Going back to work after Christmas can be difficult, it’s cold, grey and there’s so much adjusting you have to do. To help make your life a bit easier we have selected and read three books to help make those dark wintery days a bit more bearable.
The Beloved Country by Sheena Kalayil follows the story of a woman as she travels back to India after being absent from her family for many a year. During the train journey which brings her closer to her future she recalls her first romantic affair with a man named Jafar.
There was something hypnotic about Sheena’s writing style, written in the first person it helped me feel more immersed in the story. The use of language is so captivating and beautiful that it was really easy to envisage the surroundings and the people she was writing about. The subtleties of the relationship with Jafar are universal and I found myself smiling as I remembered moments in my own past relationships. The author does a brilliant job of focusing on the dynamics between parents and children, lovers and friends and perfectly captures the way in which we perceive things can be wrong.
There’s joy, heartbreak and mystery in this novel and considering this is Sheena’s debut novel I can only imagine we will see more incredible things from her in the future. A beautiful novel.
The Beloved Country is published by Grosvenor House Publishing Limited and is available on the Kindle from Amazon.co.uk (RRP £5.99) The print edition is available in selected bookshops (RRP £8.99)
Next up we have The Shadow Hour by Kate Riordan some of you more eagle eyed readers may recognise the name as Kate penned the brilliant ‘The Girl in the Photograph’ which I reviewed back in March last year.
When Grace sees that Fenix House are advertising for a Governess, she believes that its fate that her Grandaughter Harriet Jenner goes to fill the position. When Harriet first arrives she is made to feel unwelcome by the straight forward Agnes and the man of the house David Pembridge. But as she settles in Harriet begins to realise that the stories her grandmother shared with her about her time at the big house are tinted with lies. As Harriet begins to uncover variations of stories already well known and bumps into hidden relatives on darkened staircases her anxiety grows even more.
Through the use of flashback and correspondence with her grandmother the mystery of Fenix House and the events that led Grace to leave are revealed in page turning drama. I adore that Kate can write something that feels so classic and gothic but using modern language. Sincerely her books feel classic like Austen or Bronte.
I loved ‘The Girl in the Photograph’ but I adore The Shadow Hour more, it has the perfect balance of tragedy and intrigue and all the storylines are woven together expertly. You don’t want to miss this.
The Shadow Hour is published by Random House and is available on the Kindle from Amazon.co.uk (RRP £4.99) The print edition is available in all good bookshops (RRP £7.99)
And now for some light relief in the form of The Feiquon Heist by DCJ Wardle when Mr Kheng, the security guard at Maklai Provincial Bank has a recurring dream, he turns to his wife and their neighbour Mama Tae to help him decipher what it could all possibly mean.
With changes happening at the bank following the death of Old Papa Han, and two new security guards hired, Kheng realises that he has to steal money from the bank. But little does he know that several other staff members are having the same idea. This book reminded me of a comedy sketch only with more intelligence. This is an easy little read that will provide a couple of chuckles and moments for reflection along the way.
The Feiquin Heist is published by Clink Street Publishing and is available on the Kindle from Amazon.co.uk (RRP £3.47) The print edition is available in all good bookshops (RRP £8.99)