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 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 Nothing – Jay Bernard; The Power – Naomi Alderman; Irish Peacock & Scarlet Marquess: The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde – Merlin Holland; Teleny – Anonymous authors