The books I read in March were just cracking reads, excellent choices if I do say so myself. I warmed to Eleanor, felt frustrated with Emily, empathised with Olivia and could see beneath Melody’s tough exterior. For previous reads head here, book reviews.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live
I loved this. Eleanor Oliphant lives simply. She gets up every day, goes to work in the same place she’s gone to work since University, she wears the same clothes and every Friday she buys two bottles of vodka to drink at the weekend. Eleanor is fine.
Except, Eleanor isn’t fine. She’s a troubled lady, keeps herself to herself. Her colleagues find her a little odd. She’s set in her ways and is happy that way, or is she?
A simple act of kindness changes the path which Eleanor is on and quite quickly, her life starts to spiral from her control.
I’d read the hype and seen countless positive reviews for Eleanor Oliphant and I was not disappointed. I loved it from the start. The book is so beautifully written and takes us on an emotional rollercoaster from grief, tragedy, and loneliness to empathy, kindness and friendship. Despite her demeanor, it was very easy to warm to Eleanor and a complete joy to see her friendship with Raymond, and then Sammy & his family, blossom.
Written with compassion and understanding, a firm favourite on my bookshelf.
Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan
(A NetGalley ARC)
Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy.
When Emily lets a young mother with her young son step out in front of her she could not have imagined the consequences or the impact it would have on her own life.
Recovering from a troubled relationship, unhappy in her job, Emily looks at the life Rose had through her social media. It was everything Emily wanted. A loving husband who worshipped her, a great job, wonderful friends, a beautiful son, big house, designer wardrobe; Rose had it all.
With Rose now gone and Emily finding herself out of a job, how easy would it be to fill the void that Rose has left?
I enjoyed this book, it had plenty of twists, turns and one major reveal that I really did not see coming! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t quietly shouting at Rose from time to time, but that’s not a bad thing! There’s more than one lesson to be learned in this book, one thing being that real life is not the perfect picture you see on Facebook.
Her Name Was Rose is out on June 28th.
The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor
The Cottingley Secret documents two accounts. We have Olivia in the present day and we go back to the early 1900’s where we meet young Frances and discover the Cottingley Fairies.
Olivia returns to Ireland following the death of her beloved Pappy, who has left his shop, Something Old, to her. This return coincides with Olivia needing to make important decisions regarding her future. As Olivia is going through her Grandfathers things, she finds an old manuscript. She is completely enthralled by the story of two young girls who captured the attention of the world in 1917.
Frances Griffiths has left Capetown with her mother to live with her cousin Elsie Wright in Cottingley. Frances witnesses fairies at the bottom of the garden. Despite her intentions to keep it to herself she accidentally lets her secret out. In a bid to prove that she isn’t making up the fairies, she takes photographs with Elsie, never imagining what would happen as a result.
I adored The Cottingley Secret, it was so beautifully written and quite an enchanting read.
All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan
‘Martin Toppy is the son of a famous Traveller and the father of my unborn child. He’s seventeen, I’m thirty-three. I was his teacher. I’d have killed myself by now if I was brave enough. I don’t think it would hurt the baby. His little heart would stop with mine. He wouldn’t feel himself leaving one world of darkness for another, his spirit untangling itself from me.’
This is the first of Donal Ryan’s novels that I have read and I found it a compelling read. Melody Shee is a troubled soul. She announces her pregnancy to her husband who naturally doesn’t react well. It would be very easy paint a picture of the ‘poor husband’ but we know he has betrayed too. I was moved by Donal Ryans ability to describe the feelings of Melody and the sensations she experienced with her pregnancy. His understanding of it is really quite phenomenal! We’re reading from Melody’s point of view, she had a troubled relationship with her Mother, is awash with guilt after the passing of her friend and her marriage was very intense, a relationship of extremes.
She meets young traveller Mary Crothery, who has her own crosses to bear and the two women form a formidable friendship. I loved the relationship between the two women, they both learned from one another, were there for one another at a time they were both very vulnerable.
This is a short book, giving insight to the travelling community, to betrayal and heartache, to the lengths people go to, to life. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Disclaimer: Unless otherwise stated, all of the books I mention in these monthly posts are bought and paid for by myself borrowed from the Library or reviews via NetGalley. Anyone can join NetGalley and provide reviews in exchange for books.