Stuck for something to read this month? These are the books that I have read, loved and can recommend to you.
A stunning piece of storytelling by a genius at his best. Opening in 1945 with a vivid scene of Catherine Goggin being shamed in her parish church and then spanning sixty decades this is already one of my favourite books of 2017. I absolutely loved Boyne’s style of writing, there’s humour, sadness, sex, lots of it, love, death, murder and his writing is sharp, crisp and fresh, visual and descriptive.
This is a book that will make you laugh, cry, ask questions about yourself and give you an understanding of what life was like growing up in Ireland anytime in the past 50 years for people who didn’t conform to the Catholic Church’s views.
Any book that has one body yet six murders needs to at a pace and Ragdoll does that brilliantly. It has action, love, lots of bodies and a conflicted detective where at one crime scene when he cannot find the right clothes turns up in a t-shirt and shorts.
The story begins on 28th June 2014 and then follows the investigation a day at a time. Fawkes is built slowly as a character leaving the reader to think that this is the beginning of a series. The characters are well developed and you are pulled into their relationships which makes them feel real.
The two lead detectives are Wolf and Baxter although there is an interesting team formed around them. Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes and his former partner Detective Helen Baxter of the London Met investigate the case of a murderer who has stitched dismembered parts of 6 victims together to form a ‘ragdoll’. I challenge you to spot the ending in this excellent debut thriller, excellent twist at the end.
This is how a family lives happily ever after…until happily ever after becomes complicated. This is how children change…and then change the world. When Rosie and Penn and their four boys welcome the newest member of their family, no one is surprised it’s another baby boy. But at least their large, loving, chaotic family knows what to expect.
But Claude is not like his brothers. One day he puts on a dress and refuses to take it off. He wants to bring a purse to kindergarten. He wants hair long enough to sit on. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. Rosie and Penn aren’t panicked at first. Kids go through phases, after all, and make-believe is fun. But soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.
This Is How It Always Is is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it’s about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again; parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts; children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don’t get to keep them forever.
This is a gripping, vivid and deeply researched chronicle of the Russian Revolution told through the eyes of a surprising flamboyant cast of foreigners in Petrograd. What I loved about this book is that it is hugely entertaining and very readable. Helen Rappaport is a master at narrative history and this is a joy to read.
On 21 June 1922, Count Alexander Rostov – recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt – is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol. But instead of being taken to his usual suite, he is led to an attic room with a window… This is a novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life in a luxury hotel. From the author of Rules Of Civility. This is a brilliantly amusing read that I thoroughly enjoyed.