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Fiction reviews

(114 Posts)
HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 12:43:08

As part of our preparations to get the mobile site up and running we are changing the way we do reviews to make sure they work just as well on a phone or tablet as they do on the desktop site.

This means discontinuing the old-style review pages and moving them onto the forums instead. We will also be losing the product reviews topic on the forums as we reckon it's far easier to find reviews for beauty products, say, under 'Style and beauty' or great hotels under 'Travel' than it is to trawl through reams of things that are not relevant to your search.

That bit coming soon - but for now we will be reposting all your reviews for fiction on this thread so that the info is still available to anyone who'd like to use it. Of course if you have others that you would like to rave/moan about do feel free to add here too.

HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 13:14:06

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry - overall rating 10/10

(from cazthebookworm)

(2013) This book was recommended to me by a friend and I found it to be one of the most marvellous books I have read in a long time. As already stated, it is the very moving, and often harrowing story of 4 people and their struggle to survive in the slums of Mumbai. It is a story of their endurance against all the odds and their battle to survive. The atmosphere is so real, you are there with them, willing them to conquer their disadvantages and to emerge triumphant. It is a book I shall never forget, has impressed me deeply and has made me feel humble and grateful for all I have. I am full of admiration and respect for the dwellers of the slums. Their fortitude against all the adversities is truly remarkable.

(from gwen)

(2012) This book is amazing! I have visited India and it enabled me to understand a lot of what is going on behind the scenes.

(from pinkhater)

(2011) I too enjoyed this book tremendously and it made me go on to read others of his. I found the mix of, at times harrowing storyline and detailed characterisations reminded me of Dickens. If you can't stop thinking about a book once you've finished it then it's very satisfying in my view.

(from DazR)

(2011) Memorable - thought provoking - set in India from 1975 - 1984. Tells the story of 4 people from very different walks of life who form a very strong bond. Difficult to put down, quite harrowing at times - but a story about social history which will last in my mind. Beautifully written and a great window into indian life during a difficult time in India's history. Shouldn't be missed....

HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 13:19:41

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HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 13:23:37

One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson - overall rating 10/10

(From glennd)

(2012) I agree. I have to say that this is by far the best of the novels in the Brodie series (but don't be put off reading the others). I don't think the recent TV series did this book in particular any favours.

Best to start at the beginning with 'Case Histories' and read the 4 books in order to see the characters develop.

(From cleona)

(2012) I read this book while on a cruise - I found it in the library there. I have since read all her books and found them all excellent.

HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 13:29:55

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HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 13:32:40

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HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 13:33:30

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd - overall rating 10/10

(From AnnB)

(2014) 'The Invention of Wings' is a fascinating story about the enslaved servants of a 19th Century American household, and it is told through Sarah the daughter of the wealthy household and Handful her servant. Another wonderful character is Charlotte, who is Handful's mother and the events and thoughts of the story and its characters enthral and appall us and build a remarkable novel. Highly recommended!

(From Italian1)

(2014) I have read a book from this author before: The Secret Life of Bees, which I very much enjoyed. The Invention of Wings did not disappoint. It is a great story made much more special for me when I read the author notes at the end of book. Will not divulge what this is as it might spoil things for some people. I especially like how the author is able to paint a picture in my mind with just a few words. Loved the book, would really recommend it.

HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 13:44:57

The Misremembered Man by Christine McKenna - overall rating 10/10

(From yogagran)

(2014) I loved this book too, very quirky & funny.

(From junesmith10)

(2013) The best book I've read for ages. I wish she wrote more - I laughed so much, but I also felt tearful.

HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 14:13:46

The Soldier's Wife by Joanna Trollope - overall rating 10/10

(From mrsmopp)

(2014) I am a huge fan of Joanna Trollope and this book certainly didn't disappoint. Brilliantly done. She is great at creating convincing characters you really care about, and I find all her books have been unputdownable. I also enjoy re-reading them after a bit of time and they are just as enjoyable a second time. Great on character, plot, everything. Eagerly awaiting her next one!

Absorbing from the first paragraph, Joanna Trollope's latest book The Soldier's Wife explores the relationships in a family on the return of the father/ husband/stepfather on his return from Afganistan. She explores the diverse reactions of all concerned and has, yet again, produced a well-researched page turner. This one will keep you up and you'll want to keep reading! Vocation and love collide and the whole family need to reassess their values and lifestyles. A great read.

(From eGJ)

(2012) Absorbing from the first paragraph, Joanna Trollope's latest book The Soldier's Wife explores the relationships in a family on the return of the father/ husband/stepfather on his return from Afganistan. She explores the diverse reactions of all concerned and has, yet again, produced a well-researched page turner. This one will keep you up and you'll want to keep reading! Vocation and love collide and the whole family need to reassess their values and lifestyles. A great read.

HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 14:17:04

A Dog Named Slugger by Leigh Brill - overall rating

(From joofficer)

(2012) Brilliant...The author was born with cerebal palsy and Slugger is a service dog that comes to aid her. It is a fantastic read, I had tears in my eyes at the end but it is such an uplifting tale. It's well worth the read.

HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 14:20:42

A Murderous Mind - overall rating 10/10

(From Louie)

(2012) This is an entertaining and rather quirky book. It is of particular interest to Gransnetters as the heroine (?) is over 60. It seemed very true to life in a lot of respects and seemed to me to be based on true experience. In spite of the title, its not a murder mystery. I would have liked it a bit longer. Maybe there will be a sequal?

HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 14:26:05

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HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 14:29:49

Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon - overall rating 10/10

(From jeni)

(2012) Great. They have humour and they are written by somebody who really knows Venice. The detective plots are very plausible and her characters seem to be drawn from real life. I recommend strongly for a good relaxing read.

HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 14:32:30

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HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 14:33:44

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini - overall rating 10/10

(From trisher)

(2014) The third book about Afghanistan from this exceptional writer. Ranging in time from 1952 to the present day it tells the stories of many characters connected by the separation of a brother and sister. It is informative, gripping, and moving. Hosseini's writing is so emotional and sensitive you are instantly involved in the lives of his characters. The people he portrays are always complicated, from the caring father who faces an impossible choice, to the drug baron whose beloved son is cared for in a protective bubble. If you haven't read "The Kite Runner" or "A Thousand Splendid Suns"then you have three wonderful novels waiting for you. If you have read them this book is another masterpiece. I recommend it to all of you.

HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 14:36:32

Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty - overall rating 10/10

(From namo)

(2014) Compelling. Perceptive. Brilliant writing. She's a great storyteller - it's more than a crime thriller. Thoroughly gripping read - right to the end. Told by main character - woman with a career, a beautiful home and good marriage but she meets a stranger and her life unravels.

(From Trisher)

(2014) Not only a whodunnit but also a "what have they really done?" This story will grip you to the very end. As the narrator reveals her story your feelings towards her change with every twist and turn right until the final paragraph. A great psychological study about the effects of infidelity and passion on a modern woman.

HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 14:39:47

Between a Mother and her Child by Elizabeth Noble - overall rating 10/10

(From eCJ)

(2012) A page-turner of a novel charting the complex relations in a family. Tantalising from the start as names are mentioned very early, but you are not sure how they will come into the story. It is heart warming in its romance, but tear jerking too as the characters take you from one emotion to the next. A solid story and a great read.

HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 14:42:01

Bringing up the Bodies by Hilary Mantell - overall rating 10/10

(From BoomerBabe)

(2013) A great sequel but also stands alone. This story is not just about the extraordinary historical figure Thomas Cromwell, but also brings to life the character of Henry VIII and the politics of his court. The role of the women, sold and bartered in marriage to suit the aspirations of their male relatives, is particularly fascinating. Exquisitely written in the present tense, it's not surprising that she won those awards!

HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 14:45:29

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese - overall rating 10/10

(From glitabo)

(2012) This excellent book is the story of twin boys who are the result of an illicit union between an Indian nun and a British doctor. It is set in Ethiopia in the 50s and the USA. It is a brilliant read. This is a book with a gripping story. I really cared what happened to the characters. One of my all time favourite books.

HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 14:48:46

Josephine: Desire, Ambition, Napoleon - overall rating 10/10

(From wallers5)

(2014) Historian Kate Williams tells the story of Napoleon’s consort Josephine from her time as a young woman in Martinique, so you get to read the bits others have left out. The struggle Josephine goes through written is a brilliant biography for those interested in history, telling us of her scary story, of sexual obsession, politics and surviving in a man's world.

HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 14:51:14

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HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 14:51:54

Longbourn by Jo Baker - overall rating 10/10

(From trisher)

(2014) A joy of a book. It tells the story of the servants in the Bennet household. If you are a Pride and Prejudice fan it follows the story precisely, if you aren't, don't worry it is still captivating. You'll be hooked by the details of life below stairs. Beautifully written it is a love story, with a mystery (who is James and what happened in his past?) You stay enthralled to the last page, and the characters live on in your memory. With a wealth of historical details you are transported to Georgian London, the Spanish Peninsula and of course Longbourn, where the harsh working conditions are vividly described. A truly captivating read.

HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 14:55:25

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HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 16:13:16

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - overall rating 10/10

(From eGJ)

(From 2012) This has to be my favourite of 2012 and I have read quite a few even though we're only in January!

This book is a really good read. I won't reveal the plotlines; you read it yourselves! You will want to read until the last full stop and not put it down. It will make you laugh out loud, but cry as well. This is one of those books that will stay with you long after you've read it. Me Before You is more than a romantic tale as it is a tale of courage, life and making choices in life.

HQ1 Tue 09-Jun-15 16:27:52

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