Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Recent Reads: A Love a Like and a Leave

It's not usual that I can get through three books in a couple of weeks, but with a recent holiday to Borneo a few weeks ago there was ample time for beach-side relaxing, post-rainforest-walk chill time and the dreaded eight hour airport layover that gave me plenty of time to read. Below are three very different books that left me with three very different impressions.

The Darkest Hour by Barbara Kingsolver. This book was more a let down from an expectations point of view. Having really enjoyed The Poisionwood Bible and The Lacuna, The Darkest Hour really fell flat for me. The book is told from two character's points of view, the first being Lucy Standish an art historian and gallery owner who has been given a grant to write a book on female war artist Evelyn Lucas, and the second being Evelyn Lucas during her years painting the Battle of Britain. It wasn't so much the tragically sad story of Evelyn Lucas or the convenient modern love story involving Lucy Standish the made me dislike this book. The plot got into weird territory with the modern story where the painting Lucy Standish owns by Evelyn Lucas starts haunting her. Usually I love books that bind supernatural or magic and realism but unfortunately this book didn't convince me.

The History of Love by Nicola Krauss. An intriguing story about two people who are connected to the story this book is named after. The story goes that The History of Love was written by a Polish Jew who escaped Europe during the war and moved to Brazil to write a little known novel. Narrated by two characters - Polish immigrant Leo Gurnsky and 14-year old American teenager Alma both have lives shaped by their connections to the book, The History of Love. I found this an odd novel that although I enoyed it the story didn't really come together until the very end. The story jumps from one narration to the next without connecting the two narrating characters until the very end. Krauss' writing style is eccentric and I found this to be a short and interesting burst of a novel.

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith. If you have read my post on Dennis Lehane, you might have already figured that I like my crime books to be a little bit dark and gritty (you'll never catch me reading horror so this is as close as I come to scaring myself). While the Cormoran Stike are much more, shall we say pleasant to read, I still really enjoyed reading this as a detective novel. Galbraith has perfected the art of leaving a tiny trail of breadcrumbs throughout the book so that the final chapters stitch everything up nicely. I'll have a full review coming up later this week so stay tuned for that! Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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