It has been a while, and I am still behind on my challenge to read 50 books in 2013, the summer holidays has made reading slow going, but thanks to a couple of long train journeys I finally made some head way into my next bunch of books. This month I seemed to end up reading an emotional selection of books- if you like a good weep then these are for you!
Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
Am a bit slow on the uptake on this one, I had heard good things from several friends, but due to my own stupidity I had muddled it with another book and thought I had read it already.
Lou Clark has kept her life small since a traumatic incident in her teens. She lives in a small town at home with her folks, and has had the same job and boyfriend for years. When the cafe she has loved working in suddenly closes, she is forced to look for new work, and finds herself employed as a carer/companion for for Will Traynor, a paraplegic after a devastating traffic accident.
Will was a high flying thrill seeker before everything changed. Not surprisingly his new circumstances have left him somewhat cantankerous. Can Lou remind him of the joy in life? Can Will open Lou’s eyes to a bigger world? This is a touchingly tragic story. I really enjoyed it, and finished it, complete with snuffling and loud sobs on a late night train home from London.
Her Mother’s Shadow – Diane Chamberlain
I have read several of Chamberlain’s books before, and much like Jodi Picoult, her books normally have a central conundrum for the lead character to figure out. In this case Lacey has to face the fact that her mothers killer is up for parole. Should she forgive him? She is also dealing with the sudden loss of her best friend, which results in her gaining said friend’s 11 year old daughter to raise. The new man in her life may not be what he seems, and and old flame returns to stir up memories and emotions.
Chamberlain’s books are always easy to get into and enjoy, and this was no exception. I enjoyed reading it, and flew through it in a couple of days. Slightly predictable, but satisfying nonetheless.
Afterwards- Roasamund Lupton
I had read and enjoyed Sister by this author a few years ago, and was looking forward to her follow up novel. It came out about the time I had Syd and I completely forgot about it until it popped up in my recommends section on Amazon. And I am glad it did, I really enjoyed this book, probably my favourite of the four I am reviewing today.
Grace is at her son’s sports day when she realises the school is on fire. She runs towards the burning building, has a moments relief when she spots her son safely outside, but her teenage daughter is still trapped in the school. She rushes inside to try and rescue her, succeeding in getting her almost out of the school when a ceiling falls in on them.
We next meet Grace in hospital, where she has left her comatosed body. She rushes to see how her daughter is. Jenny is suffering from severe burns, and while her body is unconscious, her spirit too is free, and mother and daughter investigate the cause of the fire together. Sounds bizaare, but actually it works really well, we get a great insight into their relationship, and the way their whole family works.
Alongside trying to find out who started the fire, there are also further dramas, as Jenny’s medical equipment is tampered with, resulting in her having only 3 weeks to live without a heart transplant, and Grace remains in a coma, seemingly brain dead. The book is a great crime drama, and also a hugely emotional ride and a testament to motherly love. Its bittersweet ending made me cry.
One Step Too Far – Tina Seskis
A 99p kindle purchase, and worth more than I paid for it! Another good family tragedy centric novel. Not sure why I ended up reading all of these sad tales this month, am a happy soul really!
Emily Coleman gets up one day and leaves her husband and beautiful son behind, and makes a new life for herself. How will she survive on her own? Can she really just forget her past life? An anniversary looms, and that combined with a further tragedy forces her to face up to the secret she has kept hidden from everyone new in her life. Can she overcome tragedy to be happy again?
A well written, rollercoaster of a novel. I really enjoyed reading it, and had not predicted the twist at all, unusually, either I was having an off day, or it was really well done! Again more tears. Must buy happier books this month, something by Harry Hill perhaps?! But I really enjoyed this book. A bargain!