The summer break is a great time to relax and enjoy some great books. I’ve combined my reading list from the past two months into one blog, hopefully you’ll also find something you’ll love in my Chapter December and January book reviews.
The Kitchen House – Kathleen Grissom
Set in the Southern States in at the turn of the nineteenth century The Kitchen House is the story of an orphaned Irish girl, Lavina, who ends up working with the black slaves in the kitchen house on a plantation. As she grows she’s welcomed into the Big House to care for the ailing mistress, and as time passes she turns into an educated, society lady. However she continues to love and miss her Kitchen House family, and struggles to find her new place in a complex world.
I absolutely loved this book, I finished it in about two days as I got so involved with the characters and the story. It deals with multiple difficult issues, and at times is heartbreaking, but has moments of joy. This is a book I’d recommend to people so it’ll be staying on my bookshelf.
Buy here from The Book Depository for $20.96
The Invitation – Lucy Foley
A struggling writer has a chance meeting with a beautiful and mysterious woman who promptly disappears. Then, almost a year later, he’s invited onto a yacht heading to the Cannes Film Festival and this woman is also one of the guests. The resulting story is their tale of love tangled amongst the stories of the other passengers in a post WWII world.
This book was simply ok for me, whilst the writing was good and the story held promise I felt it lacked a little. I also have very little patience for characters that mope around because of love, it makes me want to slap them. I limped along though as I wanted to see the ending, which actually wasn’t that bad really.
However I wouldn’t re-read it and so this book wouldn’t be staying on my bookshelf.
Buy from The Book Depository for $18.82
Before The Fall – Noah Hawley
Anyone that reads my reviews will know that I am huge fan of what I like to call the generic mystery/thriller. This one has been on my radar for awhile now and I got it for Christmas. It’s about a painter who ends up on a private plane with a wealthy family headed to New York from Martha’s Vineyard, however shortly after take-off it crashes. Scott and the family’s son JJ are the only survivors, and in the aftermath of the tragedy the search for the truth begins.
This book is not what it seems, the writing isn’t really my favourite style, Scott tends to ramble on a bit in his dialogue and I got bored with him, which is never good when they’re your main character. I did like that each passenger and staff member who was on the plane had their own chapters which kept you interested enough and got you thinking in all different directions. I understand the ending is a bit controversial, however I thought it was damn near perfect.
May or may not re-read this so I’ll keep it for now.
Buy from The Book Depository for $20.04
Original Sin – Tasmina Perry
Tess is a successful yet floundering editor who after obtaining some sensitive photos of a certain rich family’s son is poached by the family to become their publicist in the lead up to the society wedding of the year. However the family have many secrets and it’s Tess’s job to keep them buried.
Tasmina Perry is one of my guilty pleasure author’s, as chick lit goes she’s actually pretty good at making sure it isn’t too mushy and corny. I think I’ve mentioned before she also likes to focus on mystery but of course with glamourous characters and settings. Anyway I really enjoyed this book and whilst some of it I could guess there were still some surprises at the end which I thought were really well done.
It’ll stay on my bookshelf for future re-reading.
Buy from the Book Depository for $15.96
I also read two books by the same author this month because I love her work. Liane Mortiarty addresses difficult topics in a suburban way that ensures that people will talk about them. She also adds the mystery factor by being able to reveal the perfect amount of information as she goes along. I’ve read a lot of books and 80% of the time I can work a book’s ending half way through, but with hers she keeps me stumped which keeps me reading!
Truly, Madly, Guilty – Liane Mortiarty
One suburban afternoon friends get together for a casual BBQ, however one tragic moment will change it all. I really don’t want to say any more than this because it’ll probably give too much away but this book is brilliant! She is one of my favourite authors because she keeps you hooked the entire way through and throws in so many tantalising little red herrings that you can’t guess the ending.
Once it’s all revealed there is still one more tiny element at the end that will break your heart slightly. My workmate is currently borrowing this book as I recommended it, this one will be staying on my bookshelf.
Buy from the Book Depository for $22.11
Big Little Lies – Liane Mortiarty
Yes I read this one nearly straight after Truly Madly Guilty because I loved it, and I enjoyed this one just as much. Jane moves to a small coastal town with her son Ziggy, and on the orientation day at kindergarten a minor misunderstanding will have major effects for months to come.
Liane has this ability to take a small trait and link it in a way that makes sense, for example Jane’s obsession with chewing gum, which is noticed by the other characters but doesn’t seem to be overly important. It’s a detail that is subtle but intrigues you and is addressed in the larger picture.
Buy from The Book Depository for $13.50