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andrew61

andrew61

Joined January 2017

I'm on GR at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/11281092 and welcome litsy friends
review
andrew61
Brotherless Night: A Novel | V. V. Ganeshananthan
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A difficult rd as the trauma of civil war is evoked thru the voice of Sashi,a medical student, whose brothers +childhood friend K join the tamal tigers fight against the Sri Lankan govt.Over 10 years, she struggles thru the horrors of war as she treats victims at the same time as studying. The personal losses are told well, particularly her uni mentor whose own fight against inhumanity is cruelly revenged. Well deserved women's prize winner.

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andrew61
In Memoriam | Alice Winn
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The author doesnt avoid the horror of ww1 + the experience in the trenches of yng men, in this moving story of a forbidden love between Gaunt + Ellwood, boys who meet at school + enlist when war starts. The research, referenced in the afterword, draws on real accounts only compounding the distress as we are drawn to the characters' lives. A much plauded book, + well deserved. Watching the d day memorial, I can't imagine at 18 facing such horror.

52 likes1 comment
review
andrew61
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This short book tells the story of an unnamed young woman, wife of a distant North East Scottish farmer. When 3 Italian pow's are posted on the farmland she builds a relationship with them. Beautifully told but also sparse in substance this was a bk I enjoyed + suspect needs a reread. Was recommended when I was on a janice Galloway 3 bk session + I heard her rave about it. I'd recommend for a gentle read with lots to think abt + writing to enjoy

Tamra Stacked! 3w
kspenmoll Stacked! 3w
Cathythoughts Lovely review 👍🏻stacked. 3w
Deblovestoread Great review! Stacked 📚 3w
40 likes4 stack adds4 comments
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andrew61
The Locked Room | Elly Griffiths
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14th and penultimate book in archaeologist Ruth Galloway series finds an investigation halted in 2020 by the covid lockdown. The story around the pandemic is done well evoking that surreal period in everyone's lives and through one of the regular characters the physical effect of the virus. I'll be sorry to finish the final tale.

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andrew61
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Another enjoyable outing for Washington poe and Till Bradshaw. In this one someone is poisoning reprehensible public figures by unique poisoning while poes favourite pathologist Estelle Doyle is arrested as suspect in a classic locked room murder.
Great storytelling, a page turner.

TrishB It‘s a great series 👍🏻 4w
40 likes1 comment
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andrew61
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A gentle story of a young couple moving into the 1st married home. Felicity + Ian navigate the minor bumps in early life in their 'small' home (worth a look at Walpole St on which it's based!). I was happily esconsed in the small dramas so loved to finale abt Daphne.
@LeahBergen @Cathythoughts @rubyslippersreads @quietjenn @Tamra @CarolynM @sisilia @Caryl @daena @elkeOriginal @Gissy @Aimeesue @Bookbuyingaddict @julieclair @willaful #persephoneclub

Tamra “Small” in quotations is right! Doesn‘t sound small to me if you have room for domestic help. I read in a blog online #23 has been divided into units. 1mo
Cathythoughts Yes I‘d say not that ‘small‘ 😂 A gentle story 👍🏻 1mo
LeahBergen I actually Googled real estate on Walpole (Greenery) Street and would be very pleased to live there even at this “advanced“ point in our marriage. 😆 1mo
quietjenn Small dramas in not-actually-small homes. Lovely! 4w
45 likes1 stack add4 comments
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andrew61
Whatever You Say, Say Nothing | Patrick Radden Keefe
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A very readable book about the N Irish conflict that destroyed lives and split a society in half. The bk focuses on the 'disappearance' of a Belfast mother by the IRA +follows the protagonists over the subsequent decades incl 2 particular members . It also reflects on the role of politicians esp Gerry Adams. A page turner + v informative but I'm unsure if the horror took 2nd place in favour of a thrilling read. An interesting reading experience.

kspenmoll This book.🩵💙❤️ 1mo
46 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
andrew61
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Another in the series about journalist Rebecca Connolly. In this story, a mother, with a poor view of the press, asks for Rebecca's help to clear her son convicted of killing his lover, a prominent Scottish lawyer. The reach of organised criminal gangs and dodgy police peppers this book, which is an enjoyable page turner, and I enjoy a crime novel that moves away from the traditional character clichés.

