Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

I’ve just finished reading “The Ice Twins” by S.K. Tremayne.

“The Ice Twins” by S.K. Tremayne (via Goodreads)

I chose it because it is about twins, a subject which I’ve always been interested in.

The blurb reads:

“A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.

But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity—that she, in fact, is Lydia—their world comes crashing down once again.

As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past—what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?”

The novel starts with the family moving away from the city to the wild tiny island in Scotland in the hope of moving on from the terrible tragedy of losing their twin daughter Lydia. It is clear that something is not right when Kirstie announces she is actually Lydia and this causes so many cracks in Angus and Sarah’s relationship.

We see the action from both parents’ point of view and it tells us something very different about the version of events which they saw unfold. Sarah is desperately trying to make the move work, while trying to keep her relationship with Angus going for the sake of their surviving daughter but doubts start to form in her head about Angus and his actions towards his daughters on that fateful day.

Angus has his own secrets and is still tortured by the death, knowing a secret which could destroy his wife. He drinks heavily and struggles to get his life back on track but still loves his daughter and tries to love his wife as he resists the urge to hurt her.

Then there is poor Kirstie, struggling to come to terms with her twin’s death and being confused about who she is. She struggles to fit in with the children at her new school and is watched all the time by her parents who are trying to work out which twin really died.

It is pretty horrendous having a child die, but having a an identical twin die is worse when the survivor will always remind you of the one who died. I feel sorry for the parents and it’s hard to know which side to pick when trying to guess what really happened and who is at fault. It kept me guessing until the end and it was a surprise what really happened, but it was also obvious that somebody was ultimately going to die in the end. The atmosphere on the island is quiet and eerie and really lends itself to the plot, which wouldn’t work as well if the family had stayed in London.

I thought it was going to be more of a horror type of thriller novel with a bit more suspense but it disappointed me as it fell short of my expectations and was a bit lacklustre. I give this novel 6/10 because it was fascinating but by no means the best novel about twins or the best thriller novel that I’ve ever read.

I recently read “He’s Just Not That Into You” by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.

“He’s Just Not That Into You” by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo (via Amazon)

It is essentially a self-help book on relationships, with letters from readers about various aspects of dating and so on, with Greg and Liz replying to them. It’s mainly from Greg’s viewpoint, so using a man’s perspective on problems usually dealt with by a women. I got this copy free with a magazine years ago and never read it. I thought it might be interesting so I started reading it this week while off work. It’s really quick to read but it didn’t really teach me anything I didn’t already know!

I’m not sure how they managed to base a film (of the same name) on this book but I haven’t seen it and don’t intend to! I would probably not read it again and I’m not sure I’d recommend it!

I recently read “The Marriage Bureau for Rich people” by Farahad Zama.

“The Marriage Bureau for Rich People” by Rufi Thorpe (via Goodreads)

The blurb reads:

“What does somebody with a wealth of common sense do if retirement palls?

Why, open a marriage bureau, of course. And soon Mr Ali, from beautiful Vizag in South India, sees his new business flourish as the indomitable Mrs Ali and able assistant Aruna look on with careful eyes.

But although many clients go away happy, problems lurk behind the scenes as Aruna nurses a heart-rending secret; while Mr Ali cannot see that he rarely follows the sage advice he so freely dishes out to others. And when love comes calling for Aruna, an impossible dilemma looms…

A colourful coastal town and contemporary marriage bureau prove a perfect backdrop for a splendid array of characters making sense of all sorts of pride and prejudice – and the ways in which true love won’t quite let go – in this witty and big-hearted debut novel.”

This is a great little book covering life in south India as Mr Ali opens a marriage bureau and helps people to find spouses. There are so many different characters, from the poorer members of society to the rich elite. Aruna is Mr Ali’s assistant and comes from a poor family who are trying to marry her off but struggling due to their poor status. She falls in love with a wealthy client but knows a marriage is out of the question due to the massive differences between their lifestyles and family status.

Mr Ali deals with difficult customers and easy customers, and seems to have a knack for sorting out even the most complicated situations. His wife, Mrs Ali, helps out occasionally and has her own ways of getting customers to cooperate. Their only problem is their son, who won’t settle down and get married but prefers to fight for rights and justice by protesting at demonstrations, much to his parents’ frustration. He is one example of not conforming to a society that sees certain behaviours as potentially damaging for that person and their family.

I never realised how complex a marriage arrangement could be: there are questions of marrying someone of the same caste or a different one, what benefits the couple bring to each other’s families, how compatible husbands and wives will be, how height and looks can rule out so many matches, and so on. There are so many things to consider but I feel like I understand it all a bit better now.

I give it 8/10 because it is a fascinating insight into life in such a complex culture and is a great read! I would read it again!