BOOKS CHOSEN BY Máire:
1 UNRAVELLING OLIVER by LIZ NUGENT: This is the story of a husband, a monster with psychological problems. He beats his wife into a coma and after that horrendous attack, he reflects on his actions and the reasons that prompted this extraordinary development in his marriage. I loved this book because the characters were so realistic and gave me an insight into how hidden tensions and underlying tendencies can erupt and thereby change everything in a marriage.
2 THE ORCHADIST by AMANDA COPLIN: This is a debut novel written in the style of John Steinbeck. Set in rural North West America, a lonely man runs an orchard in hidden valley. The fruit he produces are akin to his family. One day two runaway young girls appear, distressed and starving. He takes them under his wing and the most extraordinary story unfolds. I loved this book for two reasons, the unusual relationships in the book and the beautiful construction of sentences and language.
3 I AM PILGRIM by TERRY HAYES: What an extraordinary novel about two extraordinary men. One is a chameleon who is set on destroying the Western World. While he changes his identity numerous times, his modus operandi remains the same. His mission is terror and extermination. His protagonist is a U.S. operative who is also an author of a book on espionage and counter-terrorism. I loved this book because we are taken on the most fascinating journey into terrorism and the mindset behind it. I have to say this is the best thriller I have ever read. It grabbed me from the start. I am not surprised it is currently in the Best Sellers.
4 FLIGHT by OONA FRAWLEY: This story blends fact and fiction, a family story for 21st century Ireland. A refugee from Zimbabwe comes to Ireland in order to finance her family at home. Secretly pregnant, she finds work with a couple who are in the early to late stages of Alzheimer’s. Meanwhile their daughter Elizabeth is struggling to cope with her own problems. I loved this because of the amazing lyrical language and the threads of loneliness and fear for both main characters.
5 THE DOVEKEEPERS by ALICE HOFFMAN: What a book! This tale is about the SIEGE OF MASADA 70 C.E. It uses the voices of 4 strong women and concentrates on the themes of friendship, love, sorrow and loyalty. This book is an extraordinary journey with these formidable characters. For anyone who is interested in history, this is one to read. I loved this because it immediately brought me into that era and I lived every moment with them. Most memorable and I would love to reread it. It is one of my most favourite reads of all time.
BOOKS CHOSEN by NICOLE
1. APPLE TREE YARD by LOUISE DOUGHTY: This is a dark psychological crime thriller, with a gripping courtroom drama. I enjoy a good thriller and this ticked all the boxes
2. CHESNUT STREET by MAEVE BINCHY: The Late Maeve Binchy's last book based on material she had left and put together by her husband Gordon Snell. This is such a lovely collection of 36 short stories of the residents of Chestnut Street, their dramas, their trials and tribulations and of course romance. This follows on with Maeve’s style and highlights the fact that some of the stories have life lessons or little messages in the story. I loved this book as it was so engaging and I felt I knew most of the residents personally.
3. THE GIRL WHO SAVED THE KIND OF SWEDEN by JONAS JONASSON: A Madcap roller coaster of a trip around the world with as much high points of 20th century history as Jonasson's debut novel "The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed out Of The Window And Disappeared”. I liked this because as in Jonasson’s previous book just mentioned, this new offering has a refreshing storyline and background.
4. THE PINK SUIT by NICOLE MARY KELBY: This is an enthralling novel based on the true story behind Jackie Kennedy's iconic pink suit. It beautifully captures the creating of the garments and style of the 60’s. I loved it because Jackie Kennedy by her very nature captivated the world and her memory and legacy continues to attract lots of new fans. By reading it you get lost in an era, the glamour and the intrigue.
5. THE SOLITUDE OF THOMAS CAVE by GEORGINA HARDING : A must read. A strangely beguiling atmospheric story of mans resilience against the odds of living in solitude in the Arctic for a year. It is a story of survival and fortitude. A fictional account loosely based on the diary of a whaler in the days of the whaling ships. This book has stayed with me for a long time, thought provoking. I love recommending this book to customers.