4 Stars Reviews

Book Review: The Garden of Lost and Found by Harriet Evans

Juliet returns to Nightingale House at a rather tumultuous point in her life; she’s lost her job, her husband is having an affair, and her children each come with problems of their own. When she discovers she has inherited the Horner family home, many years after her grandmother’s death, she doesn’t quite understand why, but she is wary of questioning it. Instead, she takes her three children – teenage Bea, nine-year-old Isla, and toddler Sandy – and moves them to the country and the great Nightingale House where she spent her childhood summers. But the house still holds secrets from her great-grandparents’ time.

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3 Stars Reviews

Book Review: Adults by Emma Jane Unsworth

Jenny is in her mid-thirties and by all accounts, her life is pretty great. She has a good job at a cool magazine, owns a house in London, and has an array of funny friends just a text away. Problem is, she now has to live with three painfully hipster housemates since breaking up with her semi-famous artist boyfriend, her relationship with her best friend is also on the rocks, as is her career, and her fortune-telling mother has decided to show up on her doorstep. But the worst bit? Suzy Brambles just unfollowed her on Instagram.

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2 Stars Reviews

Book Review: The Pisces by Melissa Broder

After breaking up with her boyfriend in a failed bid for more attention and then going on an Ambien-induced doughnut binge, Lucy agrees she needs to time to work on herself (and her PhD thesis that has been unfinished for years). Heading to Venice Beach to spend a summer in her half-sister’s beach side glass-walled house, she spends her days attending group therapy for love addicts and caring for her sister’s baby; a diabetic dog named Dom. But Lucy’s therapy takes a step back when she becomes involved with a mysterious swimmer she meets out on the rocks on night.

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5 Stars Reviews

Book Review: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

When Cyril Conroy buys the Dutch House, he means it as a surprise for his wife, Elna. More glass than brick, with marble floors, gilt ceiling, and even a ballroom, their move from a tiny New York City apartment to this enormous home in Philadelphia is jarring for humble Elna. Bought from the Vanhoebeeks after their bankruptcy, the house also comes with their servants and all of their wordly possessions. Elna tries to adjust as the children, Maeve and Danny, marvel at their new life, but her selflessness and desire to help the neediest of society contradicts her new luxurious lifestyle. She begins to disappear, sometimes for weeks at a time, until one day she leaves for India and doesn’t return.

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4 Stars Reviews

Book Review: Animals Eat Each Other by Elle Nash

The nineteen year old protagonist of Elle Nash’s debut novel is destructive and reckless. When she’s not working at the Radio Shack, she’s snorting her mother’s prescription pills in the bedroom of their trailer or having meaningless sex with her boss. When Frankie and Matt initiate a sadistic three-way relationship with her, they christen her Lilith. Matt tries to educate her in the ways of Satanism while Lilith desperately tries to please them both, lest she lose their attention. Her feelings soon morph into obsession, but an obsession for Matt alone; an obsession that Frankie will not let stand.

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3 Stars Reviews

Book Review: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

During the summer of 1969, four siblings hear of a curious fortune teller who can predict the day you die. Pooling their pocket money and eager for a cure to the monotony of the long summer, they seek her out, entering her cramped and crowded apartment one by one. Simon, the youngest, enters first, followed wild-haired Klara, sensible Daniel, and finally the eldest, Varya, nervously follows her siblings. They come out the other side forever changed by what they heard. Over the next five decades, the fortunes they were told shape each of the siblings’ lives, pushing the power of their familial bond to the limit.

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4 Stars Reviews

Book Review: Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey

When Jen and Hugh Maddox’s daughter, Lana, goes missing on an art retreat in the Peak District, they fear the worst. But four days later, Lana is found, bruised and bleeding but alive. When they ask her what happened, and where she had been, her only answers are ‘I got lost’ and ‘I can’t remember’. The family try to return to their normal lives, but Jen’s need to know what happened leaders to her constant surveillance of Lana’s life, driving them further and further apart, until Jen’s obsession steers her into dangerous territory.

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5 Stars Reviews

Book Review: The Truants by Kate Weinberg

Kate Weinberg’s debut novel, The Truants, pulls dark academia out of the elite and picturesque colleges of America and plunges it into a Brutalist-style university found in the east of England. Jess Walker begins her undergraduate degree enthralled by her enigmatic professor, Lorna Clay, whose class on the master storyteller Agatha Christie sets the scene for the rest of the novel and its mysteries. The Truants is a story about stories, but in particular, it’s about the reliability of our storytellers. Just how much of what they’re telling us is the truth?

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5 Stars Reviews

Book Review: Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

In the 1980s, two rookie cops move their blossoming families to the small town of Gillam, just north of New York City. Francis Gleeson and his wife, Lena, try to welcome their new neighbours, Brian and Anne Stanhope, but they receive a frosty reception from Anne. As their families grow side by side, inevitably intertwining, their quiet suburban lives hurtle towards an act that will change all of them forever. Spanning four decades, Ask Again Yes examines relationships of all kinds; marriage, friendship, parent-child relationships. It considers how each of those relationships are tested and how powerful forgiveness can be.

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5 Stars Reviews

Book Review: The Other Half of Augusta Hope by Joanna Glen

Augusta Hope has never really felt like she belonged, especially not in her small, boring, English town. Too inquisitive for her down-to-earth parents, Augusta clings to the bond she has with her twin sister, Julia, despite them being complete opposites. Half a world away, Parfait is living the small African country of Burundi, dreaming of a better life for himself and his siblings, not all of whom have survived the horrific war that has torn apart his country. A terrible tragedy leaves Augusta even more lost than before, and she sets out on a journey to find out where it is she’s supposed to be.

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