On these long summer evenings, sometimes all you need to relax is a good book to delve into. In the past year I have read more than ever, partly due to lockdowns and also because I have missed reading frequently. This post discusses two books that stood out for me.
Do you need a good book to get you through those long summer nights? Here are two that really satisfied my reading appetite.
Nine Perfect Strangers
This was the second of Liane Moriarty’s novels that I read, after I became interested in her work when I tried out ‘Big Little Lies’. It’s about nine people who have all booked into a supposedly tranquil health spa in a remote part of Australia. The nine characters include an ex-sportsman, a couple with a huge secret, a writer who is low on luck and a family recovering from a recent loss.
Masha, the Russian owner of the peculiar Spa, is a formidable character who has a resolve to change all of their lives for the better using unconventional methods. As the story unwinds, the characters open up about their feelings and start to resent the awkward situation that they are in now. Are they really letting go or starting to allow Masha to control everything that they do?
Each chapter is written in the close third person, with Liane cleverly taking us on an incredible journey which unravels the group and totally hooks in the reader. This book is modern, relatable and very good at making you want to know lots more about each of them.
The Midnight Library
When Nora tries to end her life she finds herself trapped in a strange library with her secondary school librarian. Every book on the shelves connects to a different pathway and Nora is able to discover what might happen if she chooses a different life.
This book is a stroke of genius which really makes you think about mental health issues and consider the impact that one person’s choices can have on their own lives as well as those around them.
One route sees Nora as a researcher exploring glacial decline in Norway. She comes eye to eye with a polar bear and meets other interesting people who are on intriguing journeys of their own. In other chapters, she explores being in a band and moving to Australia with her best friend. Every time she learns something valuable about her relationships, insecurities and strengths.
Matt Haig is a fresh writer who always writes in short, punchy chapters that totally engross you as a reader. I recommend reading the first part and am sure that you will be tempted to carry on and read the whole brilliant book.
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