The Reading List #18

As usual, I’m racing through books, so without further ado, here are the latest things I’ve conquered from my reading list.

The Return, Victoria Hislop

This is one of those books I’ve seen plenty of people and family members reading over the years – Hislop is certainly popular. This novel is split between the present day and the Spanish Civil War during 1936. Both stories are fully constructed, and are linked in ways that become clear as you read on. The majority of the novel was the Civil War section, which I definitely preferred as it’s a topic I’ve never really read much about.

This story is really gripping, it’s a family saga of lots of secrets and revelations. I can’t say much more as there are some unexpected twists, but it’s beautifully told.

The Night Climbers, Ivo Stourton

James is a new student at Cambridge, and is selected by the ‘Tudor Night Climbers, a secretive society, who become his new friends. He falls for one member, Jessica, and finds himself in a love triangle with the society’s ringleader. Alongside this, Francis is planning the ultimate heist for the group.

This is an intriguing read, with well-constructed characters. It is wrapped up in that intense world of academia that has made a great backdrop for so many novels, and it kept me turning the pages.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

Why, oh why, have I waited so long to read this? I’ve heard so many people rave about it, I’ve seen and loved the film, and now I’ve finally read the pages. The story is told in letters to an unknown ‘friend’ by Charlie, and new freshman trying to find himself. He enters the world of first dates and new friends, and is sharing his journey of growing up and a teen boy in America.

This is the definition of a touching, coming-of-age novel. The voice is wonderfully sustained, and it just reads so true-to-life. If you’re like me, and have waited to read this, just stop waiting. I can see why it’s a favourite for so many.

Safe Haven, Nicholas Sparks

Katie is a secretive character, on the run from a hidden past. Alex is bereaved after the death of his wife, and raising his two children. They both live in a small town where everyone knows everyone’s business, and Katie and Alex’s lives begin to cross.

Told by a master of ‘chick lit’, this is a great read. Yes, it’s not exactly ‘highbrow’, but the story is touching. Elements were very predictable, but there were also some surprises, and the tension built really well to the final climax. I enjoyed this one.

A bit of a mixture again, which is definitely the best way when it comes to reading, I find.

What have you been enjoying, recently?

Sophie x


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