I know it’s not been long since number 2, but I’m back already with Isolation Bookclub number 3! We’re not really in isolation anymore, but the pandemic is still a real problem and life isn’t normal again yet so I’m just going to stick to this name for a little while yet, as it still very much feels like the lockdown reading train. Anyway, I’ll get straight into it…
Where the Crawdads Sing- Delia Owens
This one I found solely through it being so highly rated on Goodreads, and decided to give it a go. Where the Crawdads Sing is very different to the kind of modern-day relatable books I usually go for, and I felt that it was quite slow initially, which had me wondering what all the fuss was about. But then I totally got sucked in to the story, and found it to be one of those novels that acts as such an escape for the reader. Whether that is because of the intense focus on nature which I find incredibly calming to read, or the fact that it is set in a much simpler time without the technology and the complications of that, which I also very calming as a reader. The story follows the main character Kaya, from early childhood through to her 20’s and the journey she goes on within her very unique and interesting lifestyle in the North Carolina marshland. Oh, and if you like a crime story then this is definitely one for you. Let’s just say I’m very excited to see the screen adaptation that I believe got commissioned for a feature film last year, bring on Where the Crawdads Sing the movie.
The Flat Share- Beth O’Leary
I only gave this a 3 star review on Goodreads, but on reflection I think I was actually a little stingy with that, potentially because I read this just after Daisy Jones, which was a a total 6/5! So anyway, I’ve upped my review to 4 stars for the blog post, because I did really enjoy this book. I found it a little slow to get into initially (this seems to be a theme with most of my reads lately!), but then I found myself really engrossed by the characters. Again, this is another book that flips between two people’s points of view from chapter to chapter which you know by now is a big yes from me!
The story follows twenty somethings in London who find themselves in a 1 bedroom flat share but never actually see each other due to their shift patterns. They are polar opposite personalities but both have a lot going on in their lives emotionally. Although it’s, overall, a quite light-hearted feeling book, it actually explores some real issues that are all too common but not spoken about very much such as gaslighting and emotional abuse in relationships. It’s actually really difficult to read at times but I think Beth O’Leary did a great job in her portrayal of this. The ‘flat mates’ end up connecting and get to know one another through what starts off as one post-it note left on the kitchen side, and ends up as a bit of a whirlwind really. It’s a will-they, won’t-they kind of journey, and all in all a really enjoyable read.
Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng
Here’s one you MUST have heard about. It’s a novel that is a few years old and I’ve been meaning to get my teeth into for a while. But seeing the Amazon series come out in May triggered me to get myself a copy and read it before watching the show. WOW. I loved it. A complex story of female relationships and secrets within them. I adore how female dominated this story is, and how powerfully Celeste Ng captured and portrayed the emotion within these women and what connected them all, whether it as love, hatred, judgment or worry.
The touchy, but oh so relevant, topic of race relations in America is a strong theme throughout the book, and white privilege in-particular is probably the most prominent issue that I took from the novel and the TV show. The story is based in Shaker Heights, Ohio, which is a mainly white, wealthy US suburb where the author actually grew up herself, and it is set during the late 90’s. It’s sad to see that all the race issues still exist today and that is something I really struggle to wrap my brain around, but it is obviously so important for us to be aware of rather than play ignorant.
It’s an exciting and griping read, with so many twists and turns that I lost count. Would definitely recommend reading and also watching the TV show. Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon were phenomenal and absolutely blew me away. There is a lot in the TV show that wasn’t in the book, but I think they had to pad it out a bit in order to fill an entire series, and I think it made it even more epic, so it’s definitely one to watch.
And there you have my latest 3 lockdown reading reviews, all great books but Where the Crawdads Sing is definitely my fave. What have you guys been reading lately?