Friday, 22 February 2013

Reads of the month - Feb 2013

Nine uses for an ex-boyfriend by Sarra Manning

The book tells the story of  primary school teacher Hope a tall "fiery" red head, with a domineering mother and a fear of heights. Hopes life has always been planned ever since she started going out with Jack her boyfriend as a teen. She may be stuck in a rut at work but at least she has Jack. To Hope Jack is perfect. He has an amazing job, face, smile, sense of humour everything she wants and to top it off they are officially unofficially pre- engaged (what is that?). Until Hope finds he kissing her best friend.

I hate to start on a bum note but this book was not great. First of all the title was in my opinion misleading I didn't see the 9 uses for her ex boyfriend. It was all very placid and in my opinion attempted to move away from the hell hath no fury scorned lover woman to a more mature woman fighting for her relationship. It failed. Hope ended up very much a doormat. Several times I found myself frustrated with her inability to grow a backbone and chuck her cheating boyfriend instead of waiting for him to shag her best friend until she was out of his system maybe. This book didn't really do it for me and I am trying not to give too much away.
1.5 Stars

Among Thieves by David Hosp

Inspired by the true story of the biggest art theft in the twentieth century at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum we follow attorneys Scott Finn,  Lissa Krantz and former detective Kozlowski into the murky world of gangs, art theft and the IRA. Finn becomes increasingly more invested when takes on the care of his clients daughter and things take a downwards spiral when some of the biggest Boston crime names turn up dead.

I really liked this book the writing as flow really. It worked for me as I do like a good crime novel. All characters were strong, individual and with depth. There are times when you don't know who can be trusted which makes for good reading. I actually worked out how the heist worked so well half way through but that's just me having watched so much CSI lol. This is definitely a page turner!
4 Stars

I don't know how she does it by Allison Pearson

Dubbed the national anthem of all working mothers and the poignant dramatisation of their lives. This book explores how thin working mothers are spread, with at times minimal support.  Meet Kate Reddy a wife, a mother of 2, a sister, a daughter and a hedge fund manager. Kate can handle money, knows the stock market positions at any given time, she can hold a conversation about the teletubbies then effortlessly switch to the best ISA in seconds but forgetting to make her daughter homemade goodies for school brings her to her knees. Reduced to faking it till she makes it see her bashing shop bought mince pies and icing them for that homemade look at 2am to avoid the judgement of the stay at home mother "muffia". This is instantly recognisable to many of my generation who have witnessed their mothers do it, do it themselves or seen friends lament about the yummy mummy brigade.

Ultimately something has to give. Kate loves her job but her nanny knows more about her children than she does. Kate has to lie to go to see her babies in a play whilst male members of the team are looked upon as heroic for doing the same. Kate has time to flirt with a man in another time zone yet her husband is neglected and has merely become someone to discuss the never ending list of chores and childcare needs with. She would rather give her good for nothing father money than deal with his neglect and have another area of failure in life. Her life is no longer her own and she can't even commit to a lunch date with a friend simply because there isn't enough hours in the day. Who is Kate? I have read this book before and haven't seen the film but I liked as much the second time around. Although I don't have children yet, I still had a very strong reaction to some parts. A definite must read especially  for all future parents!You will laugh, groan, feel sadness and recoil in equal measure.
3.5 Stars


Night road by Kristin Hannah  

This tale focuses on the exquisite power of a mothers love. Jude Farraday is the proud mother of twins Zach and Mia. She has spent her life devoted to them and little else. Her mission in life is to keep her kids safe and see them through each stage of life. When Lexi a former foster child from the wrong side of the tracks befriends her lonely daughter she is happy to see her timid daughter doing do well.

After several years of being the center of her kids lives they no longer depend on her as much. They don't seek her out. They are finding their independence and all she does is worry. What is there for her to do now her children don't need her?  One summers night finally brings Judes fears to life and the 3 kids lives are changed forever. The Farradays are broken and Lexi has lost everything, bringing a deeper pair than she could ever dream of. In the years that follow all take journeys that will lead them to one person who can heal their wounds and give them something to live for. I thought areas of this could have been developed and explored more but is was  incredibly emotional and complex. The novel delves deeply into the vivid nature of a mothers love and loss. The resilience of family and the hearts ability to forgive. I really liked it.
3.2 Stars

Stephanie aka Wednesdays Girl

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