Tuesday 29 November 2022

What I've been reading in November

 Truth be told, I started this one at the very end of October!

The Girlfriend by K L Slater

I saw this one recommended by Gail over at Is This Mutton. It sounded like the kind of mystery I would enjoy!  

Cole and his wife are preparing for their annual party when Cole takes a phone call and then rushes off.  Watching from an upstairs window their son sees him get in his car and notices that he is acting strangely.  Not long afterwards, the police arrive with the tragic news that Cole has been involved in a fatal car crash.  

Reeling from the shock of her husband's death, Jennifer is shocked to be visited by someone who claims to be the mother of his second son and who allegedly owns the family home.  In disbelief, Jennifer seeks help from the financial advisor who dealt with their accounts. Imagine her surprise when she confirms that this is true and Jennifer feels she has no alternative but to say 'yes' when the girlfriend suggests that she moves into the house and they live there together in order to give all the children a sense of stability.

An unthinkable situation eh?  Naturally things do not run smoothly and the friction in the house is unbearable.  So many secrets and lies are being hidden.  I'm giving no spoilers, you will need to read it to find out what the truth is!

Next up was Perfectly Ordinary People by Nick Alexander

Ruth and her brother are part of a close family, but although they are well acquainted with the extended family on her mother's side, they know nothing about their father's family.  After an upsetting conversation one Christmas, Ruth becomes concerned about her father's anti-semetic comments and after her Grandma Genny dies she decides to investigate why they know so little about his family.

The story is based around taped interviews between Genevieve and a journalist from a French gay magazine.  They tell of a friendship between Genevieve, Pierre and Ethel at the time of WWII in France.  The treatment of Jews in Europe is well known, but I had not realised the extent of discrimination against the gay community. 

After Ruth's grandfather on her father's side of the family dies, Genevieve's friend Ethel tries to make contact with him but he refuses to even make a telephone call.  Taking matters into her own hands, and determined to find out why her father has cut himself off from his parents, Ruth goes to visit Ethel to find out the truth.

There are so many books relating the horrors of living in this area of Europe during the war and this one has the twist of two people living a painful lie for the greater good of protecting an orphan baby.  Their situation would have been so difficult to endure and it is not until many years have passed that they are able to live the lives they desired all along.  

This was a good book, my only criticism was that I felt that some of the chapters showing the transcripts of the interviews could have been more concise.  But I guess that the premise that they were the spoken memories of a woman who had lived under unimaginable circumstances makes any ramblings and straying off subject can easily be excused! 


Patio Postcards said...

Thank you - always appreciate book recommendations. Between you & Ruth my 2023 reading list is shaping up quite nicely. :)

Gail Is This Mutton? said...

Glad you liked The Girlfriend! I tweeted your review and the author thanks you!
I will look out for the Nick Alexander book, I've read quite a few of his in the past.

Ruth said...

I am adding The Girlfriend to my TBR list right now, thanks for sharing.