Notes on an Exhibition by Patrick Gale
A family is dominated by the mother, whose own life was shaped by tragedy, illness and a single, impulse decision in her untold past. Gale is at his absorbing, submerging, coming-up-for-air best. A tale of love, loyalty and identity. One of my favourite authors, Gale is the master of understated family dialogue: a single word said or unsaid wounds or comforts. Excellent
Widow for a Year by John Irving
A family (and a lover) is dominated by the absent mother whose own life was shaped by tragedy and a single impulsive decision. A tale of love, literacy, loyalty and exploitation. Irving is master of the comedy scene, and the evocative phrase. The noise like someone trying not to make a noise. Excellent
Temptation by Douglas Kennedy
Quite the worst book I have read for ages. Execrable.
Body Surfing by Anita Shreve.
Young widow encounters an intriguing family from different social strata who change her life. Family secrets are slowly uncovered. Feckless young man allows true love to escape him. Woman falls for bad guy. Atmospheric, lyrical, makes you want to visit New England.
The Magician's Assistant by Anne Patchett.
Young widow encounters intriguing family from different social strata who change her life. Family secrets are slowly uncovered. Woman fall for good guy, with secret. Atmospheric Lyrical. Makes you want to visit Walmarts
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
An extraordinary, charismatic boy IS CONVINCED HE IS AN INSTRUMENT OF GOD and it turns out that...well you have to read it.
Entertaining, witty, intriguing, the conclusion satisfies on two levels as all the disparate strands of the story are brought together in a compelling finale with a profoundly antireligious message
Evil and the Justice of God by N.T.Wright
[It's part of deal - if I can manage this, my friend reads the God Delusion, it has to be worth it] Earnest, slightly rambling theology. I have never encountered anything like it before!
Michael Tolliver Lives by Armistead Maupin
Long awaited seventh and last novel in the clever, tightly plotted, much loved Tales of the City series. A pale shadow of an echo of the the previous six, lacking in warmth and imagination: tawdry, sad and derivative, resting on the success of the past. A disappointment
Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
Long awaited seventh and last novel in the clever, tightly plotted, much loved Harry Potter series. A return to form after the disappointing books five and six. Clever, funny and sad, the plot neatly wraps up all that has gone before. A triumph
I Am A Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter=================
A new book by the Hof is a treasure indeed; the Hof retraces his steps in GEB & BTdM, adding some clarity along the way; can a single soul occupy two brains? boggling, welcome diversion from Poppy