What We're Reading

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Neil

Below Deck, by Sophie Hardcastle (A&U March 2020)

This novel comes incredibly highly regarded from almost everybody who has read it, and I can understand why: it's compelling, thought provoking, confronting and poetic. It follows the experiences of a young woman, Olivia, whose life has come adrift until she falls in with an elderly couple who teach her the joys of sailing, and she comes to love the open seas and the freedom that comes with it. Then, a shocking event changes everything. If you like Jodi Picoult and Liane Moriarty, you'll love this, but I do have reservations.

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Neil

Good Dogs Don't Make It To The South Pole, by Hans-Olav Thyvold (A&U February 2020)

In the same vein as The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, but with dogs, Good Dogs is a charming, wise and inspiring novel about ageing, polar exploration, and the love for dogs. Funny and moving, especially for dog lovers this is a perfect light read.

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Neil

The Boyfriend, by Laura Southgate (VUP 2019)

The Boyfriend is Laura Southgate's first book, but it doesn't show. It's a psychologically astute story of a naive 17 year old girl, who falls in love with a damaged and controlling 42 year old man. It's a courageous and honest novel, unsettling, funny and haunting.

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Neil

Sweet Sorrow, by David Nicholls (Hachette 2019)

David Nicholls is one of those rare things - a popular but also literary authors. Sweet Sorrow is a beautifully observed, nostalgic novel about a teenage boy's first summer love experience. It's evocative, romantic but not cloying, moving and funny. Nicholls really gets it right in this novel, the power of youthful emotion is brilliantly achieved, and the narrative well timed.