Slowing down with a book or two

There’s no better way to slow life down than with a good book is there? After a busy few weeks, which has felt like it’s been at least a hundred miles per hour at times, it was nice to have some time over the Bank Holiday at home, with not much planned.

As is often the case though, when you slow down like this and the adrenaline stops, the bugs hit, and that’s just what happened. A week or so ago both MOH and I came home from work and headed straight to bed, which I said at the time was unusual. It seems we missed that warning, and after a slow and lovely, relaxing weekend, coupled with weather that’s a little bit too hot for me to function in properly, come Tuesday my body said slow down.

So I did, and I’ve had my nose in a book or two, well actually three.

1 Beneath the Surface, Fiona Neill

This is a story of a family, with two daughters and set in the Fens. The daughters are very different and there’s always something in the family, that’s beneath the surface, there always is, isn’t there? It was my first time reading Fiona Neill and I’m sure it won’t be my last. It’s about how the past informs the present, and a demonstration of how parents always want the best for the next generation. While I enjoyed the book, and I wanted to get to the end, the ending felt rushed and wasn’t satisfying - I kept flicking back, to see if there was something I’d missed, and flicking forward to check there wasn’t more to come, which was a shame really as otherwise I’d say read this one.

2 Rough Magic, Lara Prior-Palmer

This was an “out of my usual genre” book and one I’m still not sure about. It’s a first person account of Lara, a 19 year old on her experiences of a gruelling endurance horse race across Mongolia. I’m not into horses as you probably know if you read my blog, but I don’t think you need to be to read the book, at times though it all felt a bit distant.

The story explores her experiences of the race, comparing and contrasting them to growing up in England. There’s rivalry, obviously - it’s a race, and an unexpected outcome, even to the storyteller it seems, who seems to do things by chance, but then again she’s 19. The race is only seven days long, though that’s easy for me to say from my sunlounger, somehow though that’s lost as you’re caught up in the chase from station to station.

3 Ask Again, Yes, Mary Beth Keane

This is my must read recommendation. I read it in just over a day, which gives you an indication of how much it had me hooked. In fact, it was one of those books that when it ends, you have a smile on your face and a swell of pleasure in your chest, or I did anyway.

It’s a story of two generations of families, their tumultuous lives, which intertwine with twists and turns you wouldn’t expect. And importantly the ending is satisfying, I love it when a book ties up all the ends. It’s well written, and I cared for the main characters as their lives progress, and I wondered if they’ll repeat the mistakes or successes of their parents, and there’s a time when it could go either way.

There’s young love, a mother’s love, with hardship, heartbreak and devotion along the way too. It’s a book that satisfies, is true to life and I’ll be looking out for more titles from this author.

So there’s another three books, which adds to my reads from last month; two posts in two months, I really am spoiling myself with some good reads.