March 2019 Books

Hello!

March was a funny old month here at Beverley Has Read. I started the month by having an operation. It was considered to be major surgery but due to the marvels of modern medicine and keyhole surgery I was a day patient and back home in time for the 6 o’ clock news. This meant that I had two weeks sick leave which I was kind of excited about as it meant lots and lots of reading! The thing is, I hadn’t really allowed for how tired I would be after general anaesthetic and ended up picking up my Kindle only to read a couple of pages before falling asleep.

I rallied though and managed to get through 13 books this month which was helped by not only having two weeks off work sick but a pre-booked holiday immediately afterwards in a lovely cottage in the Ribble Valley. I couldn’t use the hot tub due to my surgery scars unfortunately but was able to get through a fair few books; which was lucky as April is full of new releases and Blog Tours and I have a LOT of exciting books to talk to you about next month.

Books I Read

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

March started strongly with this quite incredible book. A blazing social commentary on race, class and prejudice in modern day America, I adored it.

You can read my full review here.

The Silver Road - Stina Jackson

The Silver Road by Stina Jackson

A melancholy and atmospheric book, The Silver Road follows one father’s search for his missing daughter. This is a great slice of Nordic Noir.

You can read my full review here.

How To Fail by Elizabeth Day

How To Fail by Elizabeth Day

As a huge fan of the podcast How To Fail I couldn’t wait to read the book and I was not disappointed. Brave, honest and witty it is an astonishingly powerful book.

I’ll have a full review shortly.

Nobody’s Wife by Laura Pearson

I really enjoyed this novel about family, love and loyalty. It is a melancholy read with quiet power.

You can read my full review here.

The Killer In Me by Olivia Kiernan

The Killer In Me by Olivia Kiernan

The next installment in the Frankie Sheehan series of books, The Killer In Me investigates the deaths of two people which bear a striking resemblance to murders that took place almost two decades before.

I’ll have a full review soon.

Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly

Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly

Buried secrets come to the fore in Stone Mothers. This psychological thriller is a masterclass in characterisation.

You can read my full review here.

The Island by Ragnar Jonasson author of The Hidden Iceland series

The Island by Ragnar Jónasson

The King of Icelandic crime writing, The Island is the second of the Hidden Iceland series of books and features one of my favourite protagonists.

I’ll have a review soon.

Normal People by Sally Rooney author of Conversations With Friends

Normal People by Sally Rooney

This much talked about book is as wonderful as everybody says it is. Read it.

You can read my full review here.

Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech

Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech

This is Louise Beech’s first foray into the psychological thriller genre and what a book it is. Dark and twisty and with the heart we have to come to expect from this writer.

I’ll have a full review soon.

Adele by Leila Slimani

Adèle by Leïla Slimani

I was a huge fan of Lullaby by Leïla Slimani and couldn’t wait to read Adèle a study of a woman obsessed with sex. It is deliciously dark and is another brilliant book by this author.

I’ll have a full review soon.

The Forgotten Village by Lorna Cook

The Forgotten Village by Lorna Cook

This romantic time slip novel is set in the present day and during World War 2 (a time period I love to read about) and is a great read.

I’ll have a full review soon.

55 by James Delargy

55 by James Delargy

This thrilling book set in the Australian outback is an unputdownable book with a brilliant protagonist and cracking plot.

I’ll have a full review soon.

The Ringmaster by Vanda Symon

The Ringmaster by Vanda Symon

The second of the Sam Shephard series of books, The Ringmaster follows the hunt for a killer and features more of the wit and charm that I came to love in Overkill.

I’ll have a full review soon.

Books I Bought

Debutante by Anne Melville

Debutante by Anne Melville

Everyone who was anyone knew that the London Season of 1939 would be quite different from any that had gone before.

The year is 1939, England’s aristocrats are preparing to present their daughters as debutantes, introducing them to society as young women. Bidding childhood farewell, the debutantes will find themselves thrust into a world of balls, dancing, and young gentlemen, glamorous but fraught with rivalry. 

Ronnie, Peggy, Isabelle, and Anne could not be more different; four girls from four different worlds. But when their lives crash together, they find themselves relying on each other in ways they could never have imagined. 

But as war fast approaches, it soon becomes clear that this Season will be unlike any before. The world is changing, and all four girls find their lives irrevocably changed along with it. 

Love, loss, heartbreak: who will make it out unscathed?

