Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Bells by Richard Harvell

My rating:  4.8

Moses is born in a belfry and raised by his deaf mute mother who rings the bells in the bell tower.  Contrary to expectations, this doesn't make him deaf but rather he develops a sensitive ear and an exquisite singing voice.  This historical fiction is based on the 18th century Opera Singer and the struggles he went through in his life.  Not only is the story awe inspiring but, the writing makes Moses, and all the characters, come to life.  Very well told and such an enjoyable read/listen.

 

I never would have read this book were it not for Marlene's recommendation so, thank you so much!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

My rating:  4.8

From the opening chapter, this book grabbed me.  It flashes between 2007 and 2003 with Catherine Bailey as the central character.   In 2003 she was in a relationship with Lee.  In 2008 she is living on her own with an upstairs flatmate named Stuart.  These two men are very different - and so is Catherine.  In the 4 years Haynes unfolds what happened to make her such a different person and you completely understand how she got to where she is. I can see why this was UK's Best Book of the Year in 2011 and the film rights have already been sold.  It is harsh and gripping and worth the read.  Warning, this book captures violent abuse, extreme OCD will have you on the edge of your seat.  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Bride's Farewell by Meg Rosoff

My Rating: 3.3

Where to start. This is a mid-19th century novel that, on first glance, doesn't warrant your time.   Then, as you read further, you discover that Pel is more than a run-away bride that you can slot into the conventional format.  Yes, at times this feels formula but, it is so much more than that.  It has depth and so much more than a typical romance.  If you like young adult novels, there are a lot of layers here.  Not Rosoff's best work but still entertaining.