#BookReviews: The Carer | How It Was | Still Lives | The Water Cure

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Here are some more reviews of books that I’ve read recently:

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How It Was by Janet Ellis

I read and really enjoyed Janet Ellis’ debut novel The Butcher’s Hook so I was very keen to read her new book. It’s different to her first book but I still very much enjoyed it. It follows Marian, who is sitting in hospital next to her dying husband. She reads him old cards that she’s found and slowly falls into recollections of their lives together. The novel meanders and it can be a little hard to follow at times as you try to work out what point you are at in Marian’s life but I realised that I had to let myself just go where it was taking me and it became easier to follow the timeline then. Marion has had such heartbreak in her life, and the way she had to hide her intense grief for someone earlier in her life was stunningly written. I felt like I was right there with Marion and could feel all of her emotions. Later as she has to deal with her teenage daughter and all the complex emotions that this entails again gave me such empathy for her. She’s a flawed person but it’s impossible not to feel for her. I enjoyed this book but it’s only now that a little time has passed and I find myself still thinking about it that I can see just how good a book it is. I definitely recommend this one!

 

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Still Lives by Maria Hummell

This is a novel that I really wanted to read and yet didn’t pick up for ages after I got it. I think maybe on some level I knew I had to be in the exact right mood for it, and I’m so glad I waited because when I finally picked it up I read it in just two sittings! It follows Maggie who works for an art gallery and is working on the opening of a huge show of work by the new girlfriend of her ex-boyfriend. Kim Lord, the artist, has created a series of pictures where she has controversially painted her own image into the infamous murder scenes of women like Nicole Brown Simpson. Kim disappears on opening night and this leads to people analysing her paintings looking for a deeper message about where she might be. Maggie who already carries a lot of pain and regret becomes further melancholy and reflective about what might have happened. I adored this book – the message running through it about how murdered women are fetishised by the media is really well done and really makes you think. There is so much in this book alongside the mystery element and I really enjoyed it. I already want to read this book again so I definitely recommend it!

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The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

This novel follows three sisters who are brought up in an abusive, claustrophobic situation on an isolated island. We hear from each of them as well as their joint voice as they describe their world. It’s clearly a really difficult life but it’s never really explained where they are or why they’re there. I wasn’t sure if this was a dystopian novel or a post-apocalyptic one, or if the whole thing was a metaphor. It’s a feminist novel but it felt quite surface level to me and I was always kept at quite a distance so couldn’t connect with the characters. I have to say though that the writing is beautiful and it is this that kept me reading to the end. Overall I’m still not really sure what I think about this novel but I did enjoy the writing enough to want to read more by the author.

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The Carer by Deborah Moggach

I’m a big fan of this author’s novels so was thrilled to finally get a copy of The Carer and I’m really happy to say that I loved it. It follows two adult children – Phoebe and Robert – as they deal with their father James’ growing care needs and his relationship with his new carer Mandy. Phoebe seems to bear the brunt of organising their dad’s care and she resents how little Robert does. Robert feels very put upon in life generally and wishes the world would leave him alone so he can write his novel in peace. Mandy is jolly and fun and brings out a lighter side of James which increasingly concerns Phoebe and Robert but they can’t openly complain because this is what Mandy is there for. The family dynamics explored in this novel are so spot on for how life is that I kept smiling, or nodding my head as I recognised people in my own life in the characters at various points in the novel. This is such an engaging read that I keep thinking about ever since I finished reading. I will definitely re-read this book in the future. The Carer is a novel that I’m sure will resonate with a lot of people and I whole-heartedly recommend it!

WWW Wednesdays (2 Oct 2019)! What are you reading this week?

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WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

A similar meme is run by Lipsyy Lost and Found where bloggers share This Week in Books #TWiB.

 

What I’m reading now: 

Forget Me Not by Claire Allan

I started this one yesterday evening and am loving it! It’s such a good read with believable characters and a great plot!

Fiona and the Whale by Hannah Lynn

I’ve only read the first chapter of this one so far but I can tell I’m going to love it. I previously read another of Hannah’s books (The Afterlife of Walter Augustus) and it became a favourite so I’m really looking forward to reading this one.

Almost Love by Louise O’Neill

I’m still really enjoying this book but it’s definitely a book to be read slowly. It’s such a moving book and one that I think a lot of people will see elements of their younger selves in.

The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and the People’s Temple by Jeff Guin

I’m still finding this audiobook fascinating. I knew about this cult and how things ended for the people but I had no idea about how it was set up and how he got people to join. It’s so interesting and also utterly chilling.

The Eleventh Day by Anthony Summers

I’ve read a couple more chapters of this book this week and it’s such an interesting book. I know quite a bit about the account of how 9/11 was handled but it’s still eye-opening in parts to see how different the people in positions of power told the story of how and when decisions were (or weren’t) taken.

What I recently finished reading:

Dirty Little Secrets by Jo Spain

I read this entire book in one sitting this week as once I started it I just didn’t want to put it down. I very much enjoyed this and will be sharing a review once I’ve got my thoughts together.

The Carer by Deborah Moggach

I had an eARC of this one but decided to buy the audio book in a recent Audible sale. It was a brilliant novel to get absorbed in and I loved it even more than I thought I would. I recommend it!

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

I’ve been reading this book on and off for a week now and whilst I did enjoy it, it didn’t keep me gripped as much as I’d hoped. I’m not sure if I read it at the wrong time or if the book just wasn’t for me. I’d still recommend it if you like the sound of it though.

Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel by Ruth Hogan

When I Lost You by Merrilyn Davies

This is another book where I had an ebook but decided to get the audio so I could part-listen and part-read. I read this in one sitting too as it’s another book that had me engrossed all the way through.

