Whichbook Blog

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Salvage by Jane F Kotapish

I really didn't think this book would be my kind of read but I found it enthralling. The narrator leaves a successful life in New York to live in small town Virginia and, as the book unfolds, we discover what has caused her abrupt departure. A diary of relationships - we learn of her childhood and life with her mother as well as eavesdropping on conversations with her dead sister – both disquieting and eccentric. In the end, a thoroughly worthwhile read which has that rare quality of combining humour with pathos.

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The Days of Judy B by Rose Heiney

Judy Bishop leads parallel lives: the successful fun loving celebrity socialite and the overweight depressive, frustrated in love, life and career. We follow her conflict alternately through her weekly lifestyle column and through glimpses of the truth which lie behind it.
This is a very funny book with an underlying pathos which gives the novel an unexpected depth and poignancy.

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Lost Bodies by Francois Gantheret

A tragic story of love and betrayal set in an unnamed repressive North African country with beautiful descriptions of the desert setting. Well told intrigue and devious plots combine to create a slow burning fuse of revelation; the characters are both strong and resourceful as they battle against relentless prison brutality. A very short novel but one in which every word matters.

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Broken by Daniel Clay

This is a very realistic novel set on a small estate in the South of England. It deals with how people impinge on each other's lives, with often unimaginable consequences, sometimes driving each other to desperate acts. Yet at the same time it is full of humour and quirkiness. The action is described through the eyes of Skunk, a 12-year-old who doesn't always recognise reality in its true horror. If you're a fan of TV soaps which often portray extremes of behaviour, with occasional moments of bleak humour, then you should enjoy this.

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