Archive for May, 2011

I have just finished reading “Case Histories” by Kate Atkinson. This is one of the books in my pile of World Book Night 2011 books!

It’s really interesting, with its interlinking stories and fascinating characters. We get stories told from the views of different people, with the more vague stories of some characters followed later in the book by the stories of the characters closest to the incidents explored. The incidents involve deaths of characters, and how they affect those left behind.

I love how the stories are all linked somehow, and how each viewpoint drops little clues towards what really happened in each case. At points its easier to guess what happened, and in some cases i never saw it coming!

The characters are all really well described and i felt sorry for some of them, but none of them i hated, although there were a few that i wasnt keen on!

If you like stories with mystery, murder and a range of interesting (if a bit odd) characters, then i recommend this book!

I give it 7/10 because it’s just so well written that it keeps you on your toes with every twist and development!

Cover of "Her Fearful Symmetry: A Novel"

Cover of Her Fearful Symmetry: A Novel

I have just finished “Her Fearful Symmetry” by Audrey Niffenegger, and have to say it is a great novel!

It starts off with a death, and then the aftermath of this event. We meet the strange but normal world of twins: the young pair Julia and Valentina, and their mum and her dead twin. Julia and Valentina’s lives are transformed when they inherit their unknown dead aunt’s flat in London, and they move from America to live a new life in England, away from their parents.

We see a power struggle between the girls, both wanting different things, but not wanting to leave the other…. but Valentina starts pulling away. They meet two interesting men in London, one lives above their flat, the other lives below. The kind man whom Julia befriends suffers from OCD and never leaves his flat. Julia is a positive influence on him and changes his restricted life forever. Valentina falls for her aunt’s dead lover living downstairs, and this relationship changes everybody’s lives forever.

The story has ghostly elements to it, and a great revelation and twist in the story. It starts out quite sadly with the aunt’s death, then grows lighter with all the possibilities the twin’s new life in London shows them. There is the constant presence of death in the novel, especially with the cemetery next door to the flats.

The story gets rather dark, mysterious and a little morbid towards the end, but i won’t spoil the ending for you, its really fascinating!

The relationships between the characters are really well written, and particularly that of the twins, which is fascinating in itself.

I really recommend this book, as it’s just beautifully written and has such a gripping storyline. It got into my head and haunted me until i’d finished it, and afterwards too! It makes you consider how far people will go for love, and wonder about life after death for both the dead and the living.

I give it 9/10 because i just loved it. I will definitely read this again, and i recommend it highly!

Cover of "Anthropology: And a Hundred Oth...

Cover via Amazon

I have just finished reading Dan Rhodes’ “Anthropology and a hundred other stories”, a collection of 101 short stories about love, relationships, and breakups, published by Canongate.

Each story is about 120 words long, and contains a girlfriend of the narrator, and talks about their relationship, whether it is sad or happy. The girls all have unusual names, and all treat the narrator in different ways, whether nicely or badly.

Some of the stories are quite heartfelt in their description of love and heartbreak, whereas others are quite funny! They are all pretty quirky and interesting accounts of relationships.

The stories are nice to read, and i read the book slowly as i just picked a few to read every now and then. I recommend this book if you like short stories, or tales of love and heartbreak. It has something for everyone, as it has 101 stories of different relationship issues.

I give the book a 6/10 as it is an interesting selection of stories and it’s a nice simple read.