The Colour of Water in July by Nora Carroll (3.5/5 stars)
A summer of romance, a childhood broken and secrets buried for a lifetime. Jess grew up visiting her grandmother's lakeside house every summer, a period of stability away from her life on the road with her journalist mother. The summer before Jess left for university was a summer she would never forget, it was the summer she first fell in love and the summer she lost something too precious. Seventeen years passed and Jess did not see her grandmother again so is shocked to discover that she was left the house upon her death. Returning to the house, she slowly begins to unravel a long-buried secret and painful memories that her grandmother tried so hard to bury.
The Colour of Water in July is a really lovely book. It took me a few chapters to get into it but by the end I had been pulled in and really didn't want it to end. It's filled with rich descriptions and paints such a vivid picture of the characters and the life that surrounds them. There are unexpected turns but it's told in such a gentle way, not like the fast paced and often tense stories I normally gravitate towards. It's a story of lives that wind together, bound by a secret that most didn't know existed. It's about self-discovery and the power of love, family, and hidden pasts.
The Turning Point by Freya North (4/5 stars)
It was love at first sight when Frankie and Scott met. Despite living thousands of miles apart, they find themselves in the same place at the same time one evening and from there their story begins. After a few wonderful days spent blissfully happy, they return to their homes: Frankie to Norfolk where she lives with her two children and Scott to Canada. While distance parts them, an unlikely love blossoms, a spark turns into a deep connection and they cannot imagine what life would have been like had they never met. For Frankie and Scott, their lives are going to change forever, but just not perhaps in the way you might think.
I'd read the description of this book a few times before deciding to buy it, eventually being persuaded by the huge amount of five star reviews it has on Amazon. The Turning Point is simply a love story, a tale of a connection so deep it can only be fiction. It's about finding love in the most unexpected places and how distance is only a number. It wasn't the story I was expecting when I started reading this book, in fact, in the beginning, I just kept thinking it was too good to be true, that something would happen soon because that's just what always happens. It's beautiful, tragic and emotionally draining. It's not a book I would normally read, the love cynic in me steering away from anything too soppy and romantic, but I really did love this book, just not in the way I thought I might.
While My Eyes Were Closed by Linda Green (3/5 stars)
When you play hide and seek you expect the other person to disappear out of sight. What you don't expect is that they will disappear completely and become a missing person, which is exactly what happened to Lisa when she played the game with her four year old daughter Ella. A search party is launched and all eyes turn to one man, a convict who lives near the park and also happens to be on the sex offenders list but is that too stereotypical, should they be searching closer to home?
After Ella goes missing quite early on into the book, the rest of the story is told in alternating chapters between the three main characters. It's every parent's worst nightmare to lose a child, but when it happened while your eyes were closed, not watching over their every move, things can become a little complicated. This book captures the terror and heartbreak of not knowing where you child is, but also shows how every move we make is subject the judgement and scrutiny of others, sometimes with disastrous consequences. It's a little slower paced that most psychological thrillers but this gives more time to focus on the characters, their emotions and the things that have happened in their lives that have made them who they are today. I did enjoy it but it didn't stand out among other books I have read recently.
Have you read any good books recently?