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

I also read this book whilst listening along to the audiobook and I think I enjoyed it more for reading it like this. I’m not sure how I feel about this book yet, it feels like a book that I need to digest before trying to write my thoughts down.

How to Say Goodbye by Katy Colins

This is such a gorgeous book. It’s a combination of a really lovely story and an exploration of grief that is so real and yet never maudlin. I adored this one and I already want to read it all over again!

 

What I plan on reading next:

The Family by Louise Jensen

I’m a huge fan of Louise Jensen’s writing so am super excited to read her brand new thriller so am planning on picking it up this week at some point.

The Last by Hanna Jameson

I’m really embarrassed to have had this print ARC for as long as I have without reading it so whilst I’m trying to catch up with my review backlog I’d like to try and read this one this week.

Innocent or Guilty by A. M. Taylor

I got this book on NetGalley recently and have been so looking forward to reading it so am hoping to have chance to start it in the coming days.

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

This is another ARC that somehow got lost on my bookcase and I forgot all about it, which I’m mortified about. I’m definitely going to be reading this one soon as I love Rachel Joyce’s writing and this feels like it’ll be a real treat!

 

 

What have you been reading this week? I’d love to hear. And if you take part in WWW Wednesdays or This Week in Books please feel free to leave your link below and I’ll make sure to visit and comment on your post. 🙂

Stacking the Shelves with a New Book Haul (13 Apr 2019)!

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality, which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week!

 

I didn’t manage to post about my book haul last week so this post is a bumper two week book haul! I’ve acquired way too many books over the last fortnight but I’ve not been well and I can’t resist temptation when I’m not feeling great (that’s my excuse anyway!!).

 

Books I Bought

To Throw Away Unopened by Viv Albertine

I still haven’t read Clothes Music Boys but I couldn’t resist grabbing a copy of this as it sounds like a book I will love. I hope to get to it soon.

The Dark Circle by Linda Grant

I’ve wanted to read this book ever since it was first published but I never seem to remember about it when I’m book shopping but this week I finally bought a copy and I can’t wait to read it!

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

This was an impulse by on Kindle as the blurb grabbed me and I couldn’t resist!

To Catch a Killer by Emma Kavanagh

I also bought this on Kindle as I love this author and I believe this book might be the start of a series so I’m really keen to read it soon.

Freefall by Jessica Barry

Another impulse buy on Kindle!

The Great Swindle by Pierre Lemaitre

I love Pierre Lemaitre’s writing but somehow missed buying a copy of this book when it came out but I’ve rectified that now and I’m looking forward to reading this.

I Thought I Knew You by Penny Hancock

I read another book by this author quite a long time ago and remember really enjoying it so I couldn’t resist picking this book up when I spotted it.

Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin

I’ve not read anything by this author before but the blurb sounded really good so I bought this on Kindle.

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus

I enjoyed the author’s first book so when I saw this on the Kindle daily deal this week I snapped it up!

Beneath the Bleeding by Val McDermid

This was an Audible purchase as I’m enjoying listening to books at the moment so grabbed this one on a whim when it was deal of the day.

 

ARCS I Received

Call Me A Liar by Collette McBeth

I received a surprise copy of this in the post last week and I was thrilled! I love Collette McBeth’s writing and have been eagerly anticipating this book being released.

Constellations by Sinead Gleeson

I read an extract from this book in one of the papers last week and I knew then that I had to read the book. I was delighted to be approved to read it on NetGalley and will be reading it very soon.

The Carer by Deborah Moggach

This is another of my highly anticipated 2019 releases so I was so happy to be approved to read it on NG this week.

Dead Inside by Noelle Holton

I’ve been so looking forward to reading blogger-turned-author Noelle’s debut novel so am thrilled to have a copy on my kindle and will definitely be reading this one very soon!

How to Treat People by Molly Case

I requested this book on NG as the premise sounded really interesting.

I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney

I loved Alice Feeney’s first book so have been keen to read this second novel.

The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North

I’d forgotten I’d requested this book on NG so it was a fab surprise when I got an approval email for it.

The Water Cure by Sophie Macintosh

It was lovely to be sent a pre-approved link for this NG book as I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages. I hope to get to this very soon.

Furious Hours by Casey Cep

I downloaded this book from NG on a read now as it sounds fascinating. It’s about a murder that Harper Lee was researching but she ended up not writing a book about it. I couldn’t resist that premise.

Breakers by Doug Johnstone

I’m delighted to have been sent this book as Orenda Books are always brilliant and this one sounds so good. I’ll be reading this one soon as I’m going to be on the blog tour for it next month.

Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald

This is another Orenda book and I’m so keen to read this one. I’ve enjoyed the author’s previous books but this one sounds even better!

Song of the Robin by R. V. Biggs

I’m going to be on the blog tour for this book and I’m really intrigued to read the book. I wasn’t sure if it was for me at first but now I can’t wait to start reading it!

10 Things To Do Before You Leave School by Bernard O’ Keeffe

This sounds like an emotional but also uplifting book and I’m really enjoying books like this at the moment so it won’t be long before I pick this one up.

We Never Said Goodbye by Helene Fermont

I’ve read a previous book by Helene Fermont and very much enjoyed it so I’m delighted to have another of her books to read.

The Tapestry Bag by Isabella Muir

This is another blog tour book, it’s an audio book so I expect I’ll be listening to this in the coming week as I find audio is the easiest way for me to read books at the moment.

 

 


 

Have you bought any new books over the last week? Please tell me below. 🙂 If you join in with Stacking the Shelves please feel free to leave your link and I’ll make sure to read and comment on your post.