different circumstances. Neither of the dead seem to have any connection to the island, so the mystery is to figure out why they have both died there

 

I really liked how the book drew me into the island – it sounds like the sort of place I’d like to hang out (lots of sailing, cute houses and beaches – who wouldn’t) and I really liked the two main characters, Thomas and Nora, even if it is SO obvious that these two will be getting together at some point. I ‘ll be honest, I had an inkling about who the murderer was pretty early on, but still it was interesting to read and to see how the investigation unfolded and brought in more characters!

I 100% bought this book because of the cover. I knew it was a thriller
type book from the amazon offer email it came through on, but if i hadn’t I’d
have expected some sort of trashy beach story (which I love)! 

In real life the story is about Paul, a writer, who had written a less
than best selling book in his 20’s and has been dining out in it’s (lack of
success) since. He is a liar, a chancer and a thoroughly unpleasant man, who
when we meet him, is living rent free, house sitting for a friend, and moving
from one young woman to the next. By chance, he bumps into an old uni class
mate who invites him to dinner. Thinking he might be able to get something from
the dinner, he accepts and ends up meeting Alice. 

After some months of playing Alice, Paul is invited to spend time with
her, and her friends from the dinner, at her villa in Greece. It turns out the
villa is located in a town that Paul had already been to, and had met this
group of people at before, but he was too drunk to remember. It’s also the town that at the same time they were all there 10 years before the 13-year-old daughter of a friend of
Alice went missing on the island, a mystery that has never been solved.
As the hot summer unfolds, Paul’s lies begin to catch up with him and, as more
crimes are committed on the island, he is shocked to find that the police have
him in their sights.  


The Back Road

The
Back Road is set in a small English village, Little Melham, and follows the
lives of some of the villagers after a teenage girl, Abbie, is left for dead in
a hit and run accident.

The
main characters we see are Ellie, an intensive care nurse, who cares for Abbie.
Ellie lives with her husband and twin children in their fancy house, which was
her childhood home that has been remodelled with inheritance from her mother’s
death. And then we have her half sister, Leo. Leo is a life coach, who hasn’t been
back to her childhood home in years after she was treated badly by her step mum.
But all is not great when we meet Ellie and Leo. Ellie is trying to deal with
the unwanted attention from a stalker, and she is worried that her husband might
be having an affair, so with this in mind, she is happy to have Leo there to
distract her. 

As Leo
arrives, the night after Abbie’s hit and run, Ellie and Max are preparing to
throw a dinner party for their friends. Many of whom were out in their cars, driving the ‘back road’ when
they should have all be elsewhere, and all these people have secrets to hide. One
of the dinner party guests is Tom, a former detective (I have since read that there
is a series of books about him) who has moved to the village for some peace and
quiet. As the book goes on, and he
is drawn into the story and begins to believe that there is
more to the hit and run than it being a tragic accident! 

I had a bit
of a love/hate relationship with this book. I really liked the story, and I
loved the twists that it threw in, and I did really enjoy some of the
characters, but I also thought that some of them made such dumb choices in life,
if they were my friends in real life I’d have stabbed them in the eyes with a
fork. Which made it hard for me to really love the book!

What have you been reading recently? What should I be picking up? I’m going to have some reading time on my hands soon, so hit me up with your suggestions! Please! 

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