By: Eleanor Catton
Format/Source: eBook; my copy
It is 1866, and young Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky.
Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bus, The Luminaries is a brilliantly constructed, fiendishly clever ghost story and a gripping page-turner. It is a thrilling achievement for someone still in her mid-twenties, and will confirm for critics and readers that Eleanor Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international writing firmament.
At long last I got around to picking this book up 😛 I had initially picked it up after reading that it had won the Man Booker prize but then it languished on my TBR pile for quite a while–and understandably so, the book is some 800 pages long, you need to carve out some time to read this book 😛
The Frozen Heart
By: Almudena Grandes
Format/Source: Paperback; my own copy
In a small town on the outskirts of Madrid, a funeral is taking place. Julio Carrion Gonzalez, a man of tremendous wealth and influence in Madrid, has come home to be buried. But as the family stand by the graveside, his son Alvaro notices the arrival of an attractive stranger—no one appears to know who she is, or why she is there. Alvaro’s questions deepen when the family inherits an enormous amount of money, a surprise even to them. In his father’s study Alvaro discovers an old folder with letters sent to his father in Russia between 1941 and 1943, faded photos of people he never met, and a locked grey metal box. The woman is Raquel Fernandez Perea, the daughter of Spaniards who fled during the Civil War. From the provincial heartlands of Spain to the battlefields of Russia, this is a mesmerizing journey through a war that tore families apart, pitting fathers against sons, brothers against brothers, and wives against husbands. Against such a past, where do faith and loyalty lie?
At long last, everyone, I have read it, I have read Almudena Grandes’ The Frozen Heart. It only sat on my TBR pile and my bookshelf for a couple years…Kept meaning to pick it up but as the book spans a good 800 pages, you really need to carve out a bit of time to just focus on this book. But anyway, I finally did it, finally picked it up 🙂
By: Kristin Hannah
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.
As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength is tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.
Firstly, I wished I picked up the North American edition of this book because the cover for that one was very pretty, but I was desperate to pick up a paperback of this book so no matter 😛 I feel like I’m the only one who hasn’t read this book and I’ve been eyeing it for so long now xD
The Storms of War
By: Kate Williams
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
In the idyllic early summer of 1914, life is good for the de Witt family. Rudolf and Verena are planning the wedding of their daughter, Emmeline, while their eldest son Arthur is studying in Paris and Tom is just back from his first term at Cambridge. Celia, the youngest of the de Witt children, is on the brink of adulthood, and secretly dreams of escaping her carefully mapped out future and exploring the world.
But the onslaught of war changes everything and soon the de Witts find themselves sidelined and in danger of losing everything they hold dear. As Celia struggles to make sense of the changing world around her, she lies about her age to join the war effort and finds herself embroiled in a complex plot that puts her and those she loves in danger.
With gripping detail and brilliant empathy, Kate Williams tells the story of Celia and her family as they are shunned by a society that previously embraced them, torn apart by sorrow, and buffeted and changed by the storms of war.
I admit, this is one of those instances where the book cover is what drew my attention in…isn’t it so pretty? Anyway, historical fiction set in World War One, likenings to Downton Abbey, I thought why not? May contain some minor spoilers about the plot ahead!
Time and Again
By: Jack Finney
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
“Sleep. And when you awake everything you know of the twentieth century will be gone from your mind. Tonight is January 21, 1882. There are no such things as automobiles, no planes, computers, television. ‘Nuclear’ appears in no dictionary. You have never heard the name Richard Nixon.”
Did illustrator Si Morley really step out of his twentieth-century apartment one night — right into the winter of 1882? The U.S. Government believed it, especially when Si returned with a portfolio of brand-new sketches and tintype photos of a world that no longer existed — or did it?
Oh my goodness I’m finally reading this book! It only took me how many years xD Anyway, I decided to include this book under this year’s Sci-Fi Month because this book deals with the scifi theme of time travel 😉