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

From the author of Daisy Jones & The Six—an entrancing novel “that speaks to the Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor in us all” (Kirkus Reviews), in which a legendary film actress reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce

Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce

Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…
Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.
Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.
I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.
Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.
I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.
But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….

The Comet Seekers by Helen Sedgwick

The Comet Seekers by Helen Sedgwick

Róisín and François first meet in the snowy white expanse of Antarctica, searching for a comet overhead. 

While Róisín grew up in a tiny village in Ireland, ablaze with a passion for science and the skies, François was raised by his restless young mother, who dreamt of new worlds but was unable to turn her back on her past. 

As we loop back through their lives we see their paths cross as they come closer and closer to this moment, brought together by the infinite possibilities of the night sky.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is a powerful and sometimes violent novel of expectation, love, oppression, sin, religion and betrayal. It portrays the disintegration of the marriage of Helen Huntingdon, the mysterious ‘tenant’ of the title, and her dissolute, alcoholic husband. Defying convention, Helen leaves her husband to protect their young son from his father’s influence, and earns her own living as an artist. Whilst in hiding at Wildfell Hall, she encounters Gilbert Markham, who falls in love with her.

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

It’s never too late to bloom … People aren’t sure what to make of Susan Green. Family and colleagues find her prickly and hard to understand – but Susan makes perfect sense to herself.
Age 45, she thinks her life is perfect, as long as she avoids her feckless brother, Edward – a safe distance away in Birmingham. She has a London flat which is ideal for one; a job that suits her passion for logic; and a personal arrangement providing cultural and other, more intimate, benefits.
Yet suddenly faced with the loss of her mother and, implausibly, with the possibility of becoming a mother herself, Susan’s greatest fear is being realised: she is losing control. And things can only get worse … at least in Susan’s eyes.

Books I Received

Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre

Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre

Published by Little, Brown on 25th April 2019

ONE FAMILY, TWO HOLIDAYS, ONE DEVASTATING SECRET
To new nanny Amanda, the Temple family seem to have it all: the former actress; the famous professor; their three successful grown-up children. But like any family, beneath the smiles and hugs there lurks far darker emotions.
Sixteen years earlier, little Niamh Temple died while they were on holiday in Portugal. Now, as Amanda joins the family for a reunion at their seaside villa, she begins to suspect one of them might be hiding something terrible…
And suspicion is a dangerous thing.

Saltwater by Jessica Andrews

Saltwater by Jessica Andrew

Published by Sceptre, 16th May 2019

When Lucy wins a place at university, she thinks London will unlock her future. It is a city alive with pop up bars, cool girls and neon lights illuminating the Thames at night. At least this is what Lucy expects, having grown up seemingly a world away in working-class Sunderland, amid legendary family stories of Irish immigrants and boarding houses, now-defunct ice rinks and an engagement ring at a fish market.
Yet Lucy’s transition to a new life is more overwhelming than she ever expected. As she works long shifts to make ends meet and navigates chaotic parties from East London warehouses to South Kensington mansions, she still feels like an outsider among her fellow students. When things come to a head at her graduation, Lucy takes off for Ireland, seeking solace in her late grandfather’s cottage and the wild landscape that surrounds it, wondering if she can piece together who she really is.
Lyrical and boundary-breaking, Saltwater explores the complexities of mother-daughter relationships, the challenges of shifting class identity and the way that the strongest feelings of love can be the hardest to define.

Adele by Leila Slimani

Adèle by Leïla Slimani

Published by Faber & Faber on 7th February 2019

Adèle appears to have the perfect life. A respected journalist, she lives in a flawless Parisian apartment with her surgeon husband and their young son. But beneath the veneer of ‘having it all’, she is bored – and consumed by an insatiable need for sex, whatever the cost. Struggling to contain the twin forces of compulsion and desire, she begins to orchestrate her life around her one night stands and extramarital affairs, arriving late to work and lying to her husband about where she’s been, until she becomes ensnared in a trap of her own making.
An erotic and daring story – with electrically clear writing – Adèle will captivate readers with its exploration of addiction, sexuality, and one woman’s quest to feel alive.

The Forgotten Village by Lorna Cook

The Forgotten Village by Lorna Cook

Published by Avon on 4th April 2019

1943: The world is at war, and the villagers of Tyneham are being asked to make one more sacrifice: to give their homes over to the British army. But on the eve of their departure, a terrible act will cause three of them to disappear forever.
2018: Melissa had hoped a break on the coast of Dorset would rekindle her stagnant relationship, but despite the idyllic scenery, it’s pushing her and Liam to the brink. When Melissa discovers a strange photograph of a woman who once lived in the forgotten local village of Tyneham, she becomes determined to find out more about her story. But Tyneham hides a terrible secret, and Melissa’s search for the truth will change her life in ways she never imagined possible.

