Whichbook Blog

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Solace by Belinda McKeon

Moving story of one Irish family's ordinary loves, extraordinary tragedy, and almost complete inability to talk to each other about anything important. Thank goodness for the ray of hope at the end of this beautifully written novel.

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Long Lies the Shadow by Gerda Pearce

A first novel set in post apartheid South Africa with continuous flashbacks to the brutal apartheid era. This is a very complex and atmospheric tale of family secrets, relationships, friends, love, loss and tragedy. The characters are alive and appealing and the reader becomes totally engrossed in their fate. It is not a happy reading experience but definitely a memorable one.

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Turn of the Mind by Alice LaPlante

Like Jennifer's own mind, the writing is fragmented, told in the first person and broken up with diary entries and flashbacks. Once you get used to the style it's effective at depicting the demise of an intelligent woman, suffering from dementia, suspected of murdering her best friend. Although a little too slow to be a thriller it is certainly fascinating to see the crime unravelling through Jennifer's brief lucid moments and memories.

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English Slacker by Chris Morten

18-year-old Chambers, looking forward to one last summer of freedom with his mates, struggles to cope with the apparent suicide of his friend Colin. Don't expect straight answers as this likeable anti-hero appears to be losing his grip on reality, possibly due to the frequent influence of cannabis, alcohol and tobacco. So, yeah, chill, go with the flow and take yourself back to just bumming around, being a teenager.

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Everyone knows that the circus is magic, but Le Cirque des Reves is more magic than most. It is the setting for a duel, for a love affair and for a game that pulls thousands into its orbit, and puts lives at risk. It is a story of the unwisdom of the wise, and the ability of the ordinary to rescue the extraordinary, and a story of the fragility of magic when two wizards enter a competition just to prove a point.

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