Sonya Hartnett’s Surrender is a story split in half – alternating chapters are told from the perspective of 20-year-old Gabriel, dying of an unnamed illness, and from Finnigan, the town wild-child and Gabriel’s only friend.
When the boys first meet, they make an unusual pact. Finnigan makes Gabriel swear not to do ‘bad things’ –
“I’ll do the bad things for you. Then you won’t have to. You can just do good things.” Continue reading
When I was young, we had family friends that were in a unique situation – two families, each with two girls. The couples then swapped partners (not in a tawdry way, it was just how it worked out…), and then both had two more girls each. My family was friends with both families (pre and post swap) – one family lived down the road, I went to school with the kids from the other. It was this bizarre, fascinating mix of sisters, half-sisters, step-children and parents.
Those that have read Ann Patchett’s brilliant new novel, Commonwealth, will understand why I started with that anecdote. For those that haven’t read it, know that the first line is one of the most appealing I’ve come across in a long time –
“The christening party took a turn when Albert Cousins arrived with gin.”
Hurrah! A story where gin is the protagonist in the first chapter. Continue reading
Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye. Continue reading
The Futures by Anna Pitoniak starts as a campus novel and then moves to New York. It had my name written all over it…
Julia’s dating guy #1. She cheats on him with guy #2. Meanwhile, she meets guy #3, and they start a relationship. Julia and #3 move to New York, where #3 starts working long hours and becomes involved in some dubious hedge fund deals. Julia, annoyed, hooks up with #2 again (but doesn’t break it off with #3). Julia heads home for Thanksgiving, disgruntled with both #2 and #3. Guess who she meets in her hometown? #1! Continue reading
The story of two best friends growing up in the eighties… Well, obviously I was going to read Dana Spiotta’s Innocents and Others.
Meadow and Carrie meet in high school and although their opinions differ on many things, they bond over movies and become best friends. Both pursue a career in movie-making (it’s LA in the 80s so everyone’s in the business, right?) although take different paths. Meadow makes gritty documentaries while Carrie finds success through lighter films with broader appeal. Continue reading
It’s time for #6Degrees, and it’s soooo easy to play – join us!
This month’s chain begins with Stieg Larsson’s Nordic thriller, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (thanks to Maria Helena for this suggestion). I haven’t read this book and when looking for clues to start my chain, I came across Paul’s review on Goodreads. Paul is possibly my favourite Goodreads reviewer – although our opinions don’t always match, he never fails to make me laugh. And I really laughed when I read his one-star take on The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes – Continue reading
01. I know it’s not nice to play favourites but I got two Christmas presents that I particularly love – a StoryTile and this friendly little guy. Continue reading
Yates, Shriver, Tropper, Dee and Franzen – these are my go-to authors for books about family relationships. And I really love books about family relationships. And I really love adding a new author to the contemporary-lit-books-about-family-relationships stable. So does Andrew Porter make the cut? Not quite. Continue reading
Okay, I’m ignoring the ‘debut’ part of this week’s Top Ten topic and simply sharing the books that I’m looking forward to this year. I’m also ignoring the ‘ten’ part. I can’t help it if there are lots of excellent new releases on the way, can I? Continue reading
Happy New Year lovely people! Continue reading