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Bit behind on reviews - not that I've really read that much! So just a couple of quick ones:

 

Black Eyed Susans - Julia Haeberlin

At seventeen, Tessa narrowly escapes being murdered by a serial killer. Decades later, the convicted killer is finally about to be executed, except that Tessa is no longer sure he really did it. The story unfolds along two separate timelines - one as the young Tessa goes through therapy not long after her near escape, and another as an adult, with a teenage daughter of her own.

 

I enjoyed this psychological crime thriller. The characters were well drawn enough to interest me, whereas I find a lot of crime books have rather flat characters. I also enjoy any element of therapy in a novel so that aspect of this book also appealed. I did guess the ending but it didn't really spoil my enjoyment of the book.

 

The Woman who Stole my Life - Marian Keyes

From amazon: One day, sitting in traffic, Stella Sweeney attempts a good deed. The resulting car crash changes her life.

But in this event is born the seed of something which will take Stella thousands of miles from her old life, turning an ordinary woman into a superstar, wrenching her whole family apart. For the first time real, honest-to-goodness happiness is just within her reach.

But is Stella Sweeney, Dublin housewife, ready to grasp it?

 

After reading two of her books I've become a big fan of Marian Keyes. They both had me in stitches, while being stories of real depth, so I was expecting more of the same from this one. However, while funny in places, it just didn't have the comic punch of the other two I've read. For that reason I did find it slightly disappointing. It wasn't a bad read though. There was humour in it, but I think I only laughed out loud once. The story was quite good. I liked it but I didn't love it.

 

Edited by ~Andrea~

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Five Quarters of the Orange - Joanna Harris

From the cover: Beyond the main street of Les Laveuses runs the Loire, smooth and brown as a sunning snake - but hiding a deadly undertow beneath its moving surface. This is where Framboise, a secretive widow named after a raspberry liqueur, plies her culinary trade at the crperie - and lets her memory play strange games.

Into this world comes the threat of revelation as Framboise's nephew - a profiteering Parisian - attempts to exploit the growing success of the country recipes she has inherited from her mother, a woman remembered with contempt by the villagers of Les Laveuses. As the spilt blood of a tragic wartime childhood flows again, exposure beckons for Framboise, the widow with an invented past.

 

When I started this I thought it was going to be too literary for me. I'm very much a commercial fiction devotee. I do like stuff to be well-written though. However once I got into the groove I really enjoyed this. The characters were interesting, (although often not particularly likeable) the writing lovely and evocative, and the story full of drama and jeopardy. This is my first Joanna Harris so I think I will be trying some more.

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5 hours ago, ~Andrea~ said:

This is my first Joanna Harris so I think I will be trying some more.

I've never read anything by her either but I noticed she has a new book (I'm not sure if it's actually out yet) called Honeycomb that sounds really good. It made me look at what she actually writes and she has a real variety of genres!

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On 8/4/2021 at 3:34 PM, ~Andrea~ said:

This is my first Joanna Harris so I think I will be trying some more.

 

She is brilliant. If you haven't already try 'Gentlemen and Players' and then 'Blue-eyed Boy', they're both very good.

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