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andrew61
Such a Fun Age | KILEY. REID
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I liked this satire of middle-class white liberal attitude to race. Elmira, at the centre of the story, is a black woman lost in life role post college, a nanny for an affluent family, caught in a racist incident at a local shop. As the book progresses, we find her pulled in separate ways by Alix, her employer + her white boyfriend. The qn is whether she is viewed as an individual or as a trophy for a middle class society unsure how to manage race

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andrew61
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4th in the excellent Rebecca martinsson series finds the lawyer involved in an investigation about a young diver discovered in suspicious circumstances. The focus centres on 2 brothers whose parents were involved in helping the nazi regime in Swedens neutral status. A good start to #20in4 @andrew65 hope all well Andrew

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andrew61
Cuddy | Benjamin Myers
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Home after a lovely weekend in Durham, where, like the monks in 995, having carried the coffin of cuthbert around the north of England to escape viking plunderers before finding a home, i brought this wonderful book to Cuddy's funal resting place.Telling the story of the journey, + the Saint it is inventive + poetic in prose style evoking the devotion to the legend a remarkable man. It was fascinating seeing the cathedral having read the book.

LeahBergen It‘s sounds like you‘ve had a wonderfully immersive experience! 2mo
Crazeedi Lucky you! 2mo
kspenmoll How wonderful! 2mo
See All 8 Comments
merelybookish Sounds lovely! 2mo
youneverarrived Perfect! Durham is a lovely city. 2mo
andrew61 @youneverarrived @merelybookish @kspenmoll @Crazeedi @LeahBergen Thank you. It is indeed a very beautiful city, Katie, and the cathedral was fascinating. The book tells a lot about the search for somewhere to rest Cuthbert and the history of the city. Yes, Leah, reading the book made it very immersive as it felt as though I was walking in the footsteps of history. 2mo
TrishB Oh great post! I love Durham. 2mo
andrew61 @TrishB I'd never been Trish, so we enjoyed a combination of the culture of the cathedral with some good pubs. We went on the train so if we go again I'll hope to explore some of the local area. 2mo
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andrew61
April Dead | Alan Parks
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I have a couple of days of work so we went to the pub for a lunch of cheese, more cheese, pate and a pork pie. All went down well as I finished the fourth in this police procedural set in 1974 Glasgow where Detective Harry McCoy has to deal with a spate of bombings, a missing American sailor, + his criminal friend Steve Cooper causing mayhem. It is a really enjoyable series that captures the 70s well.

Cathythoughts Cheese and more cheese sounds perfect 👌🏻 2mo
youneverarrived That looks lovely 😁 2mo
Tamra That sounds like the perfect lunch! 🧀 2mo
LeahBergen Pubs and cheese and beers and books … you can‘t beat that! 2mo
46 likes4 comments
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andrew61
The Transit of Venus | Shirley Hazzard
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This is the story of 2 Australian sisters who are orphaned + move with their half-sister to England. The story stretches from the late 1940s to the 70s as we follow mainly Caro's love life and Grace's marriage. It is intricately told with precise + beautiful writing. The ending is a shock as a secret is revealed, which changes the readers' views on well drawn characters. This is my 1st Shirley Hazzard, and I loved the story and her wonderful prose

Cathythoughts This sounds good. Stacked, and I love your photo 👍🏻I‘ll have to get a cup of tea and a biscuit now 😁 (edited) 2mo
Crazeedi Sounds really good, stacking #leaveittolitsy 2mo
Tamra Lovely sunshine! 2mo
batsy I've heard wonderful things about Hazzard. Great review. Will remember to start with this with her books. 2mo
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andrew61
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Told with brutal honesty + dark humour, comedian Fern Brady considers her troubled life so far, having received as an adult diagnosis of autism. For many adolescent girls with autism they are often labelled difficult, angry, or promiscuous when their diagnosis would have helped both the individual + their families and teachers. I found this book both funny and sad, the comedy masks experiences which must have been very painful. A brilliant memoir.

