Welcome to my first Reading Roundup of 2021! Actually, in some ways it is the last one for 2020 as the post will cover the final three books of that year…
First of all, here is the blurb for The Foundling by Stacey Halls:
Six years after leaving her illegitimate daughter Clara at London’s Foundling Hospital, Bess Bright returns to reclaim the child she has never known. Dreading the worst – that Clara has died in care – the last thing she expects to hear is that her daughter has already been reclaimed – by her. Her life is turned upside down as she tries to find out who has taken her little girl – and why. Less than a mile from Bess’ lodgings in the city, in a quiet, gloomy townhouse on the edge of London, a young widow has not left the house in a decade. When her close friend – an ambitious young doctor at the Foundling Hospital – persuades her to hire a nursemaid for her daughter, she is hesitant to welcome someone new into her home and her life. But her past is threatening to catch up with her and tear her carefully constructed world apart.
Some time ago, I really enjoyed the author’s first book, The Familiars, and The Foundling was also a good read. This is my verdict as written on the Goodreads website:
The Foundling by Stacey Halls
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The book was both entertaining and enjoyable. I stepped out of my comfort zone to read the author’s first book, The Familiars, and I am so glad that I found this one also.
The idea of leaving a new-born baby to be brought up by others was heartbreaking and the description of those scenes was very well done. In fact the whole background to the tale, set in Georgian London, was excellent, with dark elements of mystery, poverty and daily struggle to survive. The clash between the poor and the better off middle classes was also well written.
Without giving too much away, I felt that the ending was very neatly wrapped up. I will definitely read further books by Stacey Halls if she keeps writing at this standard!
When I was younger, I used to read loads of historical fiction. I am not sure why I stopped and moved over to thrillers, fantasy and science fiction!
My penultimate book of the year was The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I had been meaning to read this for quite a while, but kept putting it off, for some reason. All of my friends seemed to have enjoyed it mightily, so I finally joined the queue for Library Service’s ebook. Here we have the blurb:
Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?
In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.
And this is my review:
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
To begin with, I know that Matt Haig has struggled with his own mental health as he has written about this often on his Facebook account. As I also wrestle with my own “black clouds” I was very reluctant to read this book. I kept on putting it off because I couldn’t face reading more miserable thoughts. As I became more and more isolated during the COVID crisis, I didn’t want to read anything that might dig up anything even more difficult to handle.
And then I arrived at the front of the library ebook queue! Did I want to read the book, or should I let it go to the next person in line? Making up my mind, I downloaded the book and read the first couple of chapters. I couldn’t see what all of the fuss was about. I knew by then that the book had had an amazing reception and was on bestseller lists. It was about to win awards.
I still wasn’t keen.
Suddenly, I simply got it. I became immersed in the story and loved it. I couldn’t put the book down and my mood began to lift. Even in the darkest moments of COVID and the gloomiest parts of my brain, sunlight began to shine.
So, I think I must actually buy the book so that I can turn to it again.
Thank-you, Matt X
So, now we have arrived at the final book of 2020: Lies by T M Logan…
Let’s start with the blurb!
WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS BASED ON LIES?
A gripping new psychological thriller of secrets and revenge.
When Joe Lynch sees his wife enter an underground car park in the middle of the day, he’s intrigued enough to follow her down.
And when he sees her in an angry altercation with family friend Ben, he naturally goes to her defence – and doesn’t for a minute believe the accusations Ben makes against her.
It’s pure misfortune that, just as the clash becomes violent and Ben is knocked unconscious, Joe’s son has an asthma attack, and Joe has to take him to safety.
This is my final review of 2020:
Lies by T.M. Logan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this book! It was complex, with so many plot twists that it took my breath away. Just when I thought that I had worked everything out, the author would change things around again. From a slight change to routine, a whole life gets turned around and upside down and the “hero” has no idea what is happening or where his life will end up.
So, I have immediately reserved more books by the author and I am sure that I am in for further treats if they are as good as this one!
OK, that definitely wasn’t my best review but my memory is really poor at the moment! Please believe me when I say that the book is definitely worth looking at. Read some of the other comments on Goodreads for more responses.
So, next week’s Roundup will look at my first reads of 2021 – there is definitely one so far. Until then…
Happy Reading to you all!
Love and best wishes,