What I read in April

In April I read my usual eclectic mix of books, and quite a few I’d recommend.

The Dark Circle
by Linda Grant is part of my plan to read all of the Bailey’s Prize Longlist. It is a fantastic novel written from multiple perspectives which does nothing to detract from the intimate look the reader has into the thoughts of a group of people living in a TB sanitorium. Whilst I did love the book I felt like the last few chapters could have been left out and not detracted from the rest of the story, I’m not a fan of books that tie everything up nicely and tell you exactly what happens to everyone after the main body of the novel finishes, and that’s what this felt like.

I’ve already talked about how much I loved What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a beautiful and brutal little novel.

I read The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli in one go on a long train journey, and will be reviewing it soon. I loved the way Becky was able to include such a diverse range of characters without ever making it seem like she was ticking a “diversity checklist”. I’ve read other reviews that have accused her of this, but I vehemently disagree.

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo is another of the Bailey’s Prize nominees. From the blurb this isn’t the kind of book I would probably ever pick up, I wouldn’t have thought the story would appeal to me. But I feel vindicated in my crazy idea to read the whole longlist because this book is just outstanding. It’s a heartbreaking tale of a woman who desperately wants to have a child, and the effect this has on her life and on her marriage. I think I may have gasped out loud at some of the twists in the tale. A truly brilliant novel.

Also on my read pile for April: The Red and Yellow NothingJay Bernard; The Power – Naomi Alderman; Irish Peacock & Scarlet Marquess: The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde – Merlin Holland; TelenyAnonymous authors 

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