Sunday, September 25, 2016

Review: Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

5 stars for Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey.

Hauntingly charming, this outstanding debut novel is filled with bitter-sweet memories of old and at the same time, packed with a poignant longing for truth.

It is hard to imagine how I will think and feel and talk when the one day comes where memory fails, time crawls to a standstill and all that remains is a series of mysteries muddled up between the present and fragments of the past. That is why I think the author does a remarkable job of putting herself in Maud's shoes and seeing the world through her eyes.

Second to none of its kind, Elizabeth is Missing has my full attention right from the start and leaves me reeling from the sheer force of the story upon completion; an old lady who finally gets what she wants, to be heard and understood. Why wait? Pick up this book today and get ready to be blown away.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Review: The Second Husband by Louise Candlish

3 stars for The Second Husband by Louise Candlish.

A well executed story but a painful one at that, of a woman who plays multiple roles.

This story is perhaps a reality check on relationships where people throw caution to the wind and simply follow where their hearts lead them regardless of consequences. I'm not sure what intention the author has in mind but the message that glides across from reading this novel is that people in the UK do live with their families but it is either with the stepmother or stepfather, not exactly a rosy family picture.

Much as I enjoy the story setting and polished prose, it is equally exhausting and frustrating to be reading about a woman who constantly mourns after an ex-husband, has endless fights with a seventeen-year old adolescent and is oblivious to the fact that she has lost ground even before the battle has started.

Read it if you think you have the stomach for it.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Review: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

5 stars for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

This remarkable debut comes recommended by a booklover buddy of mine. The title alone is enough to intrigue me such that I have it up on top priority to be read right after Towers of Silence which I am halfway through then.

As dictated by the book title, yes, this is a story about Henrietta Lacks, her immortal cells and her descendents.

Born in 1920, Henrietta Lacks died from a vicious case of cervical cancer in 1951. Since then, her (cancer) cells have been living outside her body far longer than they ever lived inside of her. The term immortal human cells refer a continously dividing line of cells all descended from one original sample, cells that would constantly replenish themselves and never die.

Considering the evolution of medical science and with it, the ethical debates relating to human-subject research and inevitably, the legal issues regarding the ownership and commercial use of biological materials and products derived from humans, it is amazing how the author manages to condense years of her research materials and hundreds of hours of interviews into a single book.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Review: Towers of Silence (Sal Kilkenny #5) by Cath Staincliffe

4 stars for Towers of Silence (Sal Kilkenny book 5) by Cath Staincliffe.

From a professional point of view, each mystery solved is a job well done. And Sal, as a private investigator, has succeeded in getting to the root of the towers of silence. However, the outcome has been devastating rather than satisfying. So, it comes to pass that sometimes "ignorance is bliss".

On a separate note..
I find myself keeping a lookout for the next book in line the moment I hit the halfway mark in this book 5. Sadly, I sense the series turning into a cul-de-sac as neither book 6 nor 7 can be found in the library I often frequent.

Not for lack of trying but I will have to put aside the detective in me for the time being. Because it is so not my style to miss two running books in the series and skip to the whichever one available next. So much for now.