I might be a little more than a week late saying this but; Happy August!
July has gone by in a flash and my quite quiet July reading list is a reflection of this for sure. I read a grand total of 3 books in July and the sprinkling of being forced into self isolation at the end of July helped knock this total up.
So, you know that ambitious goal of reading 50 books in 2021? I think it’s going to remain a goal rather than an achievement as I’m currently reading book 27. Will certainly be a challenge to get to 50 after a bit of a slowing down as life gets busy again.
Anyways, so on with the books I did read and moved off of my TBR (to be read) pile:
However, as 3 feels like a sad number for a blog post, I’m also going to add in my first read of August to make this post a bit more exciting (hence the plus in the title).
As always I’ll try to keep to spoiler free synopsis’ so to not ruin anything for you!
The Husbands Secret – Liane Moriarty
The lovely Lily Smith sent me her copy of this to borrow and I have never been more grateful for a book swap.
The novel follows the lives of three women and their stories connect together as thier secrets begin to overlap.
The novel begins with a mysterious letter that was written to Cecilia by her husband John-Paul to be read in the event of his death. However, he tells her not to open it but curiosity gets the better of her and changes her life FOREVER.
The Husband’s secret in the novel becomes a tick for tact as secrets get unveiled and the characters have to face decisions between morals or love and family.
Cecilia doubts her marriage as she discovers John-Pauls secret, Tess battles with who to put first when her husband Will and best friend Felicity declare they are in love with one-another, and Rachel is stuck in the past as she struggles with the grief over her daughter Janie and continuously is on the search of finding someone to blame that she is losing her present relationships.
The three plots twist and cross other each other in the most surprising of ways and their character focused chapters always leaves you wanting more.
If you want a novel full of compassion and complicated history, then The Husbands Secret will have your nose stuck in a book for a day as you devour it in one sitting.
The Split – Sharon Bolton
If you are a fan of a psychological thriller, this is the book for you.
The Split had me doubting myself and my predictions of the novel over and over.
We follow Felicity’s journey of fleeing in fear to the depths of Antarctica’s glaciers in an attempt to forever run away from Freddie (a person from her past who she has no memory of but knows to avoid).
Like cat and mouse, Freddie follows her and Felicity is left to defend herself in ways even she herself can’t believe.
In the middle part of the novel we see Felicity’s fear and self doubt and try to make sense of the weird occurrences she keeps experiencing whilst in Cambridge. Meanwhile, her psychologist Joe (which Felicity was referred to see after she was attacked in the streets of Cambridge some 9 months before her move to Antarctica) is more concerned with who Felicity really is and why she thinks there is someone else living in her flat.
Talk about unreliable narrator when the character isn’t even sure where parts of time and memories have gone.
Insanely gripping thriller!
The Good Shepherd – C.S. Forester
My Dad lent me this book after he sang its praises and claimed he had read it 3 times within the 2 weeks that it had arrived in the post.
I’m glad he encouraged me to read it as it wasn’t a typical ‘Abi read’ but it was well worth a read.
It was unlike anything I’ve ever read before (And I read a lot of weird and random stuff on my English Literature degree course), which I always find exciting to read when the entire style and narrative is different.
Forester captures the 1955 battle of the Atlantic during WWII in a continuous stream of time. The entire novel covers the struggles against the sea, the gruelling voyage, and the enemy.
The way Forester writes the novels positions you as the reader to feel like you are watching the events fold out minute by minute– perhaps this is so effective as Forester was a screenwriter too.
Very interesting from a historical point of view, and from a structural point of view too.
Small Pleasures – Clare Chambers
Journalist Jean becomes intrigued by a letter she receives from a local reader claiming to have experienced a virgin birth.
After being given the green light to investigate and report on this story, Jean becomes invested into Gretchen’s (the mother of the acclaimed Virgin birth) life and begins to be wrapped up in their lives.
Jean discovers that Gretchen was bed bound in a women’s ward for her rheumatoid arthritis when she fell pregnant and is intrigued by the fact that there were no male doctors or nurses who attended her or male visitors that were unsupervised.
Jean believes that Gretchen truly believes this birth to be that of one without sex, and seeks to find declarative truth one way or the other, but finds herself getting wrapped up in Gretchen’s families personal life a bit too much…
This was a VERY intriguing story and interestingly is based on similar real-life claims and the 1950’s research that considered the possibilities of single-sex procreation.
I hope you’re intrigued by these books, I really did thoroughly enjoy all of them.
I’m now actually reading another book by Liane Moriarty because her book was THAT good!
Do let me know if you’ve read any of these, or if you have any future recommendations for me, i love a good read and hopefully will read more in August than July.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday x