The Swimming Pool Season by Rose Tremain

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An interesting cast of characters in a selection of interesting situations… but somehow the book never really gels into a whole. I feel as if it either needed more focus or more pages. Will try again with Rose Tremain though!


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
This was a kindle eBook.

The Finishing School by Muriel Spark

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Little more than a short story really. And while short stories have a habit of driving me bananas, possibly because they tend to come in books containing one good yarn and ten substandard ones, I enjoyed this standalone one. It’s about the symbiotic relationship between aspiring novelist Rowland, currently running a anachronistic kind of modern day co-educational finishing school, and his student Chris, an actually-getting-on-with-it novelist, with a cast of other odd characters getting in the way from time to time. I gave up expecting sense out of Muriel Spark’s stories years ago, sometimes you get sense but on the whole they are the kind of thing you just surf along with and get entertained by, and never expect a sensible ending!


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.

Heat Wave by Penelope Lively

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There are lots of authors who I really enjoy who get me happily from one end of a book to the other, with all kinds of interesting plots, characters and relationships, but who never write a really memorable sentence that makes me sit back and think. Penelope Lively is not one of those authors. Her plots are great (usually) small scale dramas, the characters fabulous and the relationships very interesting, but on every page there are a handful of sentences you want to cut out and keep forever. Wonderful stuff!


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
This was a kindle eBook.

Blue Lightning by Ann Cleeves

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From the beginning I was pleased that this was a quartet of novels rather than a series. Although I’ve managed to read plenty of other series with an excessive number of murders for their location, four on on the Shetland Islands is really stretching credulity! I don’t doubt I would have carried on reading if there were more though. I have the impression that this set of books was conceived within it’s limited structure and I was rather expecting something to happen to close the story arc that was begun in Raven Black. And although I would have liked a happy ending, I can’t blame the author for choosing a Reichenbach Falls-ish ending.

The ending kind of overshadows the rest of the mystery though, which was a solid closed circle of suspects case, and is well worth reading in it’s own right.


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
This was a kindle eBook.

Engleby by Sebastian Faulks

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Really enjoyable audiobook. I liked the strong voice of the narrator and the totally dead pan way it was written. I knew nothing about the story and had no idea where it was going, which was a good thing. I wonder what I would have thought of it as a paper-book really. I expect I would have enjoyed it too, though I know I’ve found Faulks tough going to read before. It was nice to have something good to listen too whilst sewing though!


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.