We all know why we’re here, let’s get going.
The Woman Who Walked Into Doors – Roddy Doyle
This book has been on my shelf for literal years. And I have no idea why. I read the Barrytown Trilogy when I was a teenager and loved Doyle’s writing. It’s dry and he perfectly portrays family life. I’m so glad I picked this book up because it was excellent. It’s the story of a woman who’s in an abusive marriage. It’s about her childhood, her kids, her relationship and her drinking. Her story is brutal but I think it’s an important one to read. It presents many stereotypes of abuse (ie. a drunk woman cannot be a victim) and throws them on their head to show their absurdity. Paula is failed in so many ways by so many people. There are some endearing moments mixed in too though. Some of the sisters arguments made me laugh because they were so accurate.
The Immortalists – Chloe Benjamin
This one I’ve seen floating around the internet for a while so picked it up from Waterstones. I loved it. The story follows for siblings as they grow up together. The twist? As children they visit a psychic and are told the day they will die. Would you live differently if you knew? The mystery and mysticism of the plot is enchanting. It makes you feel at home in both New York City and San Francisco due to its beautiful imagery. I learnt a surprising amount about Judaism. The magic elements are captivating, as are the intricacies of each sibling friendship.
Conversations With Friends – Sally Rooney
I’ve been trying to read more current adult fiction recently and my dad actually got me this for my birthday last year. I’ve heard a lot about Normal People recently but figured I’d read the one I had first. I liked it. I think. It was an interesting look at a relationship that starts as cheating. Yet we’re supposed to root for them. I think I felt left wanting more because although this ménage a quatre is vaguely implied there’s no explicit conversation about an open relationship. I would have liked to see that. Although it’s not a conventional love story so I did appreciate that. However I found the characters a little nauseating at times. I think that comes from their privilege. I enjoyed the writing elements of the narrative but found her opportunities a little too easy at times. A solid book though. I’d still recommend it.
Five Feet Apart – Rachael Lippincott
This last one was a spontaneous buy after I saw the trailer for the movie version. I haven’t read a nice YA romance for quite a while, however this book was that but so much more. It had all the enjoyable gripes of a high school romance but also wrenched your heart out several times. The story follows two teenagers with cystic fibrosis as they deal with adolescent angst as well as a degenerative disease. The catch? They can never be closer than six feet apart from other people with cystic fibrosis. I learnt so much about CF reading this book, it was fascinating. The book also deals with themes of grief, friendship, mental health, family, and adventure. Made me cry several times.
Blue Monday – New Order