I’ve finished another three books so here are my thoughts on them:
Before I Go to Sleep by S J Watson
This thriller was a gripping read. Centred around a woman who loses her memory overnight, it follows Christine as she wakes up confused and tries to piece together her life every morning. She begins to keep a journal behind her husband’s back and the reader is never quite sure whether or not her husband can be trusted. Although slightly disjointed and repetitive in places, I did enjoy this and loved the twist at the end. This is very similar to other female-based psychological thrillers like Gone Girl and Girl on the Train so if you liked those then you will really enjoy this.
Only We Know by Karen Perry
I read this for my book group and did enjoy it. Set in Kenya and Dublin, the book follows the lives of three grown-up childhood friends who are living with the secret of something terrible that happened in Africa until events bring them back to the scene of the crime. I found out after reading this that ‘Karen Perry’ is actually a writing duo which I find a fascinating writing process. They each write a chapter independently from a character’s point of view and then send it to the other for them to continue. I’m not sure who wrote what but I definitely identified more with the female character in this novel and struggled to understand the male ones. I actually guessed the twist that comes near the end of the book but it didn’t ruin it for me. The idea behind this book was excellent and although it took a little while to get moving, I feel it was quite well executed.
The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad
Not a story per se but a collection of mini tales about one family’s lives observed by a journalist. I absolutely loved this book and really enjoyed the insights into daily life in Afghanistan. I do have quite an interest in Afghan literature, having read quite a few books set there or by Afghan writers, and this is part-history book part-story as it documents life before, during and after the Taliban through weddings, daily life and work. You cannot help but feel shocked and saddened at the lowly role of women throughout the book as well as empathetic to Afghans who have seen their country undergo brutal regime changes. There is no happy ending here but this journalist managed to give a fascinating insight to daily life in a country that is still detached from the rest of the world. One of the best books I have read this year.