Sunday, 3 June 2018
Spotlight on other books I've read this month - May
by Lisa Genova
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Published by Simon & Schuster
‘I’m not a cryer,’I say as I’m trying to stop the tears welling.
Here they come again, ‘But I’m really not a cryer.’
‘Ok, you’ve got me Lisa Genova. I’m a blubbering mess now.’
Every Note Played is an emotional and well researched story on the degenerative disease ALS. When Richard, a concert pianist, is diagnosed with ALS he is at first in denial but as the degeneration of his muscles progresses he must face a life without his beloved piano. Richard is a person who has a single minded love of playing piano that is at obsession level. the notes and tune are all he thinks of during his waking hours.
"He is no longer playing the music. The music is playing him." "Without the piano, how can he live?"
Genova describes the symptoms and the progress of the disease in a poetic and personally touching voice laced with overwhelming compassion. The characters' inner feelings are expressed with clarity and sensitivity.
Richard and his wife are divorced after a bitter buildup of blame on both sides. The accusations and hurt had still not been resolved and as it burned away in both of them neither knew how to start the repair.
Genova focuses on relationships and forgiveness, the all consuming job of caring for a terminally ill loved one and the wonderful job done by home help workers. As devastating as the disease is the advances in technology to aid the sufferers and their carers is amazing to read about.
A recommended read. The emotion is real and not over dramatised
*I received a review copy from the publisher
by Michael Stewart
genre: Historical Fiction
published by HQ Fiction
Heathcliff has left Wuthering Heights, and is traveling across the moors to Liverpool in search of his past.
Along the way, he saves Emily, the foul-mouthed daughter of a Highwayman, from a whipping, and the pair journey on together.
I thoroughly enjoyed Michael Stewart's take on the three years Heathcliff was missing from Wuthering Heights. I haven't read Wuthering Heights so I had no preconceived ideas of what he should be like.
The prologue gave me a good idea of Heathcliff's need for vengeance against Hindley and Cathy. Stewart's descriptive prose and superb characterization kept me enthralled throughout the entire tale.
Stewart includes many issues from the time such as the discontent of miners, prejudice, slave trading, the large gap between the rich and the poor, the low value of a human life.
Ten year old Emily's potty mouth gave me a few laughs. She was an old head on young shoulders. She had been through much and seen much in her few years and quite often it was her advice that Heathcliff needed to heed to survive their journey.
Once you get past the over use of offensive language in the first few dozen pages, it does settle. The graphic violence may not be for everyone.
*I received a review copy from the publisher
If Kisses Cured Cancer
by T. S. Hawken
Genre: Young Adult/ Contemporary Fiction
Published by Seahawk Press
Matt Pearce is depressed, working an uninspiring job and lacking any prospect of dragging his life out of mediocrity. That is until he meets Joy: a cancer survivor who lives beyond the rules of normal people.
Matt's dream was to become a writer but after too many rejections he had given up on it. When he is sacked from his call centre job, for being too customer oriented, Matt claws himself back from the depths of depression and decides now is the time to try writing again. Really do something.
Whilst out shopping he sees a woman taking someones full trolley then proceeds to the checkout and pays for it and leaves. Fascinated by this girl Matt follows her and confronts her. She tells him she does this to save time. They soon become firm friends. Joy was very much a free thinker, she helped Matt to open up and see a different side to life. To live the life he imagined.
If Kisses Cured cancer is filled with raw emotion and using personal experiences as inspiration Hawken has written a touching story filled with moments of humour to lighten the story but still give the subject the reverence it deserves.
If Kisses Cured Cancer is a quirky look at finding love in unlikely places. It is about the importance of connecting with those around you, enjoying every moment and not being afraid to go skinny dipping in the forest. It will have you in tears of joy, tears of sorrow and tears of laughter.
*I received a review copy from the author