There’s another mixed list today, as I’m a big fan of just picking up a book and seeing where it takes me. Especially because I’m a fast reader, I don’t mind trying something a bit different, as I’m getting through so much anyway it doesn’t feel like wasted time. Here’s the latest update:
Agnes Grey, Anne Bronte
This has been tucked away on my bookshelf for a while, I think it may have been an extra reading suggestion at university that I never got around to. A fairly slim volume, it is the tales of a governess, and is based on Bronte’s own experiences. It covers the Victorian class system, moral and education, and dips into the households of a few different families. It’s a fascinating insight into both the period and into a governess’ role, and would be a good read for anyone interested in Victorian literature.
Sweet Tooth, Ian McEwan
In 1972, with the Cold War playing out, Serena is being groomed for MI5. During Operation Sweet Tooth, her subject is a writer, Tom Haley. She loves his stories, and then begins to fall for the man himself, blurring the lines between her job and her personal life.
I liked the literary background of this – the publishing deals, the fragments of stories – and the Cold War side was also intriguing. It seemed overall more like a love story than a spy novel, but it kept me reading, and my parents also enjoyed it.
Broken, Sara Davies
This is the author’s autobiographical account of her abusive childhood, and how that affected her through into later life, as well. It then moves onto her escape from this life, and her reflections on it now. It’s a well-written autobiography, not dwelling on anything, but equally missing out no detail.
It was a fairly fast-paced novel, and a difficult read, but with overall powerful and positive messages. It’s a brave book, and in interesting read.
Under a Blood Red Sky, Kate Furnivall
This novel begins in 1933, in a Siberian labour camp, and Sofia is desperate to escape, inspired by her friend Anna’s stories and the thought of reuniting her with those she loves. Russia is in the grip of communism and her journey is a hard one, showing the contrasts between industrial and rural lives, and constantly returning to Anna, in the camp. Sofia is in a world where she never knows who she can trust, or what motives others have. As ou read, you’re aware that Sofia’s time to save Anna is always running out.
This was a really gripping narrative, and pieced together the pasts of each character well. The imposing and scary world they are surrounded by is well-created, and I cared about the characters. A page-turning, interesting read.
So there we have it. Have you read any of these?