kspenmoll Stacked! 2mo
youneverarrived Great review! I liked it too. 2mo
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andrew61
Exit Management | Naomi Booth
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A dark love story of 2 yng people whose paths cross in London where property is unobtainable. Lauren, a HR consultant from a troubled Leeds background, is searching for a flat.Callum looks after property for an agency, is adopted by a wealthy aged art expert from a Hungarian background, has a difficult family story. When they meet their paths lead to dramatic results. A well told dark tale, which I really enjoyed, a modern fable of London life.

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andrew61
The Books of Jacob | Olga Tokarczuk
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I plunged into this fascinating book 4w ago + was absorbed in the world of an E European Jewish messiah who creates a cultist group who convert to Catholicism. The themes of anti semitism, charismatic abusive leaders, nation states, + the power of religion echo across the centuries with the final pages bringing us to the 20th century.Jacob Frank is unlikeable as we view him through multiple viewers eyes. Daunting, dense, but worth the effort

sarahbarnes I started this a couple of years ago and didn‘t finish it. I do want to pick it back up at some point. 2mo
Anna40 Great review! 2mo
Aimeesue Great review! I love this author and must get to this one. 2mo
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andrew61
They Knew Mr. Knight | Dorothy Whipple
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My 5th whipple, + there is something comforting abt life in middle class 1920s England. Her characters are v well drawn, evoking the conflicting emotions in families as aging, trust, + ambition create the perfect soup of a novel, + of course a perfect villain.
@LeahBergen @Cathythoughts @rubyslippersreads @quietjenn @Tamra @CarolynM @sisilia @Caryl @daena @elkeOriginal @Gissy @Aimeesue @Bookbuyingaddict @julieclair @willaful #persephoneclub

Tamra Yes, it is a comfort read despite the villainy! 😊 3mo
LeahBergen Great review! And that looks like the wine Mr Knight should be drinking. 😉 3mo
jlhammar April has been flying by! Hope to devote some time to this tomorrow. 3mo
Cathythoughts Yes. Great review! The perfect villain indeed 👍🏻♥️ 3mo
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andrew61
They Knew Mr. Knight | Dorothy Whipple
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Yes, I think I have just found my drink of choice," barley wine, bovril, black beer, and port." I wonder if I could substitute marmite as I don't think I've had bovril since I don't know when.
#persephoneclub
@LeahBergen @Cathythoughts @rubyslippersreads @quietjenn @Tamra @CarolynM @sisilia @Caryl @daena @elkeOriginal @Gissy @Aimeesue @Bookbuyingaddict @julieclair @willaful

rubyslippersreads Sounds awful, but maybe there‘s enough alcohol that you wouldn‘t care. 🤢🤷‍♀️ 3mo
Cathythoughts Sounds like strong stuff in every way. Let us know if you make some up .. might be just the tonic we all need 😁 🙈 3mo
Bookbuyingaddict @andrew61 🤣🤣 I do love ❤️ marmite and port . My gran use to have strange concoctions like these 🤢 3mo
See All 9 Comments
LeahBergen 😆😆 3mo
CarolynM I think I‘ll pass🤢 3mo
daena That sounds brutal 3mo
Aimeesue Oh dear. At least it‘s pewer! 😂 3mo
Rissreads 🤮🤣 3mo
Lindy I will remember this next time I‘m feeling peaky. 😉 3mo
36 likes9 comments
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andrew61
The Report: A Novel | Jessica Francis Kane
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In 1943 173 people died when seeking shelter from a bombing raid in Bethnal Green tube station in a crush caused by a woman falling on the stairs. The bk imagines a family's experience of the disaster as they lose their youngest daughter, + 30 years later, a journalist interviews the chair of the enquiry about his report. This is a tale told in a matter of fact way but which exposes the dislike of jewish refugees at the time. Interesting but sad.

