These are the books I read in May, featuring tigers, butterflies and a goldfinch!
Show Us Who You Are by Elle McNicoll is, in her own words “a bit of a thriller, a bit of science-fiction and a love story between two best friends. It’s about 12-year old Cora and the inner workings of The Pomegranate Institute, a company who use holograms to recreate real humans, allowing them to live forever as artificially intelligent digital doubles”.
I *loved* it! An exciting, engaging story with two neurodiverse main characters. Read it now.
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. A strange one, this. As I was reading it I was sure that I had read it before but I couldn’t remember the ending, so the title seemed very apt. I really enjoyed the first half, but the second half, in which the plot mysteries are revealed, was a little disappointing. Bit of a let down, really, but I know that there are people who consider this a masterpiece.
Tigers In Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann. Wow, what a book. This is a real page-turner and kept me hooked until the very end. The same events are told from main characters’ different perspectives, which normally is a plot device that I despise, but here it really works, cleverly building up to the satisfying climax. This book tells the tale of cousins Nick and Helena, their husbands and their lives in post-war America. Highly recommended.
The Butterfly House by Marcia Preston. Have you ever started reading a book and you know straight away that it isn’t going to be your cup of tea? That’s what happened here.
This is an awful book, yet it was so bad that I couldn’t stop reading, even if I did speed-read the last chapters just to get it over with. It reads like a slushy Hallmark TV movie: neglected child with an alcoholic mother; a father that ran off with the mother’s brother; a best friend that dies of cancer; a troubled marriage; a suicide attempt; arson, prison and redemption.
Oh, and the butterflies are meant to have some deep and significant symbolic meaning but even they die in a fire.
I found this book in a Little Free Library and it has now gone into the recycling bin, to save someone else from having to read it. (Don’t worry – it was an old copy and was in poor condition anyway).
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. The Times described this as “a masterpiece” and it is hard to disagree.
I thoroughly enjoyed being whisked away first to New York and then sunny Las Vegas. Honestly, it was such a welcome distraction from this grey, cold and wet weather that we’re experiencing in the UK.
For those of you not yet familiar with the story, we follow thirteen year-old Theo after he is caught up in a terrorist attack in an art museum in New York. The explosion kills his mother, and in the immediate aftermath he takes from the art museum a small painting, The Goldfinch, which is later publicly declared by the museum to have been destroyed during the attack…
I won’t tell you what happens, but fasten your seat belts; you’re in for quite the ride.
What have you been reading this month?