life-after-life

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right? This is the question asked by this exquisite novel. Set in the early twentieth century, this is a story about family ties, love, death and fate.  Atkinson shows how a story can have an infinite number possible endings as she narrates the life of Ursula Todd over and … Continue reading Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

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Where My Heart Used to Beat by Sebastian Faulks

I loved Faulks’ ‘Birdsong’, which I read years ago, and I was expecting something with the same intensity and emotion from this one. The blurb certainly suggested that the same themes were there and it promised to compel me, but instead I was left feeling a little disappointed by his latest novel. I found the main character, Robert Hendricks, quite hard to understand. The book narrates … Continue reading Where My Heart Used to Beat by Sebastian Faulks

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The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

I liked this book but I almost didn’t make it to the end. It is about Dorrigo Evans, a Tasmanian doctor who survives his experience as a prisoner of war in a Japanese camp during the second world war. The novel recounts the struggle and the horror of the camps and how the prisoners were forced to work building the Burmese railway. The human suffering described in this … Continue reading The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

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The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

This book was not what I expected. For a start, I thought that Carson was a man (she is not) and the title had me thinking of something Gatsby-esque. But this was not a love story. Or perhaps it is, but certainly not a conventional one. It is about John Singer, a deaf mute who becomes a confidant for several members of the community in … Continue reading The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

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A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

This was a book that I enjoyed, not only because it was a good story, but because I felt like I learnt something new while I was reading it. A Tale for the Time Being is about Ruth (perhaps an autobiographical element here, I don’t know), a Japanese Canadian writer who lives on a remote Canadian island. One day she discovers something unusual on her … Continue reading A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

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The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

This novel was everything you expect from a Margaret Atwood novel. An imaginative dystopian world, a witty critique of modern society and some great humour mixed in with the warning about human nature. The Heart Goes Last is about Stan and Charmaine, a couple living in a futuristic world (not too dissimilar from our own) where everything has gone pretty wrong. Stan has lost his … Continue reading The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood