It’s getting to the point where you’re thinking of your summer holiday or spring break and everyone knows that no holiday is complete without a few good books to read by the pool. I’ve taken a few trips recently and loaded my Kindle (yes, I was eventually turned away from the old fashioned book as it saved more room in my case for bikinis) with some new books. Here’s my lowdown of the books I have enjoyed most recently and would thoroughly recommend (best enjoyed with a cold G&T by the pool).
Ben Elton – ‘Two Brothers’
Ben Elton is most commonly known for his humour but this book set in Berlin between 1920 and 1945 is a deeply poignant novel that looks at life for Jewish people and one Jewish family in particular during inter-war Germany. As the book title suggests the key figures are two brothers, one a Jew and one a non- Jew (I won’t give too much away by explaining this) and the paths they have to take to try and survive in this brutal environment. I can’t speak highly enough of this novel. Although the subject matter may be bleak there is also humour in there and the characters are so believable. It is also educational and taught me lots about this terrible time in history.
Charity Norman – ‘After the Fall’
This book follows a family from the UK as they emigrate to a remote part of New Zealand. All seems to be perfect in their idyllic new surroundings until their young son, Finn falls from a balcony at their house in the middle of the night and is badly injured. This is a real page turner, you warm to all the members of this family and particularly the mother, Martha who is torn between her teenage daughters desire to go back to the UK and her new husbands and young sons that want to stay in New Zealand so much. It’s a tale of how things can go badly wrong even in the most beautiful of places.
Victoria Hislop – ‘The Thread’
This novel by the acclaimed author of the brilliant ‘The Island’ was actually published last year but I only got around to reading it a few months ago. Having been a bit disappointed with Hislop’s follow up to ‘The Island’, ‘The Return’ I was pleasantly surprised to find that she is back on form with this novel. The starts in Thessaloniki, Greece in 2007 with a young Anglo-Greek boy called Dimitri who is studying in the city. It then flicks back to Thessaloniki in 1917 and it’s really a tale of the city through World War 1 right through to the 2007. It is essentially a tale of everlasting love but it also highlights the brutality that families faced during the German occupation. Hislop’s attention to detail and fantastic story telling really sucks you in to this tale and you feel like you could almost be in Greece!