Happy New Year. As we say hello to 2015, it’s time to say farewell to 2014 but before we do, we wanted to have a quick look at the books we enjoyed reading in 2014.
My favourite book of 2014 was Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding. I was more than a little concerned before I started reading this as I had heard the spoilers and I totally loved the first two books. I had no need to worry. The writing was as superb as ever and so was Bridget. She is still an amazing character who is now coping as a single parent and trying to date again with expected hilarious results. The characters were all vividly drawn and I was quickly immersed in Bridget’s world. A terrific story and a top holiday read. Loved it!
About Mad About The Boy (Jonathan Cape, 2013.)
What do you do when a girlfriend’s 60th birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend’s 30th? Is it wrong to lie about your age when online dating? Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice? Does the Dalai Lama actually tweet or is it his assistant? Is technology now the fifth element? Or is that wood? Is sleeping with someone after 2 dates and 6 weeks of texting the same as getting married after 2 meetings and 6 months of letter writing in Jane Austen’s day? Pondering these, and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of single-motherhood, tweeting, texting and rediscovering her sexuality in what SOME people rudely and outdatedly call ‘middle age’.
Ready for some ‘Bah Humbug’? Well, strongly suggest you look elsewhere. The 2nd of Ms May’s Christmas Kisses series, this story will warm the cockles of the coldest shellfish. Alison tells her story in a series of flashbacks, interspersed with scenes set in the here and now, but nothing ever gets confusing as the story crackles along at a jaunty pace. Cora and Liam are beautifully written and you find yourself hoping that they’ll indeed get together at the end – ok, this is a romance story, so you have a better than even chance of that happening, but work with me here – and the journey that Alison takes them (and us, the reader) on is simply wonderful.
About Cora’s Christmas Kiss (Choc Lit Lite, December 2014.)
Cora and Liam have both experienced horrible years that have led them to the same unlikely place – spending December working in the Grotto at Golding’s department store.
Under the cover of a Father Christmas fat suit and an extremely unflattering reindeer costume, they find comfort in sharing their tales of woe during their bleak staffroom lunch breaks.
But is their new-found friendship just for Christmas? Or have they created something deeper, something that could carry them through to a hopeful new year?
I know two is technically cheating. There were so many great books from last year and I found it difficult to narrow it down to even two. These are two that I am still thinking about even though it had been a few months since I stopped reading them.
The first one was Sara Crowe’s Campari for Breakfast. This was one of those books that surprised me. The story sounded good but I didn’t realise I was going to like it as much as I did. Sue and Coral were such endearing characters, I didn’t want to put the book down. The same goes for the second choice, The Separation for Dinah Jeffries. Emma and Lydia are separated at the beginning of the novel and it tells the story of their lives whilst they are apart. It has you wondering what will happen right up until the last moment. I came to really care about the characters and wanted the story to end well for them. Both books were so beautifully written and I want to read more from both authors.
About Campari For Breakfast by Sara Crowe (Doubleday, April 2014.)
In 1987, Sue Bowl’s world changes for ever. Her mother dies, leaving her feeling like she’s lost a vital part of herself. And then her father shacks up with an awful golddigger called Ivana. But Sue’s mother always told her to make the most of what she’s got – and what she’s got is a love of writing and some interesting relatives. So Sue moves to her Aunt Coral’s crumbling ancestral home, Green Place, along with a growing bunch of oddballs and eccentrics. Not to mention the odd badger or two . . .There she fully intends to write a book, fall in love, and learn to live decadently.
About The Seperation by Dinah Jeffries (Penguin, May 2014.)
Malaya, 1955. Lydia Cartwright returns from visiting a sick friend to an empty house. The servants are gone. The phone is dead. Where is her husband Alec? Her young daughters, Emma and Fleur? Fearful and desperate, she contacts the British District Officer and learns that Alec has been posted up country. But why didn’t he wait? Why did he leave no message? Lydia’s search takes her on a hazardous journey through war-torn jungle. Forced to turn to Jack Harding, a man she’d vowed to leave in her past, she sacrifices everything to be reunited with her family. And while carrying her own secrets, Lydia will soon face a devastating betrayal which may be more than she can bear . . .