Tag: Books: Contemporary

Review: Lost Luggage

Posted 7 October, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Lost Luggage
By: Jordi Punti
Format/Source: Advanced reading copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster Canada

The prize-winning debut novel from a major new talent in Catalan literature—the story of four half-brothers who only discover the others’ existence when the father who abandoned them all is reported missing.

Christof, Christophe, Christopher, and Cristòfol are four brothers—sons of the same father and four very different mothers, yet none of them knows about the existence of the others. They live in Frankfurt, Paris, London, and Barcelona and they unwittingly share the fact that their father, Gabriel Delacruz—a truck driver—abandoned them when they were little and they never heard from him again.

Then one day, Cristòfol is contacted by the police: his father is officially a missing person. This fact leads him to discover that he has three half-brothers, and the four young men come together for the first time. Two decades have passed since their father last saw any of them. They barely remember what he was like, but they decide to look for him to resolve their doubts. Why did he abandon them? Why do all four have the same name? Did he intend for them to meet?

Divided by geography yet united by blood, the “Cristobales” set out on a quest that is at once painful, hilarious, and extraordinary. They discover a man who during thirty years of driving was able to escape the darkness of Franco’s Spain and to explore a luminous Europe, a journey that, with the birth of his sons, both opened and broke his heart.

I received an advanced reading copy of this novel courtesy of Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. The premise of this novel intrigued me–four stepbrothers living in four different countries with the same name–as well as the fact that it was written by a Spanish-Catalan author. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you might have picked up that I’m quite interested in Spanish literature and am always on the lookout for Spanish titles translated to English (because I’ve been meaning to learn Spanish but haven’t gotten around to it. Yet. But anyways). This novel will be available on October 15th.

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Review: J’Adore Paris

Posted 25 September, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

J’Adore Paris
By: Isabelle Lafleche
Format/Source: Paperback; won a copy from HarperCollinsCA via Twitter

When chic Parisian lawyer Catherine Lambert lands her dream job as intellectual property director for Christian Dior, she is on top of the world. She’s prepared to embark on the ride of her life in the world of fashion, fighting high-profile legal battles against international counterfeiters. She’ll also be reunited with colleague-turned-boyfriend Antoine in her beloved hometown.

But Catherine’s visions of front-row seats at the couture shows and strolling the Champs-Élysées hand in hand with the love of her life are soon displaced by the realities of dingy police vans and threatening anonymous phone calls. The code of ethics that she knew from mergers and acquisitions does not seem to apply in the nefarious counterfeiting underworld, and Catherine finds her life turned upside-down by surprise meetings in dark alleys and an unexpected degree of notoriety among the criminal element. Will Catherine and her loyal assistant, Rikash, manage to outsmart even the most crooked of characters and come out on top?

I first heard of this novel earlier this year on GoodReads and it sounded both interesting (main character works as a lawyer/intellectual property director for a major luxury fashion company? Colour me intrigued), intriguing (facing international counterfeiters? Definitely don’t read about those on a daily basis) and fun (Paris, haute couture, totally there!). I won a paperback copy of this novel from HarperCollinsCA during the summer and after reading a number of serious titles recently, I needed a change of pace. Contains some spoilers ahead!

This book is part of the Books on France Reading Challenge 2013 that I am participating in.

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Review: Little Island

Posted 26 August, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Little Island
By: Katharine Britton
Format/Source: galley courtesy of Penguin Group Berkeley via NetGalley

By the water
Have fun!

These are Joy’s grandmother’s last words—left behind on a note. A note that Joy’s mother, Grace, has interpreted as instructions for her memorial service. And so, the far-flung clan will gather at their inn on Little Island, Maine, to honor her.

Joy can’t help dreading the weekend. Twenty years ago, a tragedy nearly destroyed the family—and still defines them. Joy, Grace, her father Gar, and twins Roger and Tamar all have their parts to play. And now Joy, facing an empty nest and a nebulous future, feels more vulnerable than ever to the dangerous currents running through her family.

But this time, Joy will discover that there is more than pain and heartbreak that binds them together, when a few simple words lift the fog and reveal what truly matters?

The premise of this novel sounded interesting–I’m always up for a good family-centred drama–so I requested a copy of this novel. I received a galley copy of this novel courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It will be available on September 3.

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Review: The Wishing Thread

Posted 26 August, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 5 Comments

The Wishing Thread
By: Lisa Van Allen
Format/Source: galley courtesy of Ballentine Books via NetGalley

The Van Ripper women have been the talk of Tarrytown, New York, for centuries. Some say they’re angels; some say they’re crooks. In their tumbledown “Stitchery,” not far from the stomping grounds of the legendary Headless Horseman, the Van Ripper sisters—Aubrey, Bitty, and Meggie—are said to knit people’s most ardent wishes into beautiful scarves and mittens, granting them health, success, or even a blossoming romance. But for the magic to work, sacrifices must be made—and no one knows that better than the Van Rippers.

When the Stitchery matriarch, Mariah, dies, she leaves the yarn shop to her three nieces. Aubrey, shy and reliable, has dedicated her life to weaving spells for the community, though her sisters have long stayed away. Bitty, pragmatic and persistent, has always been skeptical of magic and wants her children to have a normal, nonmagical life. Meggie, restless and free-spirited, follows her own set of rules. Now, after Mariah’s death forces a reunion, the sisters must reassess the state of their lives even as they decide the fate of the Stitchery. But their relationships with one another—and their beliefs in magic—are put to the test. Will the threads hold?

The premise of this novel sounded very interesting; it didn’t hurt that the blurb also mentioned that fans of Sarah Addison Allen’s books would enjoy this novel (and if you’re a regular at my blog, you probably know that I love Sarah Addison Allen’s novels ^_~). I was approved of a galley copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This novel will be available on September 3rd.

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Review: Swimming Home

Posted 22 August, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 1 Comment

Swimming Home
By: Deborah Levy
Format/Source: eBook; my copy

Poet Joe and his war-correspondent wife Isabel arrive with their daughter and another couple to a rented villa in the south of France to discover a body floating face down in the swimming pool. But the girl is very much alive. She is Kitty Finch: a sexy, mysterious young woman who walks naked out of the water and straight into the heart of their holiday. But why is she there? What does she want from them all? And why does Joe’s enigmatic wife invite her to stay?

This book caught my attention when it was long- and later short-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2012. I mentioned this time and again when I review books that have been shortlisted for one prize or another but I do try to read a few from the long and shortlists, even if it does take me a year after the fact (sometimes/usually longer). But here we are, finally got around to reading Swimming Home (yay!) =) May contain some spoilers ahead!

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