"Someday, somehow, I would repay my cousin Rachel." Ambrose has been like a father to Philip, raising him single-handedly ever since the death of his parents. They live undisturbed on their Cornish estate, surrounded entirely by men - not even a female housekeeper. So when Ambrose travels abroad for his health, only to send word he has fallen in love and married, it is understandable for Philip to be jealous. His feelings of hatred towards this woman only increase when Ambrose dies in Italy, with his new wife by his side. Philip is left the grand estate, but no chance to say goodbye. However, this bitterness soon alleviates upon meeting Ambrose's widow, the beautiful and enigmatic Rachel. He may be falling for her. And that may be exactly what she wants.
My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite: Sharp, Provoking Crime Fiction
Rating: 4 stars Category: Crime Fiction Synopsis: "You can't sit on the fence forever." Zorede takes the role of older sister seriously. She protects Ayoola. Takes the blame when she gets in trouble. And - quite literally - cleans up the bodies. Ayoola has now killed three of her boyfriends, and, although she pleads self-defence, Zorede is not convinced. So when Ayoola starts dating the doctor Zorede is in love with, it's finally time for her to pick a side. With family loyalty stretched to the limit, Zorede questions whether she should continue to defend her little sister - no matter what.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: Encompassing Emotional Epic
Rating: 5 stars
Synopsis: Donna Tartt's masterpiece The Goldfinch follows the story of Theo. Aside from his recently-gone-AWOL father, Theo is a relatively normal New York schoolboy. That is until his life is irrevocably shattered at the age of thirteen when he loses his mother in a suspected terrorist attack at a museum.
As a cast of wayward characters makes their way into and out of Theo's life, he clings to the art his mother loved as a way of maintaining a connection with her. However, this remnant of stability will also be shaken when the art he treasures so much draws Theo into a spiral of criminal activity.
Archive Nostalgia: The Red and the Green by Iris Murdoch
This week, it would have been the 100th birthday of inimitable author Iris Murdoch. What better time to bring back this review of her novel, The Red and the Green?
Andrew: a slightly reluctant soldier in the First World War.
Pat: a member of the militant Irish Volunteers.
Millie: an eccentric and passionate woman whose home is being used to store weaponry.
The Red and the Green interrogates the lives of this troubled family as events escalate towards the Easter Rising, a pivotal moment that would change the course of Irish History.
Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak: Timeless Story of Familial Love
Of the 'young and story-hardened' Dunbar boys, it is Clay, the fourth of five brothers, who has the most moving stories of them all. When their estranged father returns to enlist help to build a bridge, Clay is the only volunteer. He becomes obsessively absorbed in the task - it is clear that, for him, the project means more than just a bridge. The secret to why Clay is building lies in the tide of Dunbar past...
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: Character-Driven Drama
Rating: 5 stars
Synopsis: Shaker Heights seems like an almost flawless town - careers, families and entire lives are carefully constructed with little margin for error. All this changes when free spirit Mia moves in with her daughter Pearl. Secrets and scandals begin to emerge that threaten to crumble the community's perfect facade.
The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
When Lane’s mother commits suicide, she is invited to live with her estranged grandparents and cousin Allegra at Roanoke – their mysterious residence in a suffocating small town. On the surface, the family seems perfect. They are wealthy, rich, beautiful and charismatic. Behind this, Lane discovers a harrowing family history of violent deaths, disappearances and dark secrets. After only one summer, she becomes the only Roanoke girl to escape. However, eleven years later, when her cousin Allegra goes missing, Roanoke’s haunting secrets are clawing her back once more…
The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances
Rating: 4 stars
Category: Psychological thriller
Synopsis: Laura is a woman who seems to have it all – a satisfying career, a beautiful house, a loving son about to start medical school. But when her son Daniel brings home Cherry, lower-class yet sharply ambitious, something just doesn’t feel quite right. After an unforgivable lie, both mother and girlfriend find themselves drawn into a dark game of lies and manipulation.