Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! Hope you’re all doing well. In this post, I’ll be sharing some of the books I picked up in my most recent book haul and explaining exactly why I picked that specific book up. I haven’t included all of the books I got recently in this post, as I’ve already talked about some of them here. I like to research books very widely before I buy them, and I have an extremely long reading list at all times. And if anybody is wondering, I like to support local charities so I pick up the majority of my books from charity shops! Here goes…
And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini.
Ten-year-old Abdullah would do anything for his younger sister. In a life of poverty and struggle, with no mother to care for them, Pari is the only person who brings Abdullah happiness. For her, he will trade his only pair of shoes to give her a feather for her treasured collection. When their father sets off with Pari across the desert to Kabul in search of work, Abdullah is determined not to be separated from her. Neither brother nor sister know what this fateful journey will bring them.
And the Mountains Echoed is a deeply moving epic of heartache, hope and, above all, the unbreakable bonds of love.
I’ve read both of Hosseini’s other novels (‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ and ‘The Kite Runner’) previously and absolutely loved them both. I first encountered Hosseini two years ago now, when we were required to study The Kite Runner for our A-Level English Literature course. Hosseini writes about many touching issues, and his novels are heart-wrenching and beautiful.
The Patchwork Marriage by Jane Green.
Number one best-seller Jane Green – author of The Love Verb and Spellbound – examines the dynamics of family life and relationships in her novel The Patchwork Marriage.
When he asked her to be his wife, he also wanted a mother for his children . . .
When Andi marries Ethan she gets a ready-made family in the shape of his daughters Emily and Sophia. Unable to have a child of her own, and crazy in love with Ethan, she has a chance to make the perfect family. But teenager Emily’s hostility leaves Andi feeling hated in her own home.
And worse, Ethan, blinded by love for his daughter, cannot see that her behaviour is driving a wedge through their marriage. So when Andi and Ethan’s world is rocked by an act of recklessness, Andi knows that their whole future is in doubt.
Can Andi and Ethan heal the rift in their relationship?
Can each of them find enough love to go around?
And how strong can a patchwork marriage ever be?
Jane Green is one of my all time favourite authors, and I plan to try and read every book of hers at some point. The first book I read by Green was ‘Saving Grace’, which I talked about here. Her characters are always cleverly crafted and her stories are exciting and fresh. Her novels are always easy to read, but at the same time, they still make me feel so many emotions!
The Quality Of Silence by Rosamund Lupton.
I’ll risk my life for you.
On 24 November Yasmin and her ten-year-old daughter Ruby set off on a journey across Northern Alaska. They’re searching for Ruby’s father, missing in the arctic wilderness.
More isolated with each frozen mile they cover, they travel deeper into an endless night. And Ruby, deaf since birth, must brave the darkness where sight cannot guide her.
She won’t abandon her father. But winter has tightened its grip, and there is somebody out there who wants to stop them.
Somebody tracking them through the dark.
I first read Rosamund Lupton’s ‘Sister’ towards the start of this year. I did like the book, but wasn’t overly amazed by the story. However, I’ve seen many people raving about “The Quality Of Silence” on Pinterest, stating that it’s an ultimate must-read. So, I’ll give her a go again!
The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell.
Winner of the 2010 Costa Novel Award and a Sunday Times bestseller, THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE by Maggie O’Farrell is a gorgeously written story of love and motherhood from the author of THIS MUST BE THE PLACE.
When the sophisticated Innes Kent turns up on her doorstep, Lexie Sinclair realises she cannot wait any longer for her life to begin, and leaves for London. There, at the heart of the 1950s Soho art scene, she carves out a new life. In the present day, Elina and Ted are reeling from the difficult birth of their first child. Elina struggles to reconcile the demands of motherhood with her sense of herself as an artist, and Ted is disturbed by memories of his own childhood that don’t tally with his parents’ version of events. As Ted begins to search for answers, an extraordinary portrait of two women is revealed, separated by fifty years, but connected in ways that neither could ever have expected.
This isn’t the kind of book that I’d usually pick up – I’m not usually one to read fiction set in the early to mid twentieth-century – but the blurb did intrigue me, and I was interested in the wide time span that this novel covers. I’ve seen Maggie O’Farrell raved about all over Pinterest so thought I’d give it a go, and I even managed to pick myself up a beautiful hardback copy – result!
Us by David Nicholls.
David Nicholls brings to bear all the wit and intelligence that graced ONE DAY in this brilliant, bittersweet novel about love and family, husbands and wives, parents and children. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2014.
Douglas Petersen understands his wife’s need to ‘rediscover herself’ now that their son is leaving home.
He just thought they’d be doing their rediscovering together.
So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again.
The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.
What could possibly go wrong?
Again, this isn’t the type of book I’d usually pick up. I’m not usually into Romantic Comedies, and judging by the blurb, this book belongs to that genre. However, this is too highly raved about for me to pass down. Everybody seems to love it – hopefully I will too!
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.
Eleanor is the new girl in town, and she’s never felt more alone. All mismatched clothes, mad red hair and chaotic home life, she couldn’t stick out more if she tried.
Then she takes the seat on the bus next to Park. Quiet, careful and – in Eleanor’s eyes – impossibly cool, Park’s worked out that flying under the radar is the best way to get by.
Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall in love. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you’re 16, and you have nothing and everything to lose.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is funny, sad, shocking and true – an exquisite nostalgia trip for anyone who has never forgotten their first love.
I mainly bought this due to the fact that I don’t read enough Young Adult Fiction! Recently, I’ve been really getting into the whole Suspense/Thriller genre, but I thought that it was time to read some YA again. I’ve heard amazing things about this book, so I really hope I will enjoy it!
The Language Of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.
The Victorian language of flowers was used to express emotions: honeysuckle for devotion, azaleas for passion, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it has been more useful in communicating feelings like grief, mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings.
Now eighteen, Victoria has nowhere to go, and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. When her talent is discovered by a local florist, she discovers her gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But it takes meeting a mysterious vendor at the flower market for her to realise what’s been missing in her own life, and as she starts to fall for him, she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, and decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
The Language of Flowers is a heartbreaking and redemptive novel from author Vanessa Diffenbaugh, about the meaning of flowers, the meaning of family, and the meaning of love.
The blurb to this book makes the story sound absolutely beautiful. I’m imagining a wonderful, lyrical novel that will make me feel very emotional – I hope I’m right! This is exactly my kind of book and it’s rated extremely highly too. I managed to pick myself up a gorgeous hardback copy too which I’m very chuffed about!
Love Anthony by Lisa Genova.
From the author of international bestseller Still Alice, a heartfelt novel about friendship and a mother coping with the loss of her autistic son
‘I’m always learning about how my brain doesn’t work right . . . But it doesn’t feel broken to me.’
Olivia Donatelli’s dream of a ‘normal’ life was shattered when her son, Anthony, was diagnosed with autism at age three. He didn’t speak, hated to be touched, almost never made eye contact. Then, just as Olivia was learning that happiness and autism could coexist after all, Anthony was gone.
Now she’s alone on Nantucket, desperate to find meaning in her son’s short life, when a chance encounter with another woman, Beth, brings Anthony alive again in a most unexpected way. In a piercing story about motherhood, autism and love, two unforgettable women discover the small but exuberant voice that leads them both to the answers they need.
I’ve read two of Genova’s other novels: ‘Inside The O’Briens’ and ‘Left Neglected’ (I still haven’t read Still Alice, that’s next on my list!) I absolutely love her novels. She writes about different illnesses or conditions which have a dramatic effect on people’s lives, and how they eventually learn to cope. I’m always left feeling extremely emotional and thankful for my health. Can’t wait to read this!
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain.
What if everything you believed turned out to be a lie? Riley MacPherson is returning to her childhood home in North Carolina. A place that holds cherished memories. While clearing out the house she finds a box of old newspaper articles – and a shocking family secret begins to unravel.
Riley has spent her whole life believing that her older sister Lisa died tragically as a teenager. But now she’s starting to uncover the truth: her life has been built on a foundation of lies, told by everyone she loved.
Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?
As Riley tries to separate reality from fiction, her discoveries call into question everything she thought she knew about her family. Can she find the strength inside herself to decide her future?
Incredibly gripping and emotionally powerful, The Silent Sister is perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult and Liane Moriarty.
I saw this recommended on Pinterest under a list of books similar to Paula Hawkin’s ‘The Girl On The Train’ (which I love!) The book sounds gripping and tense, and I’m always up for reading more of the Thriller/Suspense genre! I also know that Diane Chamberlain is talked about very highly, so I thought it was about time I gave her books a go.
Another Night, Another Day by Sarah Rayner.
From the author of the bestselling One Moment, One Morning comes another beautiful, bittersweet novel set in Brighton.
Three people, each crying out for help . . .
There’s Karen, worried about her dying father; Abby, whose son has autism and needs constant care; and Michael, a family man on the verge of bankruptcy. As each sinks under the strain, they’re brought together at Moreland’s Clinic. Here, behind closed doors, they reveal their deepest secrets, confront and console one another and share plenty of laughs. But how will they cope when a new crisis strikes?
Judging from the blurb, this sounds like exactly the kind of Family Drama that I love. It sounds similar to Lisa Jewell’s or Liane Moriarty’s novels, which I really enjoy to read. I saw this recommended on Pinterest, again, but I can’t remember exactly where – sorry! I’m really looking forward to reading this.
The Lake Of Dreams by Kim Edwards.
The darkest secrets are the ones we hide from ourselves. . .
Ten years ago, traumatized by her father’s death, Lucy left her home and her country. Now, she returns to her family’s rambling lakeside home to lay old ghosts to rest.
Sleepless one night, Lucy makes a momentous discovery. Locked in a moonlit window seat is a collection of family heirlooms – objects whose secrets no one was ever supposed to find. Piecing together her family’s true history, she realises that the story she has always been told was a fiction . . .
Mesmerizing and haunting, The Lake of Dreams is a startling story of family secrets and lies, lost love and redemption, and of the many pieces and puzzles that make up a life.
Again, this sounds like exactly the kind of Mystery/Suspense novel that I love; full of secrets and lies. I’ve seen both this and ‘The Memory Keeper’s Daughter’ mentioned on Pinterest as books that keep you hooked until the very end. I have high expectations for this novel, and I hope I’m not disappointed.
Happy reading 🙂