Finding Violet Park : Jenny Valentine
This book blew me away!! I am not quite sure what I expected (it is a book for young adults) but this book was completely absorbing, I did nothing all day until I had finished the book (having started the night before) and even when it was finished, I sat there thinking about what I had read. Wow! The central character is a teenage boy, with a chaotic family and a missing father. Lucas searches for the story behind a woman named Violet Park because he comes across her ashes in an urn, but in trying to piece it together, he finds a lot of the missing pieces of his own life story. I can't say more without giving too much away, but I am so glad my teenage daughter handed the book to me and said - "Here read this Mum, I have a feeling you'll like it."
People who liked Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time are likely to enjoy this book.
The Girl You Left Behind : Jojo Moyes
I was in 2 minds before I read this book:
- Very keen to begin it because I loved The Peacock Emporium, Silver Bay & Me Before You.
- Daunted to begin because Me Before You made me cry SO MUCH!!
Thank goodness I wan't a wuss!! I read it and loved it!! It is a book with 2 voices, and 2 timeframes:
- The first part is set in occupied France during WorldWar I
- The second part is in modern day London, although it does flit back to WWI France to fit in a few final pieces of the jigsaw.
Prepare to feel the awful gnawing hunger, cold and constant fear felt by Sophie, her sister and the children they are bringing up while their husbands have gone to war. They have to run their inn with the germans as customers and the Kommandant becomes fixated with Sophie ... or is it the image of her in the painting of her done by her husband, which she has rebelliously hung in the bar?
When the scene changes to urban London, the discomfort you feel for Liv is different but just as disturbing - she is a lonely widow, crippled by debt and unwilling to move on from the loss of her young husband for fear of being hurt again, so she keeps herself as isolated as possible from friends and family. Her only comfort has been the enigmatic face of Sophie in the painting from almost a century ago which hangs in her sterile minimalist home.
The journey these 2 women take, making sacrifices, making choices, fighting to preserve their values and to protect those they love, is difficult and challengeing - pushing each of them to almost lose themselves in the battle. I was guessing to the final pages how it would end, would it somehow 'come out right' - would reputations be saved or ruined? Would love triumph? How many secrets had been buried around this 1 enigmatic painting?
Read it for yourself - if you have enjoyed any of Jojo's other books or novels by: Lisa Jewell, Dorothy Koomson, Jenny Colgan or Trisha Ashley.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Film
Fantastic! Wonderfully entertaining and absorbing - not in the least predictable. Wonderful fragile personalities sharply drawn and acted - they heal each other, support each other, sometimes they make things worse for each other but in this coming of age film they are all growing and learning to face the world and cope. A 'Breakfast Club' or 'Pretty in Pink' for today's teenagers ... and a pretty good book too I hear!