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Us
Us

Us by David Nicholls

It’s over four years since the publication of the phenomenal One Day - a hard act to follow. This is a look at a long-term marriage that, as far as the wife is concerned, has run out of steam. This comes as a complete surprise to her reliable husband, Douglas. Artistic Connie wants to break free and Douglas thought they would grow old together! A perceptive and realistic look at marriage and all the joys and trials and tribulations involved. Anyone who has a teenager in their midst will identify with the roles taken by this mum and dad when dealing with their son, Albie and what a thankless job it is. Funny, sad and so cleverly written, I cannot praise this book enough. Probably the best book I read in 2014. What a talent!


The Woman Who Stole My Life
The Woman Who Stole My Life
The Prophecy of Bees
The Prophecy of Bees

The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes

Stella Sweeney is back in Dublin after her whirlwind year in New York. Following a serious illness which left her paralysed, she publishes One Blink At A Time, a self-help book that parachutes her to the big time. But reality can come crashing down at any time and with two teenagers and an ex-husband in tow, Stella is trying to keep everyone in line. The story jumps between the past and present; I particularly enjoyed the passages focused on Stella’s battle with her illness. As expected, there are plenty of laughs throughout. Fans of Marian Keyes won’t be disappointed.

 

The Prophecy of Bees by R S Pateman

Very atmospheric, claustrophic story. Very disappointed with the ending, but then I’m not sure how else it could have ended. It’s hard to classify this book (which, of course, begs the question: is it necessary to categorise a book?) and the intended audience seems a bit ambiguous. Is it horror? Yes. A mystery? Not really. A ghost story? Sort of. Young adult fiction? Not sure. Isabella, the main character and narrator for part of the book, is a post-sixteen young woman with unresolved issues and a tumultuous relationship with her mother, so from that perspective this could be a YA book. The book started off really well, the tension built very effectively, but then I found it all got a bit over the top. Maybe I’m just not very good at suspending my disbelief!

 

 

 




 

 

Leaving Time
Leaving Time
The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes
The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Jenna can’t remember what happened to her mother, despite being there the night she died. She learns about her mother’s life and love of elephants through her field notes; detailing her work in Africa and at the Sanctuary where she went missing. Jenna is determined to find her mother, she knows that she wouldn’t leave her. Jenna enlists the help of a washed out private detective and a disgraced psychic in the hope of finding her alive. Jenna’s search for her mother, Alice is interspersed between descriptions of elephant behaviour, focusing on mothering in the wild and grief. The cast of characters are well drawn, I loved Serenity and Virgil. The mystery element of the story had me guessing throughout and the twist at the end left me glassy eyed. If this book doesn’t leave you with a love of elephants, I’ll eat my hat!

 

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin

The title of the book says it all really; Rabbit Hayes has cancer and is in her final days. Her family have yet to give up hope for a miracle and rally round her bedside. What Rabbit will miss the most is her 12 year old daughter, Juliet; she finds it hard to tell her the truth regarding her prognosis. Interwined with Rabbit’s final days are flashbacks to her youth as a groupie/roadie for her brother’s band and her first love. This is a touching look at how illness devastates those who are left behing; I was in tears throughout as Rabbit’s family came to terms with the inevitable. It wasn’t all doom and gloom though; Rabbit’s family are a hoot. This is a typical (Irish) family who can bicker like champions; this stopped the book being too maudlin. I’d heartily recommend this book to all, but do have a box of tissues handy.

Die Again
Die Again
Tell No Tales
Tell No Tales

Die Again by Tess Gerritsen

Rizzoli and Isles are back! This book is a gripping read. It begins in Botswana as a group head off into the bush on safari. Their tracker is killed during the night and tension builds as their truck breaks down and another member of the group is killed. Six years later, in Boston, Rizzoli and Isles are called to the home of renowned taxidermist, Leon Gott who has been strung up and eviscerated like a hunted animal. As their investigation progresses, it leads them to other similar cases and eventually to Botswana. There is a "twist in the tale" that I did guess but nonetheless, this is a great fast-paced thriller.

 

 

Tell No Tales by Eva Dolan

This is an accomplished follow-up to her debut, Long Way Down. It begins with a hit and run accident - a car ploughs into a bus stop, killing two migrant workers and injuring a third. It seems like a straightforward case for DI Zigic and DS Ferreira so they are pleased to wrap it up quickly and move on to a more pressing case - two immigrants found murdered, kicked and beaten beyond recognition in separate attacks. When a third murder occurs, it starts to become apparent that the murders are linked to the hit and run attack. This is a topical book as political, social and racial issues are all explored within this gripping crime novel. Eva Dolan has set a high standard with her first two novels, I hope she can continue!







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THE READING LIST



Recommended Reads
Recommended Reads
Books we’ve enjoyed...

Books we've been reading
Books we've been reading
We’ve read some great books lately...

Children and Teen Booklists
Children and Teen Booklists
Books about potty training to bullying...

Richard and Judy's Autumn Book Club 2014
Richard and Judy's Autumn Book Club 2014
See the latest titles selected...

Dual Language Books
Dual Language Books
Picture books @ Central...

Fabulous Fiction
Fabulous Fiction
Brilliant Junior Fiction...

Picture Perfect
Picture Perfect
Fun reads for under 5s...


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