I haven’t done a Sunday Salon for a while ( ages ) and still have reviews to do and lots of interesting story collections I am dipping into on my Kindle. Here are three very different novels I have recently read on my Kindle. I have posted these 5 star reviews on Goodreads and my Facebook author page. As usual it looks like Amazon is going to reject my reviews. I am also featuring a very old paperback I picked up at the charity shop which is suddenly relevant.
Little Big Boy by Max Power
This is a story about a little boy’s first love, his mother. It is not autobiographical, but is so powerful readers might assume it was, with its vivid evocation of early childhood. It is more than that, a story of families, of Ireland in the early nineteen seventies. There are many things that are dark inside and outside the home, that will make you angry, but the tale also bursts with life, of young boys exploring and having adventures with their friends. I have included a link to one of Max Power’s blogs in which he talks about his mother.
Warning Signs by Carol Balawyder
More vivid than a television murder drama, this an intelligent psychological thriller with the killer trying to understand why he could be tempted to kill and how he can stop himself. It is also the story anyone will recognise of young women looking for love, the dating game. Everyone is a stranger when you first meet them, when do we start trusting a person and when you begin dating someone how do you know if you are safe? A great story that kept me on edge all the way through.
Marriage Unarranged by Ritu Bhathal
I have not been to India, but the pictures the author paints are how I imagine from stories told by British Asians ‘going home’ and others visiting for the first time. This is a romantic story, but also an amusing one, young people on holiday to India without their elders hiring drivers and keeping to an agenda. They want to visit a real cinema, not the new multiplex, travel around like locals. There is glamour, for this is also a business trip for Aashi’s older brother who wants to reinvent the family fashion shop, but solemn moments as they contemplate dark historic events. As the five visit the Golden Temple there is an insight into the faith of the Sikhs. New friendships are made, Aashi’s broken heart might be mending, but how will life work out when they all return home to Birmingham?
The Decameron Vol 2 by Giovanni Boccaccio is the second part of a collection of rather saucy short stories written during the plague of 1348. My paperback copy is not quite that old, published in 1959 and costing three shillings and sixpence. I read it a while back, but when I saw this item in the newspaper I took it off my shelf again. The stories they tell each other are a lot of fun with the ladies often managing to trick the men, but a lot of trickery in general. I guess this little group had more fun in isolation than lots of people this century.