Monday, 5 July 2010

More Reviews

Now, I’m going to try and do better and blog a little more often, so here are reviews of the next two books I read on holiday.

The first is The Adulteress by Noelle Harrison

This book is about Nicholas, who after finding out that his wife has had an affair, impulsively moves from Dublin to rural Cavan to buy a ramshackle house which he intends to renovate. He soon finds out that the ghost of June Fanning inhabits the house. She wants to talk to him about the adulteress but in his present state of mind he doesn’t want to listen. Eventually he finds he has no choice and gradually develops a liking for his ghost and a desire to find out what happened to her.

June move
d to the house with her husband during the Blitz in London and the majority of this book is written from her viewpoint as it gradually tells the story of her life. It tells us how isolated she felt when she moved to the house due partly to her husband’s increasing remoteness once he returns to the home of his childhood. He refuses to let her in on the secrets of the past which are beginning to seep into the present day. Leaving her feeling unloved, and pregnant, he joins the RAF to fight in the war.

Longing for company, she meets a male neighbour, someone her husband does not want her to get to know and begins to unravel the secrets of the past. In doing so she gets closer to her neighbour and explores the possibility of adultery from her own point of view.

June’s story delves into her own childhood, growing up with a mother who was a serial adulterer and shows the effect of what this adultery had on the whole family.

The second viewpoint is Nicholas’. As he learns more about June’s story, he gradually comes to terms with
his wife’s betrayal, and begins to understand his own part in the breakdown of his marriage.

Another viewpoint appears periodically throughout the novel from an unknown adulteress as she describes her encounters with her lover. Who the adulteress actually is isn’t revealed until almost the end of the book.

I found this book interesting as it explored the reasons why people are driven to be unfaithful and the effect of their actions on all who are involved in their lives. I did feel, however that at times it became bogged down by the back story and I would have liked to have seen the story developed more in the present from Nicholas’ point of view.

On a positive note though, it is beautifully written and the description is so atmospheric, you really do feel as you are there. Noelle Harrison’s style reminded my a little of Joanne Harris, whose books I enjoy. I think I will look out for this author again to see what else she has written.

The next book was What To Do When Someone Dies By Nicci French

I saw this novel on the bookshelves after reading a feature in June’s Writers Forum on the authors. Nicci Gerrard and husband Sean French write together as the bestselling thriller writer Nicci French. What intrigued me most in the article was that they actually write separately – Sean in the garden shed and Nicci in the attic. They email sections back to each other in a relay race style. I wondered after reading this article whether I would be able to distinguish any “seams” in the writing. I obviously greatly underestimated these superb writers as from the moment I read the first page I was hooked and if I hadn’t already known, I would never have guessed that this book was written by more than one author.

The book is a fast paced thriller. The main character Ellie Faulkner is immensely likeable and you can’t help but feel for her as on the first page she is visited by two police officers who tell her that her husband has been killed in a car crash. As if that isn’t bad enough she is also told that the body of an unknown woman has been found with him.

Whilst her friends are prepared to accept, seemingly easily, that Greg was unfaithful, Ellie cannot accept it at all.

The author(s) provide enough clues for us not to believe that Ellie is totally irrational in her belief in her husband as she embarks on a dangerous quest to find out what was really going on in his life.

This book is definitely a page turner and it was the best book I read on my holiday. I will definitely be looking out for more.

More later in the week.

1 comment:

  1. I like the sound of that last book - sounds like my cup of tea! I do marvel at how people write in tandem - interesting that their writing 'voice' should be the same enough to blend together.