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Reviews Written by
J Hutch (North Yorkshire, UK)

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The Children Act
The Children Act
by Ian McEwan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, 9 July 2016
This review is from: The Children Act (Paperback)
Not that I dislike reading either, but the precise prose together with the cool main character in this novel left me cold. It also felt a bit pretentious. The main theme of religion in opposition to a child's welfare should have kept me interested, however I felt disappointed in the way it was handled by the author.


The King's Curse (Cousins War Series Book 6)
The King's Curse (Cousins War Series Book 6)
Price: £0.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Too long for me, 17 Jun. 2016
I gave 5stars to the White Queen, the first in this series, but this one dragged on too long for my liking. The story is told from the view point of Margret Pole, a cousin of Henry VIII, from the house of York. Although her life within and on the edge of the royal family is interesting, and often precarious, she didn't come across as a strong character. I nearly gave up before the end, but glad I didn't because the final section of the book was the most moving.


The Reluctant Fundamentalist
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
by Mohsin Hamid
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Subtly drew me in, 4 Jun. 2016
I loved the flow of the prose as the young Muslim Pakistani recounts his story of moving to America to study, fall in love and work. His monologue was intriguing and subtly drew me in to its many themes. With his success in study and work, and his integration into the western culture, he appeared to have accepted America. However, the events of 9/11 unsettled him; straddling the two cultures started to become an issue to him and he turned back towards his origins as he began to fall out of love with America. Frustratingly, due to the monologue, his reasons were not challenged in more depth, and I was left feeling that his change of heart was mainly due to ingrained cultural values and the need to be with his 'tribe'. I didn't think of him as a fundamentalist, therefore thought the title of the book was not the most appropriate, but this I think is tied up with the ambiguity of the ending.


Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe
Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming, 20 May 2016
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Saw the film years ago and loved it. Enjoyed the book too. It's full of endearing characters, charmingly described by a lovely old lady as she reminisces about living in a small community in the back of beyond.


The Twins
The Twins

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting reunion between two sisters with different experiences and views of WW2, 1 May 2016
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This review is from: The Twins (Kindle Edition)
Due to unfortunate family circumstances two German twin sisters become separate during childhood. One grows up in Holland with a Dutch family during WW2, becoming detached from her German origins, and her German identity. By chance they meet again late in life, and spend time together describing to each other their hardships before and during the war. They are keen explain their actions and those of others on 'their side' of the war, but there is also is a sense of one-up-manship in the recounting of their hardships. Because of their differring experiences and view points of the war, and despite their attempts at a good reconciliation, they find it hard to sympathise with each other. It is generally interesting, though I sometimes got lost or my mind wondered off in the detail, so perhaps a 3.5.


The End of Your Life Book Club
The End of Your Life Book Club
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Their mutual love of books not only gave them something to talk ..., 7 April 2016
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This is a lovely book about the author's mother and their time together during her last 18 months after a diagnosis of cancer of the pancreas. Will, the author is rightly proud of his mother: proud of her work, her willingness to help people and her strength to keep doing as much as she can during her illness. Their mutual love of books not only gave them something to talk about but it also brought them closer together and helped them to think and talk about the past, present and future, often in an indirect way. I hadn't read many of the books they mentioned, but it didn't seem to matter, I simply enjoyed their enthusiasm and was happy for them that they had this common interest to focus on during this difficult time.


After You'd Gone
After You'd Gone
Price: £4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Prefer the author's 'Vanishing act of Esme Lennox', 25 Mar. 2016
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This review is from: After You'd Gone (Kindle Edition)
Sorry I didn't enjoy the structure of the novel - it was written from too many different perspectives which chopped and changed between time frames too often. After a while it became easier to understand it but this story-telling method spoilt the flow of the story. I also didn't really buy into Alice and John's romance, as it seemed a little over the top.


Disclaimer
Disclaimer
by Renée Knight
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 21 Mar. 2016
This review is from: Disclaimer (Paperback)
A page turner with some depth. It was particularly interesting seeing characters from different perspectives. The idea for the story was good, however I found it hard to accept the thoughts and actions of the older man in the story - he was an odd character and not quite believable. Perhaps 3.5 overall.


Cutting For Stone
Cutting For Stone
by Abraham Verghese
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Something a bit different, 5 Mar. 2016
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This review is from: Cutting For Stone (Paperback)
Although I'm not a medical doctor, I really appreciated the author's love of surgery which permeated the novel, and I appreciated the way he wove medical details into the story. Along with the mainly Ethiopian setting, this made it very different and quite ambitious compared to other novels I have read. Nevertheless, it is very much about family and love, with a large chunk being a coming of age story.


The White Princess (Cousins War Series Book 5)
The White Princess (Cousins War Series Book 5)
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Another good read, 24 Feb. 2016
Was interesting reading about the merging of the house of York and the house Lancaster through the marriage of Princess Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV, and Henry the son of Margaret Beaufort. Unfortunately, this Union did not produce the peace it intended and Elizabeth had to spend a great deal of he life caught between loyalty and obedience to her husband and her loyalty to the house of York. It lacked some of the intensity of the early books in this series, and felt quite long so perhaps it might have been even better if it had been condensed a little.


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