jlhammar I recently bought this one. Looking forward to it. 3mo
51 likes1 comment
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andrew61
Light Perpetual: A Novel | Francis Spufford
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In 1944, a bomb destroyed a South London woolworths. Among the 168 who died, the author has imagined 5 young children's lives at 15-year intervals until 2009. The life that might have been for each one is absorbing as we follow their various highs + lows + in parts is very moving. The book ends with a reminder not to dwell on paths not taken, and I put it down wishing there was more and wiping away moisture from my eye.

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andrew61
Grey Bees | Andrey Kurkov
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In a small town in the Donbas, 2 remaining residents, Sergeyich + Pashka,frenemies, live a codependent life as bombing between russia + ukraine rains over them.Summer arrives + S drives his beehive south to find somewhere for his bees to pollinate, with curious encounters along the way. Set after 2014, this is a gentle but darkly profound bk given the current war. Sergeyich is a remarkable character+his response to life make a compelling story⬇️

andrew61 In his 2020 introduction kurov concludes ' I hope the war leaves the residents of the grey zone alone,....and that the honey made by the bees of the donbas loses its bitter after taste of gunpowder' . His 2022 intro ' we must defend our independence, our freedom. We cannot capitulate'. 4mo
Anna40 Beautiful review. 4mo
Tamra So timely 💔 4mo
BarbaraBB How timely indeed (edited) 4mo
Cathythoughts ❤️ 4mo
38 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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andrew61
Soldier Sailor | Claire Kilroy
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A powerful evocation of the raw emotions of early motherhood. As the narrator talks to her toddler 'sailor', she describes with brutal honesty the contradiction of loving this new person so much you would kill for them but also run away. The loss of individuality is powerfully expressed, while the device of an old friend brings hope but also realisation that you can't go back. A brilliant piece of writing, tough, funny, heartbreaking. ⬇️

andrew61 The bookmark peeping out was given on preordering Katherine Priddys' new album when she supported the unthanks recently. Highly recommended, a beautiful voice. 4mo
Cathythoughts Definitely stacked after your review 👍🏻♥️ 4mo
andrew61 @Cathythoughts definitely worth trying Cathy, although memories of sleepless nights came flooding back, and hopefully, I wasn't quite as hopeless as the father in the story. 4mo
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andrew61
The Black Path | Asa Larsson
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#marvellousmarchreadathon @andrew65
My 2nd this week was 3rd in the Rebecca martinsson series, which is getting better and better. After bk 2, Rebecca has had treatment for her trauma and returns to her hometown, taking on job as prosecutor + burying herself in work. In this, a body found in a frozen cabin links to a venture capital business now invested in mineral mining. The plot twists + turns, including African politics, with a dramatic end.

Leftcoastzen Yay, moss! 4mo
Andrew65 Excellent 👏👏👏 4mo
39 likes2 comments
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andrew61
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I like crime stories in which a journalist is the main protagonist. They are unusual but change the perspective. In the 2nd Rebecca Connolly outing, she is recovering from the events of bk 1 when a body is discovered on the culloden battlefield dressed in jacobean costume. The subsequent investigation involves a far-right politician, a local crime gang, and a nearby film company. Kept up the tension right to the end. Book 1 in #marvellousmarch

