Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Recent Reads

I've read a few things I've really enjoyed recently & wanted to write about them, incase there are a few of you looking for inspiration on your next read.

Oskar is a 9-year-old boy who finds a strange key amongst his deceased father's belongings and he tries to find out where the key came from & if can shed any light on his father's final moments in the World Trade Center as it collapsed. I finished reading this on the bus a few days ago & it embarrassingly had me fighting back tears on a bus full of people. The reviews for this book were mixed, but I really enjoyed it. For me, it was mostly about the connections that make a family & I thought this was explored really well through the tragedies that befell Oskar's entire family through the generations & the links that brought them back together again.

Grace is a housemaid at Riverton during the 1920s when a famous poet takes his life at a glittering society party. She is now 98 years old & a film-maker approaches her for her account of the tragedy- her memories are stirred up & she decides to finally share her secret about what happened that night by making a tape for her grandson. I LOVED this book- it was like a cross between Downton Abbey & Poirot- two of my favourite shows. The detail & description of the 1920s setting is what made this such an enjoyable book for me, and I definitely think it would make a great summer read as it's not too taxing either.

Louis is 9 years old and always getting into terrible, life-threatening accidents. On his 9th birthday Louis falls off a cliff and ends up in a coma and ends up in the care of Dr. Pascal Dannachet, a coma specialist who tries to help uncover the truth of Louis' terrible accidents & get to the heart of the family secret that begins to unravel. I finished this book in two sittings because I just couldn't stop reading. I love odd little novels like this- it reads like a murder mystery with a hint of supernatural & some black comedy thrown in for good measure. The ending completely shocked me too- such a twist!

Rose is a girl with a very strange talent- she can taste people's emotions through the food they cook. From the moment she discovers this by tasting her mother's sadness in her homemade chocolate & lemon birthday cake, her life is never the same again. I read this a while ago now but I still wanted to write about it here because it is the best thing I have read in ages. I had heard virtually nothing about it but I liked the look of the cover so I just bought it on a whim because it sounded interesting. It's another odd little read- Rose is not the only member of her family with a strange secret, and it is this slow burning realisation that there is more to her brother than we first thought, slowly woven into the background of the story about Rose's life & trouble coming to terms with her gift, that made me stay up until 4am two nights in a row just to get it finished.


  1. I read Lemon Cake on your recommendations but I still really confused by the ending, what was going on with the brother?!
    I think I'll give The Ninth Life a go x

    1. I think it was a metaphor for how he saw himself- as just part of the background or part of the furniture, so that's what he became. I found the end of his story really frustrating & difficult because I expected some kind of huge resolution but he just faded away. I think that was the intent though, because it was how the family would feel maybe? x