I’ve not done loads of reading recently, in comparison to the amount I was doing at uni– admittedly that was an obscene amount.

Unusually for me, the books I’ve been reading were not books on my TBR (to be read) list but instead books lent to me by my friends.

Not only is it great to be able to borrow a book from a friend so you have someone to discuss the endings with, but also its a cheaper way to get reading.

I’m trying to reduce how much I spend on books, especially ones that I’m unlikely to read again (admittedly this is hard to know before you read the book). Otherwise they just end up filling up my book case beyond capacity (again) — my poor book case already undergoes a yearly ruthless purge which doesn’t actually go very well as I have converted an old CD stand to a additional mini second book case

So, with the cosy, rainy, autumn to winter weather I needed something to snuggle up with so I put out a plea to borrow some books.

Normally, when I do a swap I’ll ask for the book knowing that I’d like it as its been on my radar for a while… but this time, that was not the case.

Instead I had run out of books I hadn’t read and asked my lovely friend Jess if she had any she I thought I’d like. The next time we meet for a socially distanced walk I gained two books to read!

Beneath the Surface was a really interesting psychological novel about a families hidden secrets that begin to emerge in cracks when arguments, or anxiety hits.

No one writes about modern family with more truth or authenticity than Fiona Neill” – Lisa Jewell

Each family member all are desperate to try to cover something of their past up in order to protect the other, whilst trying to discover each others secrets … but sometimes things are better left uncovered, and others it’s better to just be honest so you can understand one another better and support your loved ones.

Fiona Neil brilliantly captures each family member and their hidden secrets in multiple points of view chapters and it was so intriguing to see how they unwound.

Without giving any spoilers; the novel delves into Grace’s desperation to provide her children with the most perfect, cherished and memorable childhood, one that she herself never had. Grace is content in the belief that her eldest daughter Lily is achieving this and more and focuses on her youngest Mia who has a tendency to get into mischief. But when Lily collapses in an English class, Grace begins to discover that perhaps things aren’t quite as she hoped …

Everyone is living or concealing a lie.

Behind her eyes was one of those books that kept me wanting to pick it back up whenever I had to put it down.

“Pinborough’s twisty psychological thriller culminates with a plot twist worthy of the publisher’s #WTFthatending hashtag”– Alison Flood

I’ve only found a couple books this year that have had me daydreaming about what was going to happen in the next chapter whilst I was at work, and this was one of them.

Split into multiple perspectives Behind her eyes is a thriller follows the lives of two adult women, Louise and Adele. Adele is married to David and Louise works for David, yet David is unaware of their friendship.

It’s hard to know who to trust as the unreliable narration is undeniably apparent and both women have completed acts that could be regarded as immoral.

As the past begins to unravel and you begin to ask questions of “How did she know that?” things begin to get complicated and you have no idea to trust; Adele? Louise? or David? the more you find out, the more conflicted you become.

I have never experienced so many plot twists, when you get to the one that you think is THE plot twist, another one comes flying your way throwing where your trust lies out of whack all over again.

As you can probably tell, I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this book and am recommending it to anyone who is asking for recommendations as to what book they should read next.

I’ve also just discovered that it is going to become a Netflix series for 2021 which has made me expel a little squeal of excitement!!!

I had no idea what these books were going to be about before I was lent them and I’m so pleased Jess lent them to me as I don’t think I ever would have read them otherwise.

I’m now currently reading another borrowed book, that has been lent to me from someone I know through scouting, which is called The Penguin Book of the Contemporary British Short Story.

I’ve really been enjoying getting stuck into some of these stories, which has made me realise how much I miss reading and writing them — I haven’t read or written any since I completed my dissertation in April (if you want to read those you can find them here)

I hope you are all getting in the festive spirit. Let me know in the comments what books you are planning to read over the Christmas holidays.

Keep safe and well.

Love to you all x

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