THE MISSING WIFE by Sheila O’Flanagan


Under the pretext of going to France for a business trip, Imogen plans her disappearance. She needs to vanish without a leaving a trail, otherwise he’ll find her. Vince, the devoted husband, is distraught at Imogen’s disappearance. Or so it seems. Underneath his calm but concerned demeanour, Vince is seething. He is determined to find his wife and bring her back home where she belongs. With him. Imogen is his. And so begins the search for Imogen.

Meanwhile, Imogen has planted some misdirects in Paris, in the hopes that, should Vince come to France, he will end up far from her actual destination. She’s hiding out in her childhood seaside town, a time and place she never told Vince about. There are good and bad memories in Hendaye and Imogen confronts the ghosts of her past while the devil of her present stalks her.

The missing wife delves into the territory of bad marriages and controlling spouses. It’s not an easy topic to cover and O’Flanagan portrays well the subtle destruction of self confidence and resulting fear, and the shift to confidence once out of her husband’s reach. Imogen’s character is well developed, and there is a good sense of connecting with her. I thought Vince was a bit wooden at the start, but he becomes more menacing as the story unfolds. At times I felt there was too much telling of emotions and feelings through internal dialogue. A certain amount is needed to convey the turmoil that Imogen feels, but I wondered if perhaps some of her fear and insecurities could be shown rather than told. Overall, a good solid read, and perfect if you’re planning some lazy holiday lounging.

Rating:           3.5/5


The missing wife by Sheila O’Flanagan (Hatchette Australia, 2016)

ISBN: 9781472210777

NOTE: I received my copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


To find out more about Sheila O’Flanagan’s new title, or her previous titles, visit her website

Twitter @sheilaoflanagan



This book took me by surprise. Who knew that a story about a man and his dog could be so good? Not me, that’s for sure. It was funny, endearing, heartfelt and filled with lots of special moments that all pet owners will no doubt relate to. Lily and the Octopus was a genuinely delightful read.

Ted’s best friend is Lily, a rambunctious dachshund now in her older years. Ted and Lily do everything together – they have movie nights, eat pizza, talk about guys, play Monopoly, take walks around the neighbourhood, go for drives and eat ice-cream. After his break up with his boyfriend, Ted spends more and more time with Lily, and then one night he notices something odd: Lily has an octopus on her head. Perched over one eye, it clings to her, and refuses to leave, despite Ted’s numerous threats and pleading.

Ted’s friend, therapist and vet all join in calling the new arrival an octopus, and are duly sympathetic to the octopus’s grip on Lily and its vindictive attack on her health – she has seizures, and once the octopus inks her, she can no longer see. Ted, enraged by the the octopus and its refusal to leave, resorts to drastic measures in a bid to chase it away: he brings home another octopus and dismembers it, feeding chunks to the excited Lily. The octopus flees, but Ted isn’t satisfied. He knows in his heart that if he doesn’t track down the octopus and destroy it that it will return and take his beloved Lily from him. Ted simply won’t let that happen. He’s going to take a stand and fight for her life. And so the adventure begins, with Ted and Lily on the high seas in a fishing trawler, hunting the evil octopus. It’s an epic adventure that pushes them to the edge, and bonds them in new ways.

There is a magic to this book that slips in and surrounds you as you read. Lily is perfectly portrayed – she’s stubborn, has a big personality for a dog with short little legs, and enjoys life to the fullest. I had a dachshund when I was a kid, and he was just as excitable and cheeky as Lily. What I really enjoyed about this book was the relationship between Ted and Lily, the humanising of that bond and the depth of the emotions that tie them together. Highly recommend you put it on your reading list.

Rating:           5/5

Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley (Simon & Schuster 2016)

Web link:

NOTE: I received my copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Author website: Steven Rowley – Lily and the Octopus

BLACK-EYED SUSANS by Julia Heaberlin


There’s nothing better than jumping into a chilling psychological thriller when engulfed by a sweltering week-long summer heatwave. With the air-con blasting on high, I was quickly engrossed in Julia Heaberlin’s Black-Eyed Susans.

The tension kicks in from the start and from there it escalates relentlessly with clever plot twists and minimal clues. Sixteen-year-old Tessie Cartwright is missing 32 hours of her life after having been kidnapped and left for dead in a shallow grave with another dead body and an assortment of bones from earlier victims. Tessie’s makeshift grave was covered with yellow flowers, Black-Eyed Susans, and the girls in the grave are soon nicknamed after the flowers, by the press.

Fast-forward 20 years and Tessa (as she’s known in adulthood) is a single mother and artist who has attempted to move on from her traumatic abduction, but someone won’t let her rest. She wakes one winter morning to a patch of freshly planted Black-Eyed Susans underneath her window. Someone is toying with her, taunting her, but it can’t be the perpetrator because he was convicted and sent to jail. Or was he? Is the wrong man in jail, now on death row? Tessa is terrified that the real killer is stalking her, worse, stalking her daughter. The walls that she built to protect herself from her abduction and attempted murder begin to crumble; her sanity and her life are on the line. Again. There is a race against time – to save an innocent man from being killed for a murder he didn’t commit, and to save Tessa’s daughter from the twisted serial killer who haunts and taunts her.