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

Published by Michael Joseph on 8th August 2019

Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope are two NYPD rookies assigned to the same Bronx precinct in 1973. They aren’t close friends on the job, but end up living next door to each other outside the city. What goes on behind closed doors in both houses–the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne, sets the stage for the stunning events to come.
Ask Again, Yes by award-winning author Mary Beth Keane, is a beautifully moving exploration of the friendship and love that blossoms between Francis’s youngest daughter, Kate, and Brian’s son, Peter, who are born six months apart. In the spring of Kate and Peter’s eighth grade year a violent event divides the neighbors, the Stanhopes are forced to move away, and the children are forbidden to have any further contact.
But Kate and Peter find a way back to each other, and their relationship is tested by the echoes from their past. Ask Again, Yes reveals how the events of childhood look different when reexamined from the distance of adulthood–villains lose their menace, and those who appeared innocent seem less so. Kate and Peter’s love story is marked by tenderness, generosity, and grace.

55 by James Delargy

55 by James Delargy

Published by Simon & Schuster on 4th April 2019

Wilbrook in Western Australia is a sleepy, remote town that sits on the edge of miles and miles of unexplored wilderness. It is home to Police Sergeant Chandler Jenkins, who is proud to run the town’s small police station, a place used to dealing with domestic disputes and noise complaints.

All that changes on a scorching day when an injured man stumbles into Chandler’s station. He’s covered in dried blood. His name is Gabriel. He tells Chandler what he remembers.
He was drugged and driven to a cabin in the mountains and tied up in iron chains. The man who took him was called Heath. Heath told Gabriel he was going to be number 55. His 55th victim. 

Heath is a serial killer.

As a manhunt is launched, a man who says he is Heath walks into the same station. He tells Chandler he was taken by a man named Gabriel. Gabriel told Heath he was going to be victim 55.

Gabriel is the serial killer.

Two suspects. Two identical stories. Which one is the truth?

Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech

Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech

Published by Orenda Books on 18th April 2019 (out now in ebook)

Stirring up secrets can be deadly … especially if they’re yours…

Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.

Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.

Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after fourteen years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father …

What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.

Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything…

With echoes of the Play Misty for Me, Call Me Star Girl is a taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller that plays on our deepest fears, providing a stark reminder that stirring up dark secrets from the past can be deadly…

A Good Enough Mother by Bev Thomas

A Good Enough Mother by Bev Thomas

Dr Ruth Hartland rises to difficult tasks. She is the director of a highly respected trauma therapy unit. She is confident, capable and excellent at her job. Today she is preoccupied by her son Tom’s disappearance.
So when a new patient arrives at the unit – a young man who looks shockingly like Tom – she is floored.
As a therapist, Ruth knows exactly what she should do in the best interests of her client, but as a mother she makes a very different choice – a decision that will have profound consequences.

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

Published by Viking on 4th April 2019

‘They say I must be put to death for what happened to Madame, and they want me to confess. But how can I confess what I don’t believe I’ve done?’
1826, and all of London is in a frenzy. Crowds gather at the gates of the Old Bailey to watch as Frannie Langton, maid to Mr and Mrs Benham, goes on trial for their murder. The testimonies against her are damning – slave, whore, seductress. And they may be the truth. But they are not the whole truth.
For the first time Frannie must tell her story. It begins with a girl learning to read on a plantation in Jamaica, and it ends in a grand house in London, where a beautiful woman waits to be freed.
But through her fevered confessions, one burning question haunts Frannie Langton: could she have murdered the only person she ever loved?
A beautiful and haunting tale about one woman’s fight to tell her story, The Confessions of Frannie Langton leads you through laudanum-laced dressing rooms and dark-as-night back alleys, into the enthralling heart of Georgian London.

Thanks for reading! Please do let me know in the comments beneath if you’ve read any of these books or if any have caught your eye!

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2 thoughts on “March 2019 Books

  1. I hope you are now feeling better 🙂 13 books is great! I had a small surgery this month, and was unable to read or listen to books!
    You’ve made me want to read Stone Mothers! I almost bought Blood Orange at a bookstore this week, but I was traveling and decided to be a good girl, haha!

    Liked by 1 person

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