Friday, 8 June 2012
I started reading this ages ago and kind of stopped midway when the BBC series started up but recently returned to it as I hate not finishing a book but also cause I actually really enjoy reading about life during the 1950's, especially post-war London. I also have a particular interest in the history of nursing and midwifery- Jennifer Worth makes an interesting point at the start of this that memoirs about nursing/midwifery are few and far between, we tend as a profession not to write about our working experiences even though this would be hugely beneficial in advancing our knowledge about the profession itself. Anyways, this is Jennifer Worth's hugely successful first part of a trilogy about her life as a midwife and district nurse in the slums of the East-End during the 1950's. It sounds depressing and once or twice is a little bleak, but overall it's very amusing, the characters are very well drawn and even if you have no interest in hospital dramas, you'll enjoy this and hopefully find it as entertaining as I did.
Revenge of the Tide by Elizabeth Haynes
This is the second thriller from Haynes, following on from her successful debut "Into the Darkness", which I actually really enjoyed. This book focuses on Genevieve, a pole dancer with a demanding sales job who leaves the rat race of London behind to follow her dream of starting a new life on a houseboat in Kent. Things seem to be going along swimmingly (see what I did there) until she discovers a body washed up beside her boat. The rest is basically a murder mystery, tense in places but overall lacking the gripping storyline of her first novel. Haynes fails to build a full picture of her characters and in the end I didn't really care what happened to any of them. I would recommend avoiding this and reading her first book instead.
Another book following on from the author's first novel. "Afterwards" is Rosamund Lupton's second novel after her bestseller "Sister". This is about Grace, a mother of two, who along with her eldest child Jenny find their non corporeal selves wandering around a hospital following a horrific fire in Jenny's school which left them both unconscious along with life threatening injuries. This is a fairly fast paced thriller- as it turns out the fire was an arson attack and Jenny is still not safe, even in her ICU bed, so Grace sets about trying to solve the mystery of who started the fire and why, even though she is in effect, a ghost. They both also eavesdrop on and follow the rest of their family around which is at times quite emotional. Overall, I liked this, it reminded me slightly of "The Five People you Meet in Heaven", except with less crying this time (seriously, I was inconsolable during that one. Curse you Mitch Albom). It has received mixed reviews, mostly because a lot of people think it's failed to live up to their expectations following "Sister" but I actually thought the ending to that was a bit lame, whereas this was a lot harder to figure out. If you like a good thriller with a difference, this is worth a read.