Archive for October, 2007


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Flickr Pics 15th October 2007

on October 15, 2007 by kirsty

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Watch Me Disappear by Jill Dawson

In books read on October 14, 2007

For a few pages at the beginning I ummed and ahhed over whether to put this down and put it on the "going straight back to the library" pile. After that I struggled to put it down at all. It was a completely captivating read.

The narrator is Tina, a girl from the Fens who ends up working at a prestigious American university. She's researching seahorses, which isn't really essential to the plot, but the detail adds a depth to the book. Coming home to England for her brother's wedding she digs into her own thirty year old memories of being ten years old when one of her best friends went missing.

It's coincidental to the plot that the area Tina returns to is in the midst of searching for two missing girls in a real life story. The reference is obvious and I'm not sure why the author doesn't make it explicit. Coincidental to the plot, but not to the book.

The author did a fabulous job of constructing the layers of the story and gradually stripping them back. It was all very believable, the cultural references nearly all seemed bang on, and I can't find much to fault about it. Great stuff.



Never Mind by Edward St Aubyn

In books read on October 11, 2007

This is the first book in a trilogy, and the characters who appear in the trilogy also turn up later in Mother's Milk. The book I have is actually the trilogy published as a single volume under the title Some Hope which is the title of the third part.

I was contemplating reading the trilogy as a single book, since that's really how it has been packaged, but at the end of the first volume I couldn't find the energy to carry on. Interesting (often hideous) characters, and fine writing, but nothing much in the way of a story to make me want to read on.

I may return for more. I may not.



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In links on October 9, 2007


Dying to Sin by Stephen Booth

In books read on October 9, 2007

This book didn't captivate me as much as earlier books in the series have done. Still like the atmospheric setting, still like the central characters, and the rest of the characters were mostly well drawn. The plot felt a bit ropey in places, especially near the end, and it seemed to go on that bit too long. It wasn't awful, and still better than plenty of mysteries out there. I guess I just think Booth can do better, which isn't really an insult is it?

Purchased on 29th September 2007.


When We Were Bad by Charlotte Mendelson

In books read on October 3, 2007

I really enjoyed this. A rambling kind of family saga in some ways, but the sort that cover a lot of family in a short space of time rather than sort that transcend generations. The central characters are the members of a London Jewish family - Claudia, successful mother, and Norman, unsucessful father, and their four grown up children (for various values of "grown up").

I found the characters all pretty believable, often they are "larger than life" in the way that real people really are. What I really liked was that the ending of the book didn't wrap everything up neatly (because frankly I wouldn't have believed that - there were characters here who weren't going to see the error of their ways) and that the author didn't make it clear who she thought was right and who was wrong. (My take would be that I loved Frances, liked Norman and could see where Leo was coming from; totally disliked Claudia and the two younger children were hideous.) I thought it was all going to end in either a big morality tale finish or a huge party where they all lived happily ever after. Neither happened I'm glad to say.

I'll certainly watch out for more by Mendelson.

Purchased on 22nd September 2007.

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