Did I mention that we usually have two books to read a month? I don’t really expect everyone to read both, but there are occasions where we have more time and it’s nice to have a second book to talk about at meetings.
The husband’s secret – Liane Moriarty
In June the The husband’s secret was chosen by two different book club members, so it seemed a good choice as o. The blurb read well, it had ratings of 5/5 from Waterstones, and I like a good thriller, so I thought I would enjoy it.
The husband’s secret was not what I was expecting, it was easy to read, and most members of the club said they read it pretty quickly, some even ‘couldn’t put it down’. The thing is, I wouldn’t describe the book as a thriller at all, maybe at a push, a drama, but certainly not a thriller. I was not on the edge of my seat, there was no tension, and if I am honest it was a little irritating at times.
Luckily there were several stories intertwined in the book, and some of them worked fairly well, but some really did not. I will say this, the book is well written, with good use of language, and the writer’s emotional intelligence were all very good, but the story, that started well and had me intrigued, got weaker as the book went on.
Cecilia’s story (and the main plot-line) was a real page turner at first, even though I could not understand her actions, we discussed this at our meeting, and some of the members could identify with her. We also had the story of Tess, who, quite frankly, annoyed me to the point of almost quitting reading the book, however I decided that my irritation at the character was probably a sign that she was well written, and carried on. Tess is not a strong woman, and by the end of the book I wanted someone to give her a good shake. Then we were introduced to Rachel, the woman who lost her daughter long ago and was still coming to terms with this. Rachel, at last, gave me a character worth reading about, and I keep going.
The women’s lives are intertwined, and if I am honest I didn’t really care what happened to any of them. The book was more like a week in Eastenders than a thriller, and the plot was mostly predictable. The writing was good enough to keep me reading, even if I kept saying to myself ‘I hope there is a massive twist here that I am not expecting’ (there wasn’t). As a group our average rating for the book was 3.5*, so it could easily have been worse.
Thankfully the book did not take too long to read, and I quickly moved on to our second choice for the month –
Holes – Louis Sachar
Few of the club members read this for the meeting, although some had read it before, I had not. Aimee chose this book (I think), and I was worried that, as a book written for children I would find it dull, or that the writing would be simplistic, wrong and wrong again!
Holes is a truly wonderful book, easily deserving the 500+ 5* reviews on Amazon. It made me laugh, almost cry and then laugh again, I adored the characters, and could picture the boys digging in the dirt for hours. I hated the system for putting them there, and I hated the ‘Cruella DeVille’ type woman running the camp. I shook my head for the poor boys as they ate their onions for sustenance and I wanted to go and rescue them. The book ends with a real fist pump moment and I love it for that, I would recommend this book to anyone age 8-100. As a group, those who read it, gave it an average rating of 4.5* (for me it was an easy 5*, must check out the film).