Cathythoughts That‘s a great photo 👍🏻 4mo
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andrew61
None Turn Back | Storm Jameson
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The 3rd of this trilogy finds Hervey married to Nicholas but about to have a serious operation. The bk then covers the 9 days of the 1926 general strike, + the characters are polarised btwn avid support of the cause + entrenched self-interest. What is interesting is how scared of revolution society was at a time when ww1 still impacts on lives + poverty is rife. A fascinating period, + good series. And the life of the writer is wortha bk itself ⬇️

andrew61 Just a mention of the choices virago made for the art on their covers . Here 3 wonderful Edward Hopper images captured the dark emotion of the characters. 4mo
LeahBergen Gorgeous! I have a couple of these waiting on my shelves. 4mo
Cathythoughts These are great 👍🏻 4mo
kwmg40 I love these VMC covers! 4mo
kspenmoll Those are such beautiful editions! 4mo
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andrew61
The Lingering | SJI Holliday
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A book that had been sat on my shelf for a while but was an enjoyable horror/crime story. Certainly lots of cliche horror tropes, spooky old asylum, couple with secrets joining a cultish group in said horror house, and lots of creaking floorboards/cold rooms and hands round neck when in the bath. Bit of a daft ending but generally good fun.

LeahBergen Well, it certainly looks like you have a tasty reading setup there! And I see a green Virago peeking out… 😊 4mo
andrew61 @LeahBergen, yes, I'm mid general strike with the final part of the Storm jameson trilogy. The cover will be revealed soon. Nice spot, leah. 4mo
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andrew61
Strange Loyalties | William McIlvanney
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I read a lot of crime novels, + it is rare to read a genre bk in which the themes + quality of writing stand out, but this 3rd in the Laidlaw series was remarkable. Several scenes stood out, including laidlaw holding the hand of the dying mother of a criminal because she reflects a generation of Glasgow women. The story is about the death of the detective's brother + is fused with reflections on family and the fragility of life. Definitely 5*

Leftcoastzen Yummm Guinness! 4mo
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andrew61
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Lucrezia, 3rd daughter of Cosimo Medici, is a wonderful character, married at 15 to the 'janus' Duke of ferrara she is vibrant child full of life. It is the knowledge that this is a tale built around her fate that she will killed by her husband that creates the emotional impact of this wonderful book. When i rd her encounter with a tiger, I was hooked with the story + prose style. The ending is sad but offers an idea of what might have been

sarahbarnes Agreed. Great review of a great book. 4mo
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andrew61
All That Lives | James Oswald
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#20in4 #fabulousfebruary I finished 2 books in this weekly challenge + both crime series. This is 12th in insp maclean, the cyclist 2nd in DI George Cross. Maclean as usual in Edinburgh battles supernatural elements in the discovery of bodies old + new, Cross a autistic detective in Bristol brings his uniqskills to unravelling the death of a man found in his cycling gears. Both well plotted and gd reads. Mid The marriage portrait at mo. @Andrew65

Cathythoughts Marmite 😁 5mo
andrew61 @Cathythoughts, yes, a definite treat on toast Cathy. 4mo
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andrew61
Heat Wave: A Novel | Penelope Lively
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Another great story from Penelope Lively as she describes the relationship between Pauline and her adult daughter Teresa. During a hot summer in Pauline's countryside cottage, Teresa, her author husband, and yng baby are a family on edge, but Pauline's memory of her own husbands infidelity years before mirror the current situation. Family tension is evoked with great skill by an author whose work I always enjoy.

BarbaraBB A good read indeed! 5mo
Reggie I love this one. I love how Luke seems like this bumbling butterfly while all the adults in his life are in this drama. 5mo
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andrew61
Slough House | Mick Herron
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I finished the 7th of the slow horses series earlier this week, the praise heaped on this modern take on spy novel is well deserved. Jackson Lamb is a brilliant creation, and his devotion to his 'joes', a group of rejects from mi5, is contrasted with his appalling abuse of them in all his grossness. Here, the assassination of a Russian spy after the Salisbury novichok killings leads to direct risk to Slough House. Still not seen the TV show.

Traci1 I've only read a couple of these but really liked them. 5mo
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andrew61
Lightseekers | Femi Kayode
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I heard an i/v with the author who described the true story of the brutal murder of 3 University students in a Nigerian Town as the source for thus novel. Psychologist Philip, who has recently returned from the US is asked by the father of one boy to investigate. Philip + his assistant are viewed with suspicion + he is quickly at risk while his marriage is also under strain. An interesting twist on the crime novel, well worth trying.