This is a gem of a book and the story is multi-layered, complex and compelling. Told by both Tessie and Tessa, alternating from past to present, there is a slow revealing of events – the teenager who struggles to cope and her subsequent sessions with a therapist, and the woman who has moved on to make a new life for herself, despite her fragile mental state. There’s a good peppering of suspicious characters to keep you guessing who the nasty serial killer is, and the motivations behind it all.

The story is driven by facts and misplaced leads, and Julia Heaberlin shows exemplary skill in knowing just where and when to place a crumb of evidence, to lead the story onwards, and when to create a diversion or false lead that goes nowhere. Black-Eyed Susans is an exhilarating thriller built on masterful writing and expertly handled plot development. If you’re a thriller fan, then you simply must add for this book to your reading list.

Rating:   4/5


Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin (Penguin 2015)

ISBN: 9781405921299

Julia Heaberlin is the author of three thrillers and you can find out more about her other titles at her website:



The Passenger is a fast-paced thriller that will most certainly leave you breathless. The plot is well crafted with good twists and turns, populated with strong characters, and short clipped sentences provide good momentum driving narrative forward, capturing the constant sense of urgency.

Tanya has been living a secret life for almost a decade, but she’s not a skilled perpetrator on the run and there’s an innocence to her, a naivety that rounds out her character nicely. Her husband’s death triggers panic and she’s quickly on the run, trying to stay ahead of her past. She soon meets Blue, a barmaid with icy eyes and a questionable background. Blue offers Tanya a place to stay and a solution to both their problems – swap identities as a means of escaping their personal demons. On the surface it looks like a good idea and Tanya agrees, but it soon becomes clear that Blue is cold-hearted and in looking after her own interests has set Tanya up.

Tanya changes identities faster than costume change at a fashion show. She changes her hair and looks, and quickly becomes adept at pick pocketing women’s purses in pursuit of a new identity and cash to keep her on the run and off the radar. Lisa Lutz has handled these multiple changes well with credible circumstances surrounding each new reason to ditch the old name and find a new one.

Some parts could have been better addressed, such as when Blue’s husband tracks Tanya down in a remote town and beats her up to find out where his wife is, she escapes but there’s no reference to her injuries or any pain that she’s feeling, which might have slowed her down.

What was great about this novel is that women were the main characters holding the story together. Men feature as support characters, or love interests, or as back stabbing bastards, but the women are the power component, and they aren’t reliant on men to save them. These women are gutsy, smart and resourceful and not some simpering female sidekick to a male character. Blue is cold and calculating, and will kill at will for her own moral reasons, or less, while Tanya still has a soul and feels remorse for her actions, however, events ultimately take her to a place of no return and she soon feels her humanity slipping away as she leaves a trail of bodies in her wake.

Rating:          4/5

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz (Simon & Schuster 2016)

NOTE: I received my copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Author website: Lisa Lutz – The Passenger


HAUSFRAU by Jill Alexander Essbaum

Haus-Frau cover 2

There’s nothing like a cracking opening line to hook you into a book. Hausfrau is one of those books.

Anna was a good wife, mostly.

 There is so much contained within that one little sentence. It’s weighted with intrigue. It tells so much about the main character. I love it.

Anna married Bruno Benz because she was in a ‘version of love’ with him, and subsequently moved to Switzerland and started a family with him. After nine years of marriage and living in Dietlikon, a suburb of Zurich, she still feels isolated and estranged from everyone. She hasn’t learned the language, has very few friends and doesn’t even have a bank account. Her banker husband takes care of everything – the finances, any necessary paperwork and major life decisions.

Passive by nature, Anna struggles to make decisions for herself, instead allowing herself to go with the flow of events that she is presented with. She struggles to connect with her own emotions and deflects deep introspection when challenged by her therapist.

“A lonely woman is a dangerous woman.” Doktor Messerli spoke with a grave sincerity.

To compensate for her boredom and listlessness, Anna indulges in fleeting affairs, which are one of the few ways that she can feel anything. One of her affairs is intense, she falls in love, but her passivity prevents her from acting on her feelings, and so when he leaves she is devastated. Haunted by deep loneliness and sadness, Anna attracts more and more men, which leads to a web of deceit in which she ultimately becomes stuck and then undone by a trajectory of events that she could never have anticipated. She tries to right her wrongs, but some things cannot be undone, and she pays a terrible price for her actions.

“Love’s a sentence, Anna thought. A death sentence.”

Anna takes German classes at a language school and Jill Alexander Essbaum has woven in some wonderful parallels between the structure of learning German and Anna’s outlook on life. I admire Essbaum’s ability to apply the rules of grammar to life. It’s clever, witty and unexpected.

Hausfrau is beautifully written with a complexity that slowly unravels, just as Anna’s life unravels. Her loneliness is an ache that reaches off the page and ensnares you. Her desperation for comfort and human contact is tangible. She has a deep unfulfilled yearning for something that she can’t quite identify.

She may be a bit of an adulteress, but reserve your judgements for a moment, or until you’ve read the book. Bruno may bring home the bacon but he hasn’t bothered to set up a bank account for her. Pfft, passive or not, it doesn’t mean he can’t give her some independence. Not only that, he shuns her English-speaking friends making it clear that they are outsiders, are not and never will be a part of the local crowd. Throw in a haughty, unaccepting mother in-law and you start to get a clearer idea of Anna’s life.

Anyone who has spent an extended amount of time living in another country will be able to identify with Anna’s feelings of being adrift, not quite being able to fully connect with others, or the culture, and