I was writing reviews for the following books when I realised I was repeating myself. Although all three have different writing styles and settings they share many other qualities and so I thought I’d combine my thoughts into one post, giving you a trio of entertaining reads to add to your TBR pile.
All three books captivate the reader, making you want to turn the pages quickly in order to find out what happens to the characters. They are all easy to read and the writing flows beautifully. If you are after an entertaining read I can’t really fault any of them – just pick the one that appeals the most and I’m sure you’ll enjoy being transported into its world.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Five words from the blurb: Greece, Heroes, King, war, immortal
Fleur Fisher drew this book to my attention. I have always wanted to know more about Greek mythology and so this well researched re-telling of Achilles’ story appealed to me. The book is narrated by Patroclus, a young prince who forms a strong bond with Achilles. We see them grow up together, learning to become warriors. Their friendship strengthens as they reach adulthood and embark on a journey that leads them into the Trojan war.
The Song of Achilles managed to combine humans and Gods in a way that seemed completely natural. I loved the vivid descriptions of this ancient time and the way the narrative brought the characters to life. The emotions felt real and I enjoyed seeing the love between Achilles and Patroclus blossom. It was wonderful for me to learn the full story behind the snippets of mythology I already knew.
If you have any interest in Greek mythology then I’m sure you’ll appreciate this emotional book. Recommended.
Gillespie and I by Jane Harris
Five words from the blurb: Glasgow, encounter, tragedy, mystery, humour
Gillespie and I is set in Glasgow at the end of the 19th century. The book is narrated by Harriet Baxter, a women who embarks on a journey to Glasgow in order to see the International Exhibition. Whilst there she meets the Gillespie family and becomes increasingly involved in their lives. Unfortunately the family is plagued by problems and Harriet is unable to prevent the tragedy that eventually occurs.
This book is packed with Victorian atmosphere, but is far lighter and chattier in tone than any of the other books I’ve read set during this period. It is impossible not to be warmed by Harriet’s banter and she charmed me into reading this 500 page chunkster twice as fast as I’d expected to.
I loved the way that snippets of information were sprinkled through the text, but I also liked the fact that many of my questions were left unanswered, leaving me to think about this book long after I’d finished it.
If you are after an entertaining Victorian mystery then I recommend getting hold of this book.
The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly
Five words from the blurb: London, dead, life, love, past
I first heard about this book on Steph and Tony’s Blog. She compared it to Tana French and I have to agree – this compelling thriller shares Tana French’s writing style and her skill for character development. The plot is a little different in that there is no police investigation; instead we follow the lives of the criminals as we discover what led them to commit their crime.
The Poison Tree is set in London and follows Karen, a student who is drawn towards a brother and sister who lead a glamorous lifestyle. The family’s problems are revealed slowly and although the plot isn’t particularly original, the structure is very clever. The book is gripping throughout, but I especially loved the last 50 pages – they ended the book perfectly.
Recommended to anyone looking for a character driven mystery.
Have you read any of these books?
Did you enjoy them?
Which one appeals to you most?