It feels like a small pile of books but it has just been one of those months! My eldest daughter finished school back in June so I have had her at home for the whole of July. I’m not complaining as it is probably the last time I will have her all to myself for any length of time but it is distracting all the same. I seem to have spent more time watching reruns of Friends, rolling my eyes at just how stupid humans can be thanks to back to back Catfish and making fishfinger sandwiches on demand than anything else this month. That along with all the end of term shenanigans for my youngest two has really eaten into my time. They only finished school last week so it has felt like a very long month indeed. But we made it! Summer at last!
So first up this month I read The Stranger in my Home by Adele Parks. I actually started this book in June but didn’t finish it in time for last months round up so it feels like a long time since I read this. The story is based around two babies being accidentally switched at birth. The two families discover that the daughters they have been raising are not their own and oh what a heart wrenching mess it all turned out to be! It was a really cleverly plotted story and especially as a parent myself, I really felt for the characters. My only criticism would be that one of the mothers in the story Alison, was a bit wishy washy for me. I couldn’t help but think that a character with such a meaty back story of her own would have a bit more about her. I don’t want to give too much away but the story gave her quite a troubled life as a teenager and I think this would have given her much more grit. She was too much of a middle-class-clutching-pearls-out-of-touch cliché for my liking. That said, I did still enjoy reading the book. Very much so in fact. I think Adele Parks is a cracking writer I really do.
Next was The Power by Naomi Alderman which if Instagram is anything to go by, is on just about everyone’s reading pile this summer! This pulled me in from the very first page. Astoundingly clever writing and it deserves every bit of hype. It opens with an exchange of letters between a male author and female publisher and at first I couldn’t work out if it was being sarcastic. But then I realised we were looking into a future where thousands of years of sexism had gone the other way. What then follows is the story itself which is billed as a historical novel by Neil Adam Armon. We are told the story of how women all over the world suddenly discovered that they had the power. They gained control of the planet over night with a flick of their fingers. Parts of it are really quite dark and on paper you would think that would make it a depressing read but it’s really not. The bleak truth is that people – men or women – will always abuse power because they can. Part of me would like to think that if women really ruled the world, it would be a kinder place and we would harness our power and use the sisterhood for good. But actually reading this made me realise how naive that is. This book really made me think and that can only ever be a good thing. Definitely a book that I will be passing on to my eldest daughter to read she will absolutely love it.
And last we have a very battered copy of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck which I pinched from my daughter. She studied this at GCSE as did her brother before her and there is something so comforting about a book that has been passed around so much. Not as comforting but amusing all the same was the writing scrawled on the first page declaring ‘Lennie dies’ to which somebody else replied ‘no he doesn’t, the dog dies’ Erm.. spoiler alert! Ha! Teenagers, huh? I haven’t read this book myself since I was their age and it always surprises me how different a book can read as an adult compared to your memories of it as a teenager. Maybe my teenagers will go back to read this again one day when they are old fogeys like me? If it survives their two younger sisters that is! Ha!
So that is me, what have you been reading this month? As always you can leave me a comment here or over on Instagram where you will find me talking all things books under #mostlyreading