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andrew61
Still Missing | Beth Gutcheon
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What a very tense read which evoked both the troubling politics of the late 70s (homophobia) but also the trauma of a child's disappearance. Poor Susan is surrounded by a host of troubling friends + relatives esp ex h Graham. A v dramatic end had me on tenterhooks
#persephoneclub @LeahBergen @Cathythoughts @Aimeesue @CarolynM @jlhammar @Tamra @rubyslippersreads @sisilia @Ruthiella @Gissy @elkeOriginal @daena @Karons1 @julieclair @willaful @Caryl

jlhammar So tense! And same for me with that ending. Great review! 5mo
Aimeesue Troubling friends is right! Sheesh. 5mo
Tamra I was surprised at the homophobia, but I shouldn‘t have been. 5mo
See All 10 Comments
willaful @Tamra I know just what you mean. 5mo
LeahBergen @Tamra @willaful @andrew61 I was really worried there for a bit and thought, “Oh no! Is the author going to make the only gay character a pedophile???” 😬 5mo
Cathythoughts Yes , A very tense read ! So true to the time. I thought the story was written so well. 5mo
willaful @LeahBergen Yes. And I really want to know what happened to him! 5mo
Caryl The homophobia was disturbing. I hated that turn of events. Gutcheon did swerve to show things from another angle so that the homophobia was clear, and so I was somewhat relieved, but I still wish she had plotted that part differently. 5mo
CarolynM Great review, it was a very tense read for me too. As to the homophobia, in cases like this one I think it‘s still all too real - stuff Auberon Levy (the lawyer) said about why he wouldn‘t get involved is still there in people‘s minds today☹️ 5mo
andrew61 @willaful @jlhammar @Caryl @Cathythoughts @Tamra @Aimeesue Definitely a book to spark a lot of discussion. I liked Menetti + his interactions with his wife and Susan. It felt like every person susan was close to, he wd disclose something unsavoury about. The encounter that led to Phillipe's arrest was brutally described, + I'm relieved she did not take the bk in that direction also leah. Will be interested in yr thoughts Cathy on her other bks. 5mo
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andrew61
Beside the Syrian Sea | James Wolff
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When jonas's (an office based mi6 worker) father is kidnapped by isis, against all rules he travels to Syria with stolen papers to try + deal for his dad's release. A very enjoyable take on the spy story as British, American services hunt him, and hezbollah wants his Intel. This book had a lot of hype on crimetime fm podcast + from other recommendations, and it didn't disappoint.

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andrew61
Crow Lake: A Novel | Mary Lawson
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Our rdg grp this week will discuss this excellent family story perfectly expressing how changes in lifes paths are perceived differently by others. So when a family of 4 children are suddenly orphaned in a small North Canadian town it is left to the two older brs to bring up their yngr sisters. As an adult Kate struggles with Matt's choices + a family event where she reluctantly introduces her partner makes for drama. Loved this my 2nd by ML

jlhammar Loved it too! One of my favorite reads last year. 5mo
sherrisilvera Favorite author. I've read 3 and she never disappoints! 5mo
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andrew61
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The first 70 odd pages are very slow going but once into the narrative about how yng actress Charlie is recruited into an undercover plot to catch the head of a pro Palestinian bombing cell the storytelling starts to improve. It's not my favourite Le Carre but an interesting shift away from the Cold War storytelling + particularly pertinent as the Middle East is the centre of the news every day. Looking forward now to watching the BBC series

CarolynM I read this a long time ago and really liked it. I was a Rock Follies fan and was intrigued by Charlie being inspired by his sister, Charlotte Cornwall. 5mo
andrew61 @CarolynM I didn't know that Carolyn, a great bit of info. I haven't seen the TV version yet but had florence pugh in my mind . 5mo
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andrew61
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A tough but remarkable read as the author plots the breakdown of a young woman, a teacher, who following an unexpected death has to confront her grief as well as past trauma. The writing in the 1st person is gut wrenching as she spirals into such low mood that she ends up in psychiatric units. Having just read her 2 brilliant memoirs, + listened to the author on podcasts I am not surprised by the brilliant writing.

