Sunday, 5 February 2012

My weekly reads

Th weather has been so cold this week that Jaffa and I haven't ventured very far from the comfort of our reading chair..

Here's what we read this week....

The Paris WifeThe Paris Wife by Paula McLain
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
jaffa's rating 2 paws

The story follows the relationship between the author Ernest Hemingway, and his first wife, Hadley Richardson. After a quick courtship, the couple sail for Europe, and settle in Paris amongst the glitterati of the literary world. In the cafe culture of 1920's Paris, they mingle with writer F Scott Fitzgerald, and his wife Zelda, but Hemingway is a troubled soul , and the marriage is over when his need for someone other than Hadley is revealed.

I have to be ruthless, and say that even though I have read some great reviews for this one, I really can't see what all the fuss was about, and to be honest was quite bored throughout. I ended up skipping chunks and gave up altogether before the end.

Maybe I'm just not a Hemingway fan...

VelvetVelvet by Mary Hooper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
jaffa's rating 3 paws

When we first meet Velvet she is working in the squalid surroundings of a Victorian laundry, and then when her work, and fine attention to detail brings her to the notice of practising medium, Madame Savoya, Velvet's life takes a completely new turn.
Abandoning her faithful friends, Velvet quickly becomes immersed in the mysterious and exciting world of the Victorian medium...but, all is not as it seems, and soon Velvet is forced to make some difficult decisions about her future.

Mary Hooper is one of those YA writers who has managed the enviable crossover into the adult market, I've enjoyed all her books to date...

The PoolsThe Pools by Bethan Roberts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
jaffa's rating 4paws

I read this book over the space of a couple of afternoons, and whilst it is a quick read, it is still  a powerful story.

Told through a sequence of narratives, The Pools follows the lives of Howard and Kathryn, both damaged individuals in their own way , with the consequence of this damage being followed into the next generation. Their son Robert, is fighting for his own independence, and the need to become his own person. At the same time, Joanna, a school friend of Robert's is struggling with her own thoughts, feelings, and burgeoning sexuality.

When fifteen year old Robert is found dead at a local landmark known as The Pools, the story told retrospectively by all the characters is spellbinding,full of menace, and when the ultimate betrayal happens, the consequences are far reaching, and heart breaking.

First LadyFirst Lady by Michael Dobbs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
jaffa's rating 3paws

A quick, and fascinating look into what may go on behind the political front door. Ginny Edge is certainly more avaricious than her hapless husband,who with great cunning she steers towards her ultimate dream of becoming the Prime Minister's wife.

There are no great revelations in the book,but it's an interesting enough read for a cold winter's afternoon.

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