Saturday, 30 July 2011

Some Summer reading.

 Although posting has been non existant of recent, I've still been reading although not quite as much as I usually manage.  However here is a quick run down of a few titles I've read these past few weeks.

Mari Strachan's first novel, The Earth hums in B Flat (reviewed here) is a lovely read, despite its subject matter and themes of madness and murder,  Gwenni Morgan, aged 12 and a half, is the narrator and lives in a Welsh slate mining town just after the end of the Second World War with her mother, father and older sister Bethan. Gwenni, bookish and with a vivid imagination, goes to help her former teacher when she has to go to the dentist and arrives to find Mrs Evans and her two daughters at a tense atmosphere. Later Mr Evans' body is found and a murder hunt ensues. The writing flows easily and the characters, plot and setting are all believable. Recommended.
 I didn't get into Esther Freud's The Sea House from the first page, but gradually came to really love this gentle read, set on the East coast. Two intertwined stories, that of Max Mayer, a refugeee from Germany in the nineteen-thirties and architcture student Lily who is studying Klaus Lehman, a well-known German architect, All stayed in the same small East coast town of Steerborough and the climax of both strands of the story is a flood.

 The hero, if he can be called that, of Ian McEwan's Solar is not a particularly likeable man, in the opinion of several other book club members as well as myself.. Although the story is amusing in places - there are several set-pieces which are very funny, the main thrust of the story is one of serious research into solving the effects of climate change. Some of the science escaped several of our book club readers when we discussed this, but we all found it an interesting read ( we mostly read modern fairly literary fiction, with the occasional classic thrown in)

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