LeahBergen That‘s an intriguing blurb on the cover, too! 6mo
andrew61 @LeahBergen yes definitely aiming high . 6mo
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andrew61
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Ahead of seeing the film I read this astonishingly imaginative novel which creates a fantastic narrative of a woman rescued from the dead whose unborn child's brain is transplanted into the adult body.The subsequent tale is bawdy + funny but with a twist at the end as Bella's own afterword turn the readers beliefs on its head. The novel is far better.The film, however, is visually + musically stunning and Emma Stone is brilliant.Next step Lanark.

LeahBergen I love this photo! 6mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful 😍 6mo
Centique The film was so good and i didnt realise it was based on a book! Adding to the TBR 👍 6mo
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andrew61
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Looking at the past posts, I can see that I proudly said 7 yrs ago that I'd picked it up on a charity stall + planned to read it soon! Anyway I plan to have a cinema trip on Saturday to see the film so I started the book last night and was chuckling away today as I had my lunch at work. So far, but only 100 pages in, a) I can't see how the film can top the book, and b) im annoyed that i didn't read it sooner.
Still will make for a fun comparison

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andrew61
All Change | Elizabeth Jane Howard
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Sad to say goodbye to the cazalets after this final 5th volume which ended on a magnificent finale as Elizabeth Jane Howard describes, in one of the best depictions I've read of a family Christmas, the last gathering at Home Place. Births, deaths, and marriages, this has been a wonderful reading experience, and we are left in 1958 wondering what happened to those gloriously drawn characters, particularly the new generation of children.

Tamra I keep meaning to start this series! 6mo
andrew61 @Tamra I'd definitely recommend it. It was a bit daunting at first thinking it stretched to 5 volumes but once you get to know the characters it is very readable. That being said I read book 1 in 2020 so it has still taken a while. 6mo
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andrew61
Himself: A Novel | Jess Kidd
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In 1976 Dublin Mahoney receives a note from the convent where he had grown up saying that the mystery of his birth was to be found in a small Mayo village. His return to villages raises ghosts both metaphorically but also in a supernatural aspect to this novel. I really enjoyed this book, which skilfully combined mystery, great characters, and the feeling of a haunted life and history.

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andrew61
All Made Up | Janice Galloway
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The 2nd of janice galloway's 'memoirs' takes her from childhood into adolescence with puberty, higher school, music, books,+ boys taking centre stage in a brilliant evocation of the turmoil of those years. The centre remains though at the home she shares with her mother + the terrifying sister Cora who is 17 years older. The ending had several moving scenes + I then listened to an lrb i/v which made for an interesting listen. Memorable writing 5*

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andrew61
Charlotte: A Novel | David Foekinos
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I feel ashamed not to have heard of the artist Charlotte Saloman who died in Auschwitz in 1943 after leaving a series of artworks 'Life? or Theatre?' Created while living in France. This poetry/prose style narrative explores the writers obsession with a story that of Charlotte's unique history where depression dogs the female side, but a woman enlivened by passion and art. I felt incredibly sad on finishing but equally astonished. Very moving

TrishB This sounds fascinating. 6mo
andrew61 @TrishB I'd never heard of it until it was mentioned on a podcast. I'd definitely recommend it Trish. 6mo
TrishB You already convinced me 👍🏻 I ordered a copy after reading your review. It‘s a nearly new one. 6mo
andrew61 Great, hope it lives up to my hype. I ordered one of ebay and when it arrived it was in French and I then found it in the library. My French is very rusty o level grade c so maybe it's time I gave it a go to help learn a language!! 6mo
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andrew61
Awakening | Kate Chopin
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Pickpick

