Friday, 31 May 2013

May Books

These are the books I've been reading in May -

The Shadow Year by Hannah Richell*

I was sent a proof copy of The Shadow Year from Good Reads (this book will be published on 20 June).  I simply loved it and read it in two days.

This book jumps between the present and the early 1980s. Lila is struggling to come to terms with an accident which happened to her and her marriage is in crisis.  She is anonymously gifted a cottage in a remote location in the Peak District beside a lake and sets about renovating it.  

In 1980, five University friends stumble upon an old cottage and decide to live there and be self-sufficient for a year before returning to the real world.  Kat's sister Freya turns up unannounced and this changes the dynamics of the friendships and the relationships of the five friends.

Both stories are intertwined and I didn't expect the book to end how it did.  An absolutely fabulous second novel from Hannah Richell.  Highly Recommend it.

My second book this month is Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell

The story follows the Riordan family when their father goes missing after just popping out to buy a newspaper.  The story is set in the heatwave of 1976. The search for Robert brings together his and Gretta's three children - two estranged sisters with their brother on the brink of divorce.  It follows their relationships with each other and where they think their father is.  An enjoyable read although I found it a bit slow in the middle but it picked up towards the last quarter or so.

My third book is One Step too Far by Tina Seskis

Emily Coleman walks out on her marriage, her beautiful son and her lovely home taking her passport and some money with her.  She changes her name to Cat, finds a small room in a grotty shared house and finds herself a job.  Is she escaping her family, her twin Caroline, who seems to hate her and what is the significance of the looming anniversary?  A really fabulous read filled with twists and turns and one I couldn't put down. I found myself reading it until the wee small hours.. The story is told by Cat, by Ben her husband and by Caroline her twin - jumping between the past and present.  The reader is kept guessing throughout.  Simply loved it.  Highly recommend - simply cannot wait for Tina Seskis's second novel which is out in the autumn (link).

My fourth book this month (yes really!) is Damage by Josephine Hart - I received this from a fellow World Book Night giver.

A simple yet powerful story - A doctor & MP meets his son's girlfriend and he is passionately and obsessively drawn to her. You just know this story is not going to end well.  A short but beautifully written novel and one that stays with you after you have finished reading it.

What have you been reading this month?

*complimentary proof copy


  1. AnonymousMay 31, 2013

    I love Maggie O'Farrell and have all her books, am waiting for this in PB. Will check out your other recs. Thankyou x

    1. I love her books too although I think this is not one of her best it was an enjoyable read. x

    2. p.s. I got the hardback from the book people for £4.99!

  2. Ooh some interesting books, I think I have read 3 books this month, well I am about to finish my 3rd xx

  3. Thanks for the great suggestions, I'm going to add them to my Kindle wish list!

  4. These sound like a great selection - I need some new books!

  5. I love these posts! My May reads include The Dinner by Herman Koch (disappointing) Ru by Kim Thuy (fabulous), Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon van Booy (not bad) and Paris by Edward Rutherfurd (family saga....)

    1. Thanks for sharing what you've been reading! I love getting recommendations x

  6. These look like fab reads Sandra, I think I shall have to put all of them on my to read list! (where will I find the time?!) x