Not drowning, but waving

(The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed on stormy seas)

My reading list has been eclectic to say the least recently, as I’ve been working with Casemate, a military history publishing company, on a series of WW1 military fiction. My brief was to research the books written and see what novels could have new life breathed into them. I’ve enjoyed this foray into a different industry and will update as to which novels are chosen when they are published, but in the meantime anyone wanting to read the first four in the series can find them here:

(as was I)

In the meantime this what has been bobbing on my bookshelf:

Naomi’s Room by Jonathan Aycliffe
I do love Jonathan Aycliffe’s ghost stories. This is a dark tale of a young couple who move into a new home, and the disappearance of their little daughter. There are a few plot holes but they don’t distract from the delicious chill given by the story.

The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne
This was a rather nasty little story about a couple struggling to keep their marriage together after the death of one of their twin daughters. If you ignore the plot, it’s very well-written with lots of description to sink your reading teeth into.

Ignorance – Michele Roberts
Michele’s prose is pure poetry. This is a difficult story to read, the tale of two one-time schoolfriends who deal with the German invasion of France in very different ways. Michele, like Lesley Glaister, is one of those authors you keep in the back of your mind as a favourite and then totally forget until in a panic you seek out her latest work.

The Loney – Andrew Hurley
I feel bad for The Loney as I have waited for it so long it could never have lived up my expectations. And yet I hoped it would, you know. A Gothic story set on a stretch of coastal land in Lancashire. A body undiscovered. A childhood secret long kept. The ingredients were all there but someone left the cake out in the rain … a rather dull, overstretched mess in which not an awful lot happened. I might read it again, once I have recovered from the disappointment of it being not what I hoped for.

Keep You Close – Lucie Whitehouse
I do enjoy her stuff. Marianne and Rowan were best friends but they haven’t spoken for 10 years. Marianne is discovered dead in suspicious circumstances, and as Rowan moves into the family home to keep an eye on it she starts to untangle a very dark web of lies and secrets. Lucie Whitehouse is an author who doesn’t lose her pace: this was another really enjoyable story with a startling twist.

A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Columbine by Sue Klebold
A searing open, honest account of what it was like being the parent of one of the Columbine killers.

This House of Grief – Helen Garner
Garner is a journalist, writing sensitively about a father accused of killing his three young sons in an attempt to get back at his ex-wife and the twists and turns of the case.

(To be more accurate, I was a ripped, punctured and deflated dinghy
half-submerged in a millpond covered in duckweed. )

Anatomy of a Soldier – Harry Parker
Tom is a soldier who is blown up, for want of a better word. His story is told by the inanimate objects around him – his bag, his hat, his belt. It’s an unusual and very effective narrative device as these expressionless items tell a very human, painful story. Excellent stuff.

Daddy Love – Joyce Carol Oates
An odd little tale about a young boy kidnapped by a paedophile and the relationship which develops between them. It left me with a bit of a nasty taste in my mouth, like when you are haunted by a bad dream.

Friday on my Mind – Nicci French
I hope that this is the last Frieda Klein story, as she leaves me cold. In this one, she’s accused of murder, and I found that I didn’t really care apart from wanting justice obviously to be done. I really want to read more from the wonderful partnership of Nicci Gerard and David French; I much preferred the stand alone books like The Memory Game.

(Thank you to those who grabbed my tow-rope and
pulled me back safely into harbour.)