Monday, 28 October 2013

August through the eyes of a bookworm

I know, I know, my book reads are lagging behind but this is a little insight into what I have been reading (not so) recently. Enjoy!

Five Sisters: A Novel by Leen Elle
The five Sisters Mary, Sara, Nora, Emy and Gail are heading across the ocean on a ship full of sailors. Along the way each one falls in love with a man she never expected, whether a sailor, an artist, a doctor, or an invalid. The sisters embark on a journey to a new home, to Brighton, where Mary's (the eldest) fiancee lives. Having lost both their parents and being left practically destitute, the girls have no money to secure passage on a cruise ship. Fortunately an old school friend of their fathers, Charlie, owns a small ship and offers the sisters free passage on his ship, in exchange for light cooking and housekeeping duties. The girls gloomily embark on the small ship for a 3-month voyage along with Charlie, 16 sailors, and an invalid, changing their lives forever.

My Verdict - This was an easy free Kindle read, something which you could just pick up and put down without losing the plot but it wasn't one which grabbed me. Although it is based on five sisters experience, I felt the book heavily lent towards Gail and her relationship with Nathaniel and the other girls; in particular Nora and Emy appeared to be afterthoughts; this spoiled it a little for me but as I say, an easy read nonetheless. 5/10 

 Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje
Anil's Ghost transports us to Sri Lanka, a country steeped in centuries of tradition, now forced into the late twentieth century by the ravages of the civil war. Into this maelstrom steps Anil Tissera, a young woman born in Sri Lanka, educated in England and America, who returns to Sri Lanka as a forensic anthropologist sent by an international human rights group to investigate the organized murder campaigns engulfing the island. What follows is a story about love, about family, about identity, about the unknown enemy, about the quest to unlock the hidden past - a story propelled by a riveting mystery.

My Verdict - Michael Ondaatje is the author behind 'The English Patient' and although I have seen the film adaptation, I had not read the novel, so this was my first foray into his work. Firstly I have to say this is a beautifully crafted piece of work but and it's a big but, I just did not connect with any of his characters and in fact I found them quite unlikeable. If you like Michael Ondaatje's work and you are interested in Sri Lanka then I would say give this a read. 7/10

The Butterfly Cabinet by Bernie McGill
On a remote estate in the north of Ireland, a little girl dies and the community is quick to condemn her mother, Harriet Ormond. Now, after seventy years, Maddie McGlade, a former nanny at the house, knows that the time has come to reveal her own role in the events of that day. From Maddie's reminiscences and Harriet's long-concealed diaries emerges an unforgettable story of motherhood and betrayal, and of two women, mistress and servant, inextricably connected by an extraordinary secret.

My Verdict - The is the debut novel  from Bernie McGill and it reminded me very much of 'The House at Riverton' by Kate Morton but without the pace. Each chapter is written in the first person and they alternate between Maddie in the 1960s and Harriet in the 1890s. I was hoping the story which connected the two women would be a little meatier but it was a nice story which gave the perspective of two women from 'upstairs and downstairs' at the end of the 19th century. If you like Kate Morton and want an easy read along similar lines then you might enjoy this.7/10

 Have you been loving any reads this month?

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