In August I read seven books:
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (Windmill) – My first read of the month told the story of an unconventional marriage. After years of lurching from one lover to another, Lotto decides to settle down when he meets Mathilde, whom he marries having only known her for a couple of weeks. Told in two parts representing both the male and female perspectives, Groff picks apart a marriage and reveals the secrets lurking beneath the surface. An enjoyable read with some excellent writing and sharp observations on the complexity of a marriage.
Death And The Seaside by Alison Moore (Salt) – I loved Alison Moore’s latest novel which is an unsettling tale of psychology and suggestibility. With her thirtieth birthday looming, amateur writer Bonnie Falls moves out of her parents home and into her own flat. Her landlady, Sylvia, soon takes an interest in Bonnie, and the story she is struggling to finish. It soon becomes clear that Sylvia may not be what she seems, and so begins a tense, gripping story to discover what it is she wants from Bonnie.
Devastation Road by Jason Hewitt (Scribner) – Devastation Road is a moving and compelling story set in the aftermath of war. But whilst the war may be over it has left plenty of physical and emotional wounds to heal. Owen wakes up in a field hurt and confused, and he begins to search for home, despite not knowing where home may be. Along with new found companions including teenager Janek and a troubled young woman named Irena he begins to piece together fragmented memories to discover just who he really is. A gripping and moving story that is beautifully written.
The Witch’s Kiss by Katharine and Elizabeth Corr (Harper Collins) – The first in a young adult fantasy series focusing on a reluctant witch named Merry. As Merry tries to deal with the everyday challenges of being a teenager she discovers that there is something far more daunting on the horizon. When she becomes attracted to Jack she is shocked to learn he is part of a centuries old curse, a curse which Merry must break. An enjoyable read and an interesting blend of modern fantasy with a classic fairytale.
The Girl From The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor (Harper) – Another book I loved this month, it tells the story of Dolly Lane, a young woman who secures employment at one of London’s grandest hotels – The Savoy. But as she gets to grips with her new responsibilities she dreams of one day sharing the stage with the people who stay in the rooms she cleans. The novel alternates between the perspectives of Dolly along with celebrated actress Loretta May and Teddy, a man who is home from the war but still haunted by the memories. This is a beautifully written story filled with historical detail. It is a story of love, hope and adventure in a time where war has left behind invisible scars.
If I Forget You by T.C. Greene (Corvus Books) – This is the story of Henry and Margot and the love they share which has lasted decades. It switches back and forth through time, from 1991 when the pair first met in their college days and 2012 when a chance meeting brings back the old memories and emotions. This is at times a moving story and an interesting glimpse into how relationships change over the years and the things that bring people together and tear them apart,
The Dumb House by John Burnside (Vintage) – A Scottish classic recently reissued by Vintage, The Dumb House is a weird and wonderful story which provides a glimpse into a troubled mind. Narrated by Luke, a man who as a child developed a fascination with stories of ‘The Dumb House’ and the experiments carried out within its walls. As he grows up he begins to dissect animals, and in adulthood his desire to experiment becomes even more sinister when he has plans to use his own children. A dark, disturbing, morbidly fascinating novel.
You can read full reviews of all of my August reads by clicking the links above and they can also be found in my August archive. Also on the blog in August I celebrated my 1st Blog Birthday! I shared my unboxing of August’s Nerdy Bookworm Box which had the theme ‘Dystopian’ along with my unboxing of the August Illumicrate. I also took part in the blog tour for Secrets In The Stones by Tessa Harris (Guest Post) and I had a special Q&A with new indie publisher Dodo Ink (Owl Meets Dodo)
I would like to thank everyone who has read and shared my blog posts this month. I really appreciate the support and hope that you enjoy the blog – thanks for reading!