Wednesday 26 July 2023

What I’ve been reading in July

 I had lots of reading time this month while I was on holiday and have enjoyed a variety of styles.

Firstly the book which was chosen by our online book club - The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell.

Tallulah is a young, single mum who lives with her baby son with her mum, Kim.  One evening she goes out for the evening with the father of her baby, Zach, who is keen to get back together with Tallulah.  Late in the evening she texts her mum but when Kim wakes in the early hours she discovers that Tallulah has not returned home.  Friends of Tallulah tell Kim that Tallulah and Zach left the pub to go to a pool party at a house in the woods.  No one has seen them since.  

A year later the nearby school employs a new headteacher who moves into a cottage on the edge of the same woods with his girlfriend.  While wandering around her new home, Sophie finds a sign in the woods saying 'Dig here'. So begins the unravelling of the mystery behind Tallulah and Zach's disappearance.

This book has many twists and turns and several likely conclusions - I have to admit that I did not manage to guess the ending!

A very different book next, The Keeper of Stories by Sally Page.

Janice finds that being 'just a cleaner' means the people sometimes forget she is in their house and unwittingly reveal their life stories.  She starts to collect these random stories.  When she is asked to help Mrs B, the 90 year old mother of one of her clients, she discovers that you really cannot judge a book by its cover.  Mrs B encourages Janice to tell her own story, and it is one which reveals much that Janice has kept hidden over the years.

This was a nice easy read and I really enjoyed meeting the characters, especially Decius the dog!

So onto another One of the Girls by Lucy Clarke

Six women staying at a remote Greek villa, on a hen weekend celebrating the forthcoming wedding of Lexi and Ed.  Each chapter telling the story through the perspective of a different girl.  Some people know each other, some don't, some have known Lexi since school, and one is her future sister in law who knows none of the others.  One is loud and brash and would, I think, be a bit of a nightmare! Secrets are revealed, relationships start and end, and one person in the story will not be returning home.  

This was a great holiday read, I always enjoy reading a book set overseas in a holiday destination when I am away myself so if you are off on your travels (and even if you aren't!) this is a good book to take with you.

Finally One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid (who also wrote Daisy Jones and the Six)

Emma is enjoying a family dinner one evening with her fiancé Sam when she receives a phone call from her husband who she believed had died in a helicopter crash several years earlier.

Jesse had been her high school boyfriend and they had lived a life of adventure travelling the world before they married.  Just one day before their first wedding anniversary Jesse is on a helicopter that goes missing.  The bodies of the others on board are found along with the wreckage but as time goes on, it can only be assumed that Jesse had died too despite no body being found.  

It takes a long time for Emma to accept that he isn't coming back and she returns to her home town where she reunites with her friend Sam.  As she finally feels able to put her grief to one side their friendship turns into love and they get engaged.  Unbeknown to them, Jesse had survived and has been desperately trying to get back to civilisation.

Now Emma is in a dreadful dilemma.  Should she return to her husband or make a future with her fiance?  I really could not tell which way Emma would go - what an unenviable choice she has to make.  Ultimately I think she makes the right choice but it's a bit of a rollercoaster while she is making her decision!

One last book, Single by K L Slater 

Now, this book certainly kept my attention!
Following the death of Joel, Darcy finds herself as a single mum of two boys. On a trip out one afternoon, one of the boys has an asthma attack and whilst waiting for an ambulance, his life is saved by an off duty surgeon.  George is also a single parent whose wife has died after the birth of twins, one of whom died very shortly after her birth. After delivering him a thank you note, Darcy soon starts a relationship with him and after a whirlwind romance Darcy and her two sons move in with George and his daughter.

The grandparents of her sons are shocked by her actions and try to make her reconsider, threatening to obtain custody of their grandchildren. On a holiday break over Christmas a stranger lurking in the woods tries to abduct George’s daughter Romy. George has no alternative but to tell Darcy that someone has been stalking him and she now wonders if she has led her sons into a dangerous situation.

Boy are there some surprises in this book! So many secrets being kept by all and many truths turn out to be lies.  A good read, be prepared to reconsider your view on all the characters!


Gail Is This Mutton? said...

Nice varied selection here! I haven't read Single by KL Slater - somehow escaped my Slater radar!!

Patio Postcards said...

As always appreciate book reviews & recommendations. The Keeper of Stories sounds like a book I would enjoy but alas my library does not currently have, so in the meantime I requested One True Loves. :)

Barbara Eads said...

I always love book reviews. I've read one of them and added 2 to my never-ending list!! Thanks for the recs. said...

I especially like the sound of The Keeper of the Stories. Adding it to my Pinterest board. We went to the book store yesterday and I snapped pics of a number of books that look like winners for upcoming book club consideration lists.

Ruth said...

Lots to add to my TBR list here - thanks for sharing!