At our rdg grp meeting this wk we discussed this classic American novel which was scandalous at the time as it tells the story of a married woman who toys with infidelity. It is an interesting portrait of new Orleans society where Edna's friendship with yng single men is not explicitly frowned upon but as she becomes more independent of her husband the restraints imposed on her ability to love have a dire consequence. Appropriately a classic

CoffeeNBooks This is one of my absolute favorite books of all time, and I've read it several times over the years. 6mo
LeahBergen I thought this was wonderful! 6mo
andrew61 @CoffeeNBooks @LeahBergen I'm surprised how long it has taken me to read and it definitely deserves a reread as it was beautifully written and I would like to try her short stories. 6mo
The_Penniless_Author Her short stories are excellent. The Storm was compulsory reading in most high school English Lit classes for years (and maybe still is, for all I know). 6mo
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andrew61
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Pickpick

Set in a 12 month period before 9/11 this is the story of an entitled attractive young woman who has suffered 2 bereavements of parents + is struggling in her day to day life including her job in a v exclusive art gallery. She goes into an isolation fuelled by prescription drugs, caffeine, + video watching. A biting satire of New york Society and addiction to drugs this was both an unpleasant but compulsive read + I am still thinking abt it.

batsy "Unpleasant but compulsive" sums it up pretty accurately! 6mo
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andrew61
Dead Flowers | Nicola Monaghan
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The last read of 2023 was this new to me writer and start of a series about DNA scientist (former police officer) sian love, who inherits a Nottingham pub from her uncle. When she makes an unpleasant discovery in the cellar, all is set for a well plotted story in which family secrets emerge, and she finds herself in conflict with the police and local gangsters. I am looking forward to trying more by this author.

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andrew61
The Last Chairlift | John Irving
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A xmas chunkster from my favourite author + if this were his last novel it would represent many of the themes that have dominated john irving's past work. He expresses lgbtq voices in his work with warmth,+covers the US experience over his character, Adams 80 yrs incl Vietnam, Reagan/Aids, + trump. The bk feels very personal with a focus on child/single mother relationship. Loved it but at 890p a single read only. Happy reading in 2024 everyone

Ruthiella Happy New Year to you! 🥳 I really want to get back to reading Irving. 7mo
LeahBergen It feels like I haven‘t read an Irving for years. Happy New Year, Andrew! 7mo
andrew61 @LeahBergen @Ruthiella And to you both . Have a great 2024. 7mo
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andrew61
Harriet | Elizabeth Jenkins
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#PersephoneClub Rdg the afterword + searching it was shocking to realise that this dreadful story of the cruel destruction of an individual for profit was based on a true tale. Told with an excellent touch the prose rattles along with villainous brothers Patrick + Lewis conspiring to isolate Harriet. Great storytelling
@rubyslippersreads @CarolynM @Tamra @LeahBergen @quietjenn @elkeOriginal @Aimeesue @Cathythoughts @BarbaraBB @jlhammar @Gissy

Tamra It truly is dreadful. 😕 7mo
BarbaraBB Great review. Such a dreadful story. Poor Harriet 7mo
jlhammar I agree, brilliant storytelling. This sent me searching as well. So terrible. 7mo
LeahBergen Great review! It was written in such a compelling way that I could hardly put it down. 7mo
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andrew61
Dead Ground | M. W. Craven
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This is becoming a favourite series, and in book 4, poe is dragged from the court case about his house to assist Mi5 in an investigation set around a world leader summit in Cumbria. As poe and Tilly Bradshaw are drawn into a Web of intrigue, the mystery goes into events in Iraq 20 years earlier. This was my weekend reading and a definite page turner.

Tamra Nothing better than a page turner! 7mo
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andrew61
Blood Spilt | Asa Larsson
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I've only just discovered this series about Swedish lawyer Rebekka Martinsson who in bk 2 I recovering from the trauma inbthe 1st volume so edge's back into work by going to help sort out a church's financial issues. Inevitably, she gets drawn into a dark tale in which police officer Anna Maria returns. This is a well told story with a character I am enjoying, so I'm looking forward to book 3.