Whichbook Blog

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Will and Testament

This isn't a book that will keep you up till the wee hours of the morning, hotly anticipating the next page. However, it is a slow burner: brooding, dark, complicated and full of raw emotion, denial and dark memories. The story starts with a simple premise - an estranged family, a will and the distribution of the summerhouses. It ends on a very different note - one of hope, honesty and reconciliation.

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The Travelers

Less is more in this family saga, where lives are condensed into a few pages. The narrative shifts from person to person, backwards and forwards in time, creating a kaleidoscope of voices and associations. Yes, it's sometimes hard keeping tabs on who is related to who, who is black and who is white. What emerges is a story greater than the sum of its parts, and more memorable I thought, because of what is left unsaid.

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The Offing

The poetic beauty of this book has stayed with me for a long time. The special relationship which develops between an older woman and a young man is very touching. Nature, transience and the embracing of life are all themes which are explored in such a gentle and subtle way that it is a pure pleasure to read. This is the most enjoyable book I've read for a long time.

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The Art of the Body

Narrated with a dispassionate, unsentimental approach to the subject, this is an uncompromisingly candid portrayal of a young man with cerebral palsy and the impact on his carer's role. It is an uncomfortable read at times, as well as a challenge to the common perception of disabled people as being defined by their disability.

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A dark Norman tale of disorder, decay and death is played out through an eclectic mix of characters. The vivid descriptions bring the desperation of Nobber’s townsfolk to life in such a way, that I became ensnared alongside them. A captivating story with a troubled heart, this book is one I won't forget.

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