I’m a big supporter of #Readwomen, and so far this year I’ve read five novels by women and two by men. It just so happens that my favorites so far have all been by female writers, giving me yet another chance to plug #Readwomen.
Until tradional media chooses to demand more equality in the number of reviews dedicated to female authors, social media will have to step up to the plate to help fill the gap. Here’s my little part:
What would you do if you discovered among your papers a sealed envelope with your husband’s writing instructing you it should only be opeend upon his death? Curiosity gets the better of Cecilia Fitzpatrick, and the revelation she discovers shake the foundations of the life she’s built for herself and her family in suburban Australia.
The novel skillfully weaves the stories of three separate women, whose lives are connected by one long-kept secret. Moriarity transports us seamlessly between these characters, delving into the complex inner lives women construct for themselves, and how revelations can weaken the certainties they’ve deemed constant throughout their lives. This is a beautiful, moving story, with complex characters grappling with difficult decisions. This is my first novel by Moriarity, but I look forward to reading more.
I admit to being amazed when I read that Agatha Christie is one of the world’s bestselling authors of all times, her books only outsold by the Bible and Shakespeare. Around the age of 12-13, I couldn’t get enough of Christie’s books (including this one). Then I forgot about them and only picked her up again when my twelve-year-old son started studying mysteries in his English class, and we decided to read this over the holidays. We had a great time reading this together, and it reminded me why I loved Christie when I went through my mystery novel phase.
Christie herself in her foreword explained that this novel was a challenge to herself – wondering how could she set up a mystery in which ten victims could be brought together and be killed off one by one without easily guessing who the culprit is. In this novel, ten individuals meet at the home of a reclusive millionaire on a private island. At dinner the first evening, it is revealed to that each of them has been responsible for the death of someone, yet have walked away from the crime unpunished. Then, one by one, they are murdered off, in circumstances similar to those of a nursery rhyme.
Christie’s characters are well drawn, and the reader is carried along both by the mystery, and the curiosity about the crimes each individual committed in his or her past. Lots of tension, lots of plot twists and red herrings, and a surprise ending that ties up the loose ends. It was fun to rediscover Christie with a new generation (i.e., my son) of mystery readers.
I read this book in one sitting, during a bout with the flu. I didn’t know much about the book, and had only seen posters when the film was being released. I was drawn into the story right away, and loved the quirky voice of the young teenage protagonist, Mia. I must admit, I’m not always convinced about the cross-over value of YA/adult books, but this is a novel I can see appealing equally to young adult and general markets.
When we meet Mia, it is the morning before she is involved in a horrific car accident with her family. Although the situation in itself is tragic and depressing, Forman manages to create an impressive novel, flashing between the 24-hour period after the accident, when Mia is in intensive care, to include flashbacks of her life before the accident, and all the promise of a talented young woman on the cusp of adulthood.
This was a beautiful novel that had me fully engrossed in the story. The title refers to the victim’s decision to struggle to stay alive or to allow herself to give up and join her loved ones. Suffice to say, you’ll be glued to the pages to see what young Mia decides.
So, all in all, an enjoyable reading start to 2015. Let me know if you have tips for me – I always appreciate suggestions from fellow reader!