Book Review: Helen Dunmore, Talking to the Dead

On the surface, Nina and Isabel appear to be like many close sisters, finishing each others thoughts and sentences and, above all else, fiercely loyal, despite many betrayals over the course of their relationship, big and little. After Isabel’s difficult birth of her first child, Nina, a traveling freelance photographer, goes to her older sister’s aid at her country house outside of Brighton, England. There the past confronts the sister’s as waves crashing on the shore as they struggle through the hottest summer in two hundred years, each consumed with their own savage version of the truth of the defining moment of their childhood, while betrayal takes on new levels and meaning. Excellent, compelling story with a riveting narrator that I was unable to put down much of Sunday.

Book Review: Anna Gavalda, Someone I Loved

After Chloé’s husband leaves her for another woman, her father-in-law takes her and her two daughters to his country house. As their days together unfold Chloé finds that the misconceptions she had about the man are too simple to be acceptable, as their relationship changes into something more complex just as it seems as if it’s about to end. While I read this short novel in one sitting, the questions their similar though different and ultimately human situations raised about love, selfishness, selflessness, and, indeed, the self will remain with me for some time.

Book Review: Daphne du Maurier, Hungry Hill

One of my favorite kind of books: a long family tragic saga spanning multiple generations. When Copper John opens a mine on Hungry Hill in the town of Doonhaven against pretty much the whole community’s will he invites a curse from a rival family, the Donovan’s. Passed down through each generation of successive John’s and Henry’s, one horrible thing after another happens to the family that extends to those brought into the family by marriage also, not just blood. The opposition to the mine as a main plot point was fitting to read now with the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline happening right now. A fantastic novel. She’s quick becoming one of my favorite authors.