Tuesday again?! The one good thing about travelling is that I can use it as an excuse to read my way through just about as many books as possible. Here are a few which I managed to read en route to the chalet last week:
I'm not really sure what tempted me to agree to read this one, if I'm honest. As a non-parent, I can't say I've ever been super interested in midwifery or birth stories. Which is mostly what this is. Each chapter is broken down into an anecdotal account of Leah's interaction with a patient and their experience, with her continuing thoughts on all of the complicated feelings associated with her job as a mother and a midwife.
Although there is of course some medical terminology, she does explain a lot of this with the addition of a helpful glossary and it's not off-putting. Naturally the sections about baby loss were pretty difficult reading for me, but if I'm looking for a silver lining, I'd say that it's almost refreshing to see a topic like that covered in a book whose main focus is the miracle of life and childbirth.
Obviously, there were several references to the current crisis staffing levels of the NHS and it's failings, but the book didn't go into too much political territory, which I do think kept it more enjoyable than serious.
I really liked the premise of this book. In typical psychological thriller style, a woman arrives at a tiny, lonely island in remote Scotland to get away from something. She isn't met with a very friendly reception from the locals, as it turns out the house she is renting has a rather unpretty history. So far, so textbook psych. thriller, right?!
We have jumpy moments as weird things happen when she just wants some quiet time to focus on her art, and nosy locals who don't want to leave her alone. Throw into the mix some local legend, an old diary and some weirdly erroneous sex scenes, along with a wildly predictable twist and a largely improbable resolution, and there we have While You Sleep in a nutshell. I don't know what was lacking, but for some reason I found it hard to fully get into this book. I read to the last page and just kind of thought "oh, right". But, you might feel differently.
Friends Like These was definitely better. This one is a book which will have you always checking that you're sending that bitchy Facebook message to the intended recipient in the future.
Lizzie, who has looked up her ex-colleague Becca online, fails to do just that and instead sends the message to Becca herself.
Clearly I expected things to get interesting at this point, as Lizzie dealt with the consequences of her error. And interesting they were, to a point. I found that things got a little bit unrealistic at the point where the police got involved. Suddenly there seemed to be a bit of a shift from fairly plausible to rather improbable storyline, with a few little nuggets of information being thrown in to make the plot twists more believable.
This definitely had promise, I just think it may have benefited from a little more research as it had all the feels of a debut novel. I was surprised to find that Sarah Alderson has a fairly extensive back catalogue, but will be looking up some previous titles in the hope that this was a one-off.
Have you read anything you'd recommend lately?