My Week in Books – 14th October ’18


New arrivals

SympathySympathy by Olivia Sudjic (paperback, subscription box)

An electrifying novel of blood ties, online identities, and our tormented efforts to connect in the digital age.

At twenty-three, Alice Hare leaves England for New York. She falls in love with Manhattan, and becomes fixated on Mizuko Himura, an intriguing Japanese writer whose life has strange parallels to her own.

As Alice closes in on Mizuko, her ‘internet twin’, realities multiply and fact and fiction begin to blur. The relationship between the two women exposes a tangle of lies and sexual encounters. Three families collide as Alice learns that the swiftest answer to an ancient question – where do we come from? – can now be found online.

The Murder of Harriet MoncktonThe Murder of Harriet Monckton by Elizabeth Haynes (ebook)

From the award-winning and bestselling author of Into the Darkest Corner comes a delicious Victorian crime novel based on a true story that shocked and fascinated the nation.

On 7th November 1843, Harriet Monckton, 23 years old and a woman of respectable parentage and religious habits, is found murdered in the privy behind the chapel she regularly attended in Bromley, Kent.  The community is appalled by her death, apparently as a result of swallowing a fatal dose of prussic acid, and even more so when the surgeon reports that Harriet was around six months pregnant.

Drawing on the coroner’s reports and witness testimonies, Elizabeth Haynes builds a compelling picture of Harriet’s final hours through the eyes of those closest to her and the last people to see her alive. Her fellow teacher and companion, her would-be fiancé, her seducer, her former lover—all are suspects; each has a reason to want her dead.

Brimming with lust, mistrust and guilt, The Murder of Harriet Monckton is a masterclass of suspense from one of our greatest crime writers.

So Much Life Left OverSo Much Life Left Over by Louis de Bernières (hardcover, library loan)

A sweeping, heartbreaking novel following Daniel in his troubled marriage with Rosie as they navigate the unsettled time between the World Wars.

Rosie and Daniel have moved to Ceylon with their little daughter to start a new life at the dawn of the 1920s, attempting to put the trauma of the First World War behind them, and to rekindle a marriage that gets colder every day. However, even in the lush plantation hills it is hard for them to escape the ties of home and the yearning for fulfilment that threatens their marriage.

Back in England, Rosie’s three sisters are dealing with different challenges in their searches for family, purpose and happiness. These are precarious times, and they find themselves using unconventional means to achieve their desires. Around them the world is changing, and when Daniel finds himself in Germany he witnesses events taking a dark and forbidding turn.

By turns humorous and tragic, gripping and touching, So Much Life Left Over follows a cast of unique and captivating characters as they navigate the extraordinary interwar years both in England and abroad.

On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Monday – I published my review of one of the events I attended at Henley Literary Festival 2018: Alan Johnson talking about his latest book, In My Life: A Music Memoir.

Tuesday –  This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was Longest Books I’ve Ever Read.  I found plenty of whoppers in my Read shelf on Goodreads but interestingly they were all books read some years ago.  My inclination to tackle big books seems to have waned.  However, I did publish my review of the fairly chunky Macbeth by Jo Nesbo.

WednesdayWWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just finished reading, what I’m reading now and what I’ll be reading next.

Thursday – My Throwback Thursday post was my review of The Dark Tide by Vera Brittain, a book from my Classics Club list.  As part of the blog tour, I also shared my review of historical novel The Black Prince by Adam Roberts, based on previously unpublished material by Anthony Burgess.

Saturday – I joined the blog tour for Susan Roebuck’s latest book, Joseph Barnaby, a romance/mystery story set on the island of Madeira. I also published my (spoiler free) introduction to my Buchan of the Month: Witch Wood by John Buchan.

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Next week I’m having an Autumn break in Falmouth, Cornwall so there will be plenty of Cornish themed blog posts, reviews… and reading!

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Cornwall Week: Books Set in Cornwall (multiple posts)
  • Book Review: Wrecker by Noel O’Reilly
  • Book Review: False Lights by K. J. Whittaker
  • Book Review: A Ration Book Christmas by Jean Fullerton
  • Book Review: Paris Echo by Sebastian Faulks
  • Book Review: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  • Book Review: Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson

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