Friday, 12 February 2016

January Reading

I enjoyed everything I read in January.

       A Portable Shelter

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler - I had read some less than favourable reviews of this novel, but I thought it was marvellous and loved every moment of it. When the first section concluded and I read the familiar opening line of the second section, I felt like cheering. Tyler writes families so wonderfully - every little irritation, every perceived slight and service is illuminated and examined.

Dream House on Golan Drive by David G. Pace - This novel is unashamedly Mormon. If you don't know anything about Mormonism, it may be something of a baptism of fire. If you are Mormon, you may find the detailed descriptions of the temple ceremonies somewhat disconcerting (although I must say think Pace's descriptions and depictions are sensitive). Having said that, it's a moving, compelling novel. Pace expertly depicts the restrictive and redemptive nature of family and, in a haunting final scene, melds the sacred and the profane.

A Portable Shelter by Kirsty Logan - I so enjoyed these modern fairy tales. Logan's story-telling is fluent and accomplished and her take on the Hansel and Gretel story (in her rendition a human mother finds a bear in the forest) shocked and delighted me.


I read The Reapers Are The Angels and Raising Stony Mayhall because I've been thinking about apocalypse narratives. These novels had excellent reviews so I gave them a go.

The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell - There's a really lyrical lilt to the prose in this novel which I very much enjoyed. It's a bleak and brutal story and I must confess to being disappointed in the ending (although having discussed it with my son, I have discovered that I am wrong to be disappointed), but there are some scenes that will stay with me and Temple is an engaging protagonist.

Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory - Such an interesting book. Gregory really gets to grips with what it means to be human. His characters are believable and beautifully drawn. Raising Stony Mayhall has shades of Pinocchio - inanimate child animated by love - and, later, to an extent, Frankenstein's monster.

Hope Farm by Peggy Frew - Set in a hippie commune in rural Australia this novel is a taut and riveting depiction of the natural world and the failings of human nature. I raced to the perilous, pivotal moment, desperate for thirteen year old Silver to escape physically and emotionally unscathed. Hope Farm will be published in the UK in 2016.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Reviews of Sweet Home

Here are a couple of really lovely reviews of Sweet Home. A big thank you to Kitty G and Elena Reads Books.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Win a copy of Sweet Home

If you'd like a chance to win a copy of Sweet Home I'm giving one away on my Facebook page. Click here and make a comment under the photograph. I'm happy to send it anywhere in the world. Good luck!