The Lie Tree – Frances Hardinge

I read the blurb on the back of the book and it sounded interesting. The idea was good and Hardinge was good at setting the scene and creating a sense of atmosphere, however the book wasn’t pacey enough for me. It didn’t have me rushing back for more or itching to find out what happened next. I carried on with the book but there wasn’t the desperate hunger to unravel everything that I feel there should be with this kind of book. I can’t complain. It was good enough, good plot, writing etc but I did find it a bit lacklustre and stonkingly average.
Other books by the same author sound interesting but they wouldn’t be high on my reading list simply because this book promised a lot and delivered to a point but wasn’t as good as it promised to be.
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A Spool of Blue Thread – Anne Tyler

It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what this novel is about but quite simply put, it’s about the Whitshank family.  It centres around Red and Abby Whitshank, their children, grandchildren and Red’s family before them.

It is an engaging and well written narration of everyday family life, warts and all.  There are few surprises.  We have all known a family a bit like the Whitshanks.  None of the characters are perfect but I came to like them partly because of their imperfections.

An enjoyable read that I took time to read and absorb rather than gobbling down in one sitting.

The Stranger – Harlan Coben

Adam Price’s wife is lying to him. A stranger told him so.  When Adam tackles his wife, Corinne,it becomes apparent that she is hiding something and there is something darker at play.  But what is that something? By midway through the book I failed to care.

The story starts off well but quickly falters and loses pace.  The novel is mostly narrated by Adam but the characters are very 2D.  I get no sense of who they are and as such, I find that I don’t care about them at all.  This was very much the case with Corinne.  I failed to care what had happened to her and what her motivation was by the end of the novel.

The storyline felt flimsy and Adam comes across as weak and the ending contrived.  It all felt a bit rushed.  There was a lot of build up and then the ending is dealt with in a single chapter, a few paragraphs.

Definitely not one of Halan Coben’s best but ideal if you want an easy read for the beach

 

 

Spotlight

Spotlight is based on a true story about the Catholic church covering up the abuse of children by it’s priests.

The subject matter is distasteful but isn’t overdone and the film doesn’t focus too heavily on specifics.  It is a movie that makes you think and covers the abuse tastefully (well as tastefully as you can in these situations).   It stays with you long after the credits have rolled.  This would be the case if it were fiction but it is based on a true story which gives it more impact.

Casting is excellent with Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo all playing excellent lead roles.  There were a few familiar faces from shows such as Law and Order and Blue Bloods.  All played their roles very well indeed.

Worth watching.  Heavy subject material but dealt with tastefully and sympathetically (in the case of the victims).  This is a movie that I’d definitely recommend.