Into the Water, Paul Hawkins
I had big expectations for the author of ‘Girl on the Train’ and whilst her second novel was an enjoyable read I’m not convinced that ‘Into the Water’ is in the same league.
The plot is based around the death of Nel Abbott which draws her sister Jules back to their childhood home. The sisters suffered a rift in their relationship during their teenage years which they never had the opportunity to resolve; and as the story unravels it becomes clear that the rift was based on a misunderstanding.
The characterisation is based on a number of women who endure suffering in different ways – not unlike Girl on the Train; but the similarities end there. 6/10
The Keeper of Lost Things, Ruth Hogan
I have to (with an element of literary shame) admit I was attracted to this book by the cover – it just sort of jumped out at me from a shelf of dark, moody illustrations. As I started reading it I had no real expectations and anticipated finishing it in a few nights. From the moment I started reading, I was drawn in almost immediately and I loved every delicious page. So much so that I rationed myself to two chapters a night so that I could truly savour it.
The book is about a writer who meets the love of his life and then loses her and the one thing she gave him to remember her. He starts collecting lost things and keeps them in his study with the intent of returning them to their rightful owners. When he dies he leaves his house and all its contents to his faithful assistant on the condition that she continues where he left off. There are multiple story threads woven into this main story-line and through these threads we meet many colourful characters.
The story-line is unique and natural; the characters are fascinating and the feeling it leaves you with is of warmth and contentment. 9/10