Book Review: Different Class – A Gripping Novel

It has been a while since I finished a book and wrote a book review on the blog. This week I got to the end of ‘Different Class’ by Joanne Harris and I am keen to share my thoughts on it.

Having read the first book in the series, ‘Gentlemen and Players,’ I was really looking forward to get to find out what happened next. St Oswald’s Grammar School in North Yorkshire was once again the setting for a complex drama which revolved around Roy Straitley, the Latin teacher who was devoted to his job.

The Plot

The story jumps back and forth between 1981 and 2005. Back then some boys had got into some bother related to a missing lad and some drowned mice. Later on, one of those boys returned to St Oswald’s as the head teacher. His presence shakes Roy and begins a suspicious set of events that rock the whole town.

Straitley is soon under pressure to retire so that a fresh group of staff can come onboard. He smells trouble and finds himself in the middle of a confusing set of events. In the background, a disappearance, a staff reshuffle and some fairly offensive policies make St Oswald’s seem much less popular than before.

As usual, Harris can be relied upon to unravel a gripping storyline which soon engages you and sucks you right in. Twists and turns are written cleverly and help to keep you guessing. Each chapter is told by one of the key characters and the quality of writing is wonderful.

Summary

If you like a mystery drama then this novel is for you. Although it follows Gentlemen and Players, it also sits well as a story by itself. The characters are interesting and fully developed. Definitely download a sample of this narrative and I am sure you will find yourself wanting more.

I hope that you enjoyed my book review. For more of my bookish content, check out Books that are satisfying me . Please follow my blog and share a comment if you have read this or another of Joanne’s books.

Books That Are Satisfying Me

Perhaps I haven’t written as much as usual about books that I am enjoying. So I thought it would be good to talk about a few that I have recently started. Nothing beats a good book and these two are already lining themselves up as top quality reads.

So if you like nothing more than putting your feet up and opening a good book, it would be well worth checking these titles out.

Already fun and character led.

Thrown by Sara Cox

I have been a fan of Sara Cox for a long time and have laughed out loud at her radio show for many years. I also really like her BBC2 show ‘Between The Covers’ where she gets a panel of celebrities to review upcoming and existing novels.

Knowing that Sara used to present a pottery TV show called The Great British Pottery Throwdown, it was amusing to think that she had written a story about people who meet in a pottery class. I love how she is setting the story up by writing each chapter from a different character’s point of view. Her anecdotes are quirky and her way with words is brilliant. So much so that I can hear her warm northern accent shining through.

Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Another little gem is the debut novel from Alice Oseman. The creator of Heartstopper began with a book about Charlie’s sister Tori Spring and her fascination with blogging. A solitaire blog sets a game into action that she is quickly drawn into whilst dealing with some mental health issues.

Her struggle with depression feels real and Alice holds no punches when dealing with very current and relevant topics such as suicidal ideation. This book reads well and is very character driven. I love her cleverness in telling YA tales.

In A Nutshell

This was just a rapid overview of what I am currently reading but I can tell you that I am hooked on both books. Each one is well worth checking out. If you want a contemporary drama go for Thrown and if you prefer YA stories then try Alice’s book.

Three Wishes – Book Review

AF – This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and decide to buy a product I may get a small fee, at no extra cost to yourself.

Happy Easter everyone! As we all crack open the Easter eggs and spend time thinking about our history, let’s make the most of the tradition and rest up, ready for a busy summer ahead. I am not especially religious but Easter represents new life and symbolises how everything starts to become green again, during the Spring.

What better time to read some books? I love nothing more than putting my feet up in a quiet room, flicking through the pages of a good quality novel. For those of you who are new to my blog, you may not realise that I read mainly contemporary dramas and YA fiction, as well as a sprinkling of biographies.

Three Wishes

Although I am a massive fan of Liane Moriarty, I am never surprised when an author writes a book that doesn’t quite meet up to their usual standards. ‘Three Wishes’ is definitely not a book that lowers expectations. With Liane, I am yet to come across any that are sub-standard. For a previous review of one of her masterpieces, check out Bewitching Books which also includes a classic by my other favourite writer, Joanne Harris.

Review

Three wishes is all about three triplets who are in their thirties, living in Australia, going through the usual challenges of modern living. Their parents split up when they were young, but are still a big part of their lives. Two sisters, Lyn and Cat, are identical, while Gemma isn’t. What I love about Liane’s books is that they are grounded in normality, exploring family life in forensic detail.

Liane usually writes in the ‘close third person’ which means that each chapter focuses on a particular character and examines their thoughts, but remains written from a third person angle. We follow each sister as they deal with issues relating to mental health, motherhood, dating and marital upheaval.

Cat , for instance, is keen to have a baby with her husband, Dan. Her career is soaring and she envies Lyn, who balances having a toddler and teenage step daughter effortlessly. Lyn, meanwhile, is having anxiety issues related to car parks. Both sisters have used their identical features to their advantage in the past. They recall a time when one pretended to be the other on a date, for example.

Gemma is used to dating and being happy in short term relationships, which she is always ready to terminate. Being engaged to a guy who suddenly died in an accident, everyone feels sorry for her, but she harbours some resentment for her apparently romantic ex.

A celebration at a suave restaurant for their 34th birthdays turns into a battleground when the sisters finally let loose some revelations that upset the rest of the family. Some things just have to be said, but these women bottle stuff up and let it all out in one explosive evening.

Summary

I love this wonderfully told story, which is no thriller but is definitely compelling, with moments of humour along the way. Liane is very good at making sharp observations about modern life and her playfulness is really amusing. If you have never read a Moriarty book before (Why ever not?) then why not start with this one?

Check out the book on Amazon, here:

https://amzn.to/3KS1WG8

Thank you for taking the time to read my little review of this brilliant book. Please drop a comment about your thoughts or questions related to this. If you enjoyed my article, please consider following my blog for future similar content.