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These reviews are done in no particular order some I loved some am ambivalent about but I wanted to share with you my thoughts on all sorts of genres. I rank them 1- 5 stars but mostly share here the ones I have enjoyed the most!
Capital by John Lancaster
A funny parody of the middle class London set who are so obsessed by their stratospheric property value that they lose sense of everything else that is really to be treasured. Well until they start to receive mysterious messages through their doors saying “We Want What you Have.” Lancaster presents an eclectic collection of characters from the greedy financial broker and his shopping obsessive trophy wife, and their sexy nanny, to the rowdy Polish builders, a dying elderly woman and her only daughter who can’t wait to rip up her mother’s beloved garden, an African football genius and the Indian family who run the corner shop. This could really be any street in London – except this is the one everyone wants a part of! An absolute 5/5 rating!
Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1) by Hillary Mantel
I have to admit at first I would only dip in and out of Cromwell’s world and often found it hard to keep up with who is who. I finished it and enjoyed getting into the nitty-gritty of life under Henry Tudor. I have visited Hampton Court many times but you only get a superficial impression. The book really came to life with the BBC dramatization by the wonder actor Mark Rylance. And then of course I picked up the sequel! I truly admire the author for her success too especially as she has an illness that limits what she does in life, a lot like myself! A 5/5 star rating
Disobedience by Naomi Alderman
I had the pleasure of meeting Naomi and then writing a piece for website dedicated to London Fiction (http://www.londonfictions.com/naomi-alderman-disobedience.html) Although I was born and bred in London, I am from an Irish family and didn’t really know much about the staunch Jewish community of Hendon. But I can imagine like the protagonist in the book it wouldn’t suit me and I would have to find a way to break out! I shan’t give any more away but should certainly be on your reading list! Rating 5/5
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Despite not making me happy the heart-wrenching topic was excellently executed. I find as I get older I want books that transport me into a better place and not have me dwell on some of the more sinister sides of life. As I rate my books purely on how much I enjoyed reading it, I have to give this a 2 star rating.
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
I both loved and loathed this book as I felt Elizabeth was wallowing a lot in self-pity but there again it showed fantastically what someone in her situation goes through and I loved the outcome for her – not only the phenomenal success but her own happiness. My rating 3.5 stars
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Jodi tackles modern dilemmas like no other author in literature and makes the reader think, but what would you do if it were you. Excellent style but again I found it a book that left me feeling sad. For that reason I rate it 3 stars.
About a Boy by Nick Hornby
What I enjoyed most about this book was it spawned a new style of writing about people who could so easily be my friends/family with lovable faults and frailties we all recognize. A 4 star rating.
The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux
I read this book on a train where life slows down and you can become absorbed into another world. I love travelling by train and my kids also now have the buzz after a summer on the excellent French train network. Reading a book like this makes me want to dash out to Paddington Station and go on another adventure! In fact, another of Theroux’s book Riding the Iron Rooster,led me to visit the incredible hidden world of Tibet. No one does this type of book as good as Theroux! As you can imagine I am giving this 5/5 star rating!
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
Sometimes we are born into a society that has expectations and morals thrust upon us and little do we dare behave in any other way. But the brave few who are willing to jump at new horizons and explore a different perspective are often rewarded in ways not thought possible. Through the eyes of the protagonist in this epic, we delve into the cloistered world of a Bangladeshi woman shipped to the UK to be married and keep house, until she submits to fate and a taboo relationship! This book will live with you long after you return it to the shelve! Rating 5/5
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
I recall when I first sent my novel to agents they didn’t like my intertwined two story style of writing and yet I am guided by the great Atwood in this intriguing novel that keeps you guessing all along. It is the story of two sisters and their secrets set in the closing days of the second world war and the present day (the same periods I also cover in my book set in Japan!) Atwood is a master at storytelling! Rating 5/5
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
An A-level text that stayed with me for life, and I have read it several times since. Such a simple story so cleverly executed. How the vanity of some can be the ruin of others around them. Set in the prohibition years, the Great Gatsby is loved for his extravagance but as he discovers not for who he actually is. He must be the most known flawed character in fiction! 5 star rating
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