When Imogen and Dan decide to move back to her childhood home after the death of her mother, it is with the idea of starting a new life after a difficult year, one where Imogen found herself unemployed and suffering from a breakdown.
Unable to find work in London and maintain their lifestyle, a chance to move to a home already paid for seems like a good idea, as does taking a job at a local child protection agency (Imogen is a child psychologist). If only Imogen could stop feeling full of dread.
I’m not normally one for Christmas stories I have to admit but a short story by P. J. Tracy (who writes the Monkeewrench series, which I love) was too good to pass by.
Unlike her other books, this one isn’t set in Minnesota but in Las Vegas, where Emil – a not very good thief – is given the choice of returning to jail for two years after breaking the conditions of his probation, or, work for a year on a community programme.
He chooses the latter, only to find himself in what seems worse than prison – a psychiatric hospital, where he finds himself mopping the floors and helping the patients; he starts to look for a way to escape almost as soon as he arrives.
Tonight You’re Dead is the fourth in the Sandhamn series of books – a place I love the sound of (multiple murders aside). It sounds beautiful, set of the coast of Sweden and home to a mix of fascinating character – not least of which (and central to all the books) is Nora, a single mom to two boys and best friend of Thomas, a local detective (and another central character in the book).
The last three books have been set on the island itself. This one isn’t. It is set on the mainland and, also unlike other books, has a lot less interaction between Nora and Thomas. Previously, they have spoken and met often and Nora has been involved in all Thomas’ investigations. Here, they have little interaction and Thomas works closely instead with another detective, Margit.
Morning all and welcome to another Sunday post. I hope you had a good week and weekend. Week wise, I didn’t do much if I’m honest though I also don’t know where the time went as all of a sudden it was Friday and I was jumping on a train to London – but not for work (yay!).
Every year a group of us who used to work together get together and have a girls night out. We’ve been doing it for six years now (after we all got made redundant at the same time) and it’s always a blast. I laughed more than I have in a long time and drank way too much wine – you couldn’t ask for more really. Another plus side is two four hour train journeys, which made for a lot of reading!
The Birthday Girl is one of those books that is hard to review because, once you get past the initial idea, there are too many secrets and too many twists and turns – making the risk of spoilers just too great.
So, what can I tell you about it? It starts with an invite, three friends (Carys, Zoe, and Andrea) being invited by a fourth (Joanne) to go away from the weekend to celebrate Joanne’s 40th birthday; as it’s Carys’ too, they can celebrate that as well.
What could sound better? Well, for Carys, pretty much anything as she and Joanne aren’t on the best of terms – though it isn’t clear why at first – and neither, it turns out are Joanne and Andrea. In fact, Zoe, is the only one who seems to be getting along with everyone and excited for the weekend.
The Goodreads summary for The Relive Box by T. C. Boyle starts by describing it as a collection of “raucous” short stories. To me, raucous means rowdy, which didn’t quite fit. So, out came the dictionary, which says that – in fact – raucous means “making or constituting a disturbingly harsh and loud noise”, and this makes a lot more sense because one of the words I had written down after finishing the book and was preparing for my review was disturbing.
I also wrote down dark, cold and depressing; there is little in these stories that could be described as hopeful – maybe the end of Are We Not Men?, which left me feeling somewhat optimistic . The rest, if I’m honest, left me feeling depressed. The world they present, which is probably our not to distant future if we don’t play our cards right, isn’t one I want to live in.
How Much the Heart Can Hold is a collection of seven short stories on love, written by seven different authors. I wanted to read it because they were short stories, which are one of my favourite things to read; I was nervous to read it because it had love in the title, and love stories are not one of my favourite things.
In the introduction, this reaction is one the editor says she is used to, this expectation that the stories will be on romantic love. She is quick to stress that this isn’t the case. Instead, the inspiration behind this collection comes from the Ancient Greek’s idea of love and that there are different aspects to it: familial love, charitable, passion and desire, love of self amongst them. That the book looks at love from these angles makes the stories much more interesting that they might first appear.