Thursday, November 20, 2014

Me Before You | Jojo Moyes

This novel tackles a difficult issue, with humour and a light touch, without taking away from the seriousness of the subject.

The main characters are Lou and Will, two people who are so vastly opposite it is unthinkable they would ever meet...But Lou is desperate for a job, her family depends on her income as her sister is a solo mum and her Dad is made redundant. Will is a high flyer in the business world, daring and adventurous and active...who suffers a terrible accident and becomes a quadriplegic. She is from a low income family, he is from a background of privilege and money.

Lou becomes a companion for Will, who does not want her around. He has a all the care money can buy but has no desire to engage with the world. Lou is funny, sharp and doing the job only for the money. Her contract is for six months, she can put up with his acid tongue and unwelcome manner because of the short term nature of her commitment.

As the story develops Lou finds out why her contract is only for six months: Will wants to die. The rest of the novel deals with the attitudes of people who can't abide by this decision and those, like Will, who have no other decisions they can make for themselves. Their only independent act is to choose to die.

Worth a read, interesting to see both sides of the argument well supported. This is the first time I have read a book by Moyes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Due Preparations for the Plague | Janette Turner Hospital

What an incredible read! This author is the best discovery of the year for me, her work so well crafted and her stories draw me in and keep me engaged.

This novel is like a circular vortex, a slowly turning whirlpool which centres around one event, the highjacking of Flight 64. We move around this slowly twisting plot, nothing is as it seems.  I have enjoyed other circular rather than linear telling of stories and this one is one of the best.

The hijacking of Air France flight 64 took place twenty years before the start of the novel. We meet some of the survivors, they are the children on the flight who were released after a few days on board. They are now haunted adults, full of survivors guilt. They are slowly dying.

The story then twists around the plot of the flight. We hear from the hijacker, from the adults on board, the secret agents, the government officials and read classified documents about the incident.

We start to notice coincidences, like something you see out of the corner of your eye as you move around the story, nothing confirmed, but a suspicion about what actually happened on the flight...were the passengers actually chosen? assigned to the flight, to die?

This is a great book, you will find yourself abandoning your daily duties just to read more!

I rate this author highly, check out Orpheus Lost, another great story.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Uninvited Guests | Sadie Jones

I love Jones' work. She has a great turn of phrase, characters come alive and the stories are beautiful. She has a fantastic way with words.

This story is a slight departure from her usual ones, but none the less, and enjoyable read. I would call it a gentle gothic tale, nothing too hard core but it has all the right elements: a dark and stormy night, uninvited guests who suddenly arrive, a hard-to-believe gregarious gentleman who seems to be menacing under the bonhomie...

It reminded me a  little of Florence and Giles by John Harding.

Worth reading, and all her other books as well.