So here we are, on the second post about the Books Wot I Got For My Birthday. Here are the four books I got from my lovely husband…
The Humans by Matt Haig
What appealed: I sometimes wander on to Matt Haig’s blog and often catch his articles here and there. As a writer I shouldn’t use clichés, so I daren’t say I like his ‘refreshing honesty’ (but I do). The premise of The Humans interested me and writers I like liked it, which seemed a fair recommendation:
“Excellent . . . very human and touching indeed” (Patrick Ness)
“The Humans is tremendous; a kind of Curious Incident meets The Man Who Fell to Earth. It’s funny, touching and written in a highly appealing voice” (Joanne Harris).
It was also compared to the work of authors I already liked: “This is a tender, funny novel about the often irrational ways humans behave, written in accessible prose, and invites comparison with Mark Haddon and Patrick Ness.” (The Independent on Sunday).Oh, and it’s set in Cambridge – and I live in Cambridgeshire. Do I need any more reasons?
HERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME.
OR IS THERE?
After an ‘incident’ one wet Friday night where Professor Andrew Martin is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge, he is not feeling quite himself. Food sickens him. Clothes confound him. Even his loving wife and teenage son are repulsive to him. He feels lost amongst a crazy alien species and hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton, and he’s a dog.
What could possibly make someone change their mind about the human race. . . ?
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
What appealed: Clare is an ex-police officer who answers questions on police procedures and related topics for Writing Magazine. She was kind enough to answer a question of mine and we sometimes have twitter chats about the chaos of the writerly life on crazily busy days. That’s not why I chose her book though;let’s face it, not all of the fellow writers you ‘meet’ on the internet will write stuff you’re interested in. But the book blurb below grabbed me. The setting – a remote cottage in Wales – appealed, as did the idea that the main character is making a fresh start (I like books about fresh starts. I like that inherent optimism). Also, Clare’s book sounds darn intriguing and has got some amazing reviews – most of which mention a mind-blowing twist! I can’t wait!
A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn’t have prevented it. Could she?
In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.
Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . .
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
What appealed: I’d been aware of Kate Morton because her books kept coming up in articles and blog posts about slipstream novels. She was often mentioned in the same breath as Kate Mosse, and that can only be a good thing. I read through all her book blurbs to pick a first one to try, and this is the one – after a bit of dithering – that I picked!
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton, author of the best-selling The House of Riverton, is a heart-breaking story of love and loss with a devastating secret at its heart.
Edie Burchill and her mother have never been close, but when a long lost letter arrives with the return address of Milderhurst Castle, Kent, printed on its envelope, Edie begins to suspect that her mother’s emotional distance masks an old secret.
Evacuated from London as a thirteen year old girl, Edie’s mother is chosen by the mysterious Juniper Blythe, and taken to live at Millderhurst Castle with the Blythe family.
Fifty years later, Edie too is drawn to Milderhurst and the eccentric Sisters Blythe. Old ladies now, the three still live together, the twins nursing Juniper, whose abandonment by her fiancé in 1941 plunged her into madness. Inside the decaying castle, Edie begins to unravel her mother’s past. But there are other secrets hidden in the stones of Milderhurst Castle, and Edie is about to learn more than she expected. The truth of what happened in the distant hours has been waiting a long time for someone to find it . . .
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
What appealed: Letters fascinate me, and I love books of letters and books about letters. So this tagline grabbed me: ‘At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read…’
Mother of three and wife of John-Paul, Cecilia discovers an old envelope in the attic. Written in her husband’s hand, it says: to be opened only in the event of my death.
Curious, she opens it – and time stops. John-Paul’s letter confesses to a terrible mistake which, if revealed, would wreck their family as well as the lives of others.
Cecilia – betrayed, angry and distraught – wants to do the right thing, but right for who? If she protects her family by staying silent, the truth will worm through her heart. But if she reveals her husband’s secret, she will hurt those she loves most . . .
Perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, or anyone who enjoyed One Moment, One Morning or The Midwife’s Confession, The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty is about the things we know, the things we don’t, and whether or not we ever get to choose. Above all, though, it’s about how we must live with the consequences of our actions – whether we like it or not.
So, what do you think to these four then? Read them? Want to read them now? 🙂