Hello! September was a fun month here at Beverley Has Read with a holiday to the Ribble Valley in Lancashire where I managed to do lots of lovely bookish things and spent some time reading and relaxing. I hadn’t had any time off work since April so it was well overdue and much needed!
My poor husband spent the week driving me to various places with links to books I have loved and first up was a drive on very precarious country roads to Haworth, home of the Brontës. I have a Degree in English Literature and have studied the works of the Brontës so a visit here was a must for me. If you ever get the chance to visit Haworth please do! It is a gorgeous little town in Yorkshire with cobbled streets and stunning views.
My first foray in the works of the Brontës was when I studied Jane Eyre for either my GCSE or A Level (I really can’t remember which – it was last Century!) and I fell in love with the book. I studied it again for my Degree and I fell in love all over again but unbelievably I don’t seem to have a copy (I know!), so I just *had* to buy a gorgeous clothbound Jane Eyre. And a mug. Whoops.
One of my favourite things to do when I arrive at a holiday cottage is to read the guest book and browse through the leaflets for places of interest in the area. One leaflet caught my eye when it mentioned Dunsop Bridge which is the centre of the United Kingdom and I realised that I was only 11 miles away from one of the main locations of one of my favourite books of the year so far; The Light Between Us by Katie Khan. Visiting somewhere that you have only read about is great but scary – what if it is nothing like your imagination? Dunsop Bridge (and Puddleducks Tea Room!) where just how I imagined and I adored seeing the book in my head be brought to life.
I didn’t read as many books as I would’ve liked this month as I was a little poorly towards the end of September and I didn’t read for 5 days and I felt completely lost. I did read some absolute crackers though in September though which you can read about beneath.
Books I Read
After re-reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness in advance of the TV Show I fell back down the rabbit-hole and ended up inhaling Shadow of Night. This book picks up where the first book ends and is an entertaining and compelling read.
The Book of Life is the final book in the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness and this was the second time that I had read it. It is a brilliant end to the trilogy with moments of real peril and danger. I love it.
Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness was published on the 18th September and this prequel/sequel is set firmly in the All Souls universe. You can read my full review here.
After He Died was the second book that I have read by Scottish writer, Michael J. Malone and I am becoming a big fan of his writing. The first book I read, House of Spines was a gothic mystery which sent chills down my spine whilst After He Died is a compelling thriller which examines social inequality and the depth of grief and greed. You can read my full review here.
The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah was my first foray into the world of Poirot and I discovered that unlike the rest of the world, I wasn’t a fan. My full review is here.
The Infinite Blacktop by Sara Gran is a kooky, immersive and magical book that blew my socks off. She is a new writer to me but this book made me want to gobble up her back catalogue as she is that good. My full review is here.
Books I Bought
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard.
But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall, Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?
Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan
When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.
On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.
City of the Dead – Sara Gran
New Orleans, and Vic Willing, Assistant District Attorney for the prosecutors’ office, has been missing since Hurricane Katrina hit. Called in from San Francisco is Claire DeWitt, a detective whose expertise and methods derive from some unique sources.
What Claire discovers takes us into the heart of the crime-ravaged, deeply wounded city, where those who can afford it live behind fences and those who can’t are slain daily on the streets. And it’s there she discovers that the only thing worse than an unsolved case, maybe, is a solved one.
From the acclaimed author of Dope and Come Closer, City of the Dead is the first novel of a detective series unlike any you have read before, one that is sure to inspire a passionate and devoted following. Only a writer with a life as unusual as Sara Gran’s – she was in New York City on 9/11/2001 and evacuated from her home in New Orleans on 8/29/2005 – could have written such an extraordinary look at modern-day New Orleans.
Advanced Copies I Received
We Must Be Brave – Frances Liardet
Published by Fourth Estate on 7th February 2019
She was fast asleep on the back seat of the bus. Curled up, thumb in mouth. Four, maybe five years old.
I turned around. The last few passengers were shuffling away from me down the aisle to the doors. ‘Whose is this child?’ I called.
Nobody looked back.
December, 1940. As German bombs fall on Southampton, the city’s residents flee to the surrounding villages. In Upton village, amid the chaos, newly-married Ellen Parr finds a girl sleeping, unclaimed at the back of an empty bus. Little Pamela, it seems, is entirely alone.
Ellen has always believed she does not want children, but when she takes Pamela into her home the child cracks open the past Ellen thought she had escaped and the future she and her husband Selwyn had dreamed for themselves. As the war rages on, love grows where it was least expected, surprising them all. But with the end of the fighting comes the realization that Pamela was never theirs to keep…
A story of courage and kindness, hardship and friendship, We Must be Brave explores the fierce love we feel for our children and the astonishing power of that love to endure.
What Happened to Us – Faith Hogan
Published by Aria, 2nd October
Carrie Nolan is devastated when she is dumped by Kevin Mulvey after more than a decade without even a backwards glance! On reflection, she has sacrificed her own long term happiness establishing their critically acclaimed Dublin restaurant and pandering to his excessive ego. Meanwhile Kevin can’t believe his luck. Valentina, their new waitress is a stunner, the kind of girl that turns heads when she walks in a room and surprise, surprise she has chosen him! He is living the dream! Carrie seeks solace from a circle of mismatched friends who need her as much as she needs them. Jane, who struggles to run the pub on the opposite side of the street, Luke, who has stopped drifting while his father settles in a nearby nursing home and Teddy, a dog who asks for nothing more than the chance to stay by Carrie’s side. With Christmas just around the corner, all is not quite as it seems and a catastrophic sequence of events leads to the unthinkable… How far do you need to fall before you learn the true value of family and friends? And is it ever too late to start again…
The Lingering – SJI Holliday
Published by Orenda Books on the 15th November 2018
Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.
When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…
At once an unnerving locked-room mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre.
Good Samaritans – Will Carver
Published by Orenda Books on 15th November 2018
One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach.
Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…
And someone is watching…
Trap – Lilja Sigurðardóttir
Published by Orenda Books on 18th October 2018
Happily settled in Florida, Sonja believes she’s finally escaped the trap set by unscrupulous drug lords. But when her son Tomas is taken, she’s back to square one … and Iceland.
Her lover, Agla, is awaiting sentencing for financial misconduct after the banking crash, and Sonja refuses to see her. And that’s not all … Agla owes money to some extremely powerful men, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it back.
With her former nemesis, customs officer Bragi, on her side, Sonja puts her own plan into motion, to bring down the drug barons and her scheming ex-husband, and get Tomas back safely. But things aren’t as straightforward as they seem, and Sonja finds herself caught in the centre of a trap that will put all of their lives at risk…
Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Trap is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.
Nine Perfect Strangers – Liane Moriarty
Published by Penguin on 4th October 2018
The retreat at health-and-wellness resort Tranquillum House promises total transformation.
Nine stressed city dwellers are keen to drop their literal and mental baggage, and absorb the meditative ambience while enjoying their hot stone massages.
Miles from anywhere, without cars or phones, they have no way to reach the outside world. Just time to think about themselves, and get to know each other.
Watching over them is the resort’s director, a woman on a mission. But quite a different one from any the guests might have imagined.
For behind the retreat’s glamorous facade lies a dark agenda.
These nine perfect strangers have no idea what’s about to hit them . . .