As I am a complete and utter book geek (aren’t we all?!) I have fairly extensive records of what I’ve read over the last couple of years. So with this information I’ve decided to take a look back every couple of weeks on the blog at what I was reading this time last year and also this time two years ago. The first two books that I’m taking a look at were absolutely fantastic reads and they couldn’t be more different from each other. I recommend them both – in fact I recommend everything by these two authors.
2016 – ‘Devotion’ Louisa Young
Tom loves Nenna. Nenna loves her father. Her father loves Mussolini. Ideals and convictions are not always so clear in the murky years between the end of the First World War and the beginning of the Second. For Tom and Kitty Locke, children of the damaged WW1 generation, visiting their cousin Nenna in Rome is a pure joy. For their adoptive parents Nadine and Riley, though, the ground is still shifting underfoot. Nobody knew in 1919 that the children they were bearing would be just ripe for the next war in 1939; nobody knew, in 1935, the implications of an Italian Jewish family supporting Mussolini. As the heat rises across Europe, voices grow louder and everyone must brace once more to decide what should bring them together, and what must drive them apart.
I really enjoyed this book – I knew I would because I loved Louisa Young’s previous two novels. As soon as you start reading, the history and events of ‘My Dear I Wanted To Tell You’ and ‘The Heroes Welcome’ come flooding back. Meeting these characters again is like returning home after a long trip away.
Full of vivid descriptions of hot summers spent in Italy in the 20’s and 30’s. You can see the lake glimmer and taste the sunshine in the air. But it’s the calm before the storm. The children our well loved characters have born and raised will soon face the horrors for World War Two. Louisa Young has done a wonderful job of re-creating the sense of unease, the simmering tensions and the growing fractions that led to this point in time. With the cliff hanger ending I am expecting (hoping) for another book, I love these characters, they feel like friends and I am already excited about meeting them again. More please!
2015 – ‘Only Ever Yours’ Louise O’Neill
The School trains them to be pretty The School trains them to be good. The School trains them to Always be Willing. All their lives, the eves have been waiting. Now, they are ready for the outside world. companion …concubine …or chastity Only the best will be chosen. And only the Men decide.
Razor sharp and deeply unnerving. This book is a dark look society and media pressures on young women today. What makes this book so chilling is the simple fact that this dystopian world created by Louise O’Neill is actually not that far away from our own. This is something that you can really imagine happening. And it’s frightening. The cover of this book is genius and is so apt for the story, very clever. This is a book and a world that is going to stick in my mind for a long time to come.
Book synopsis and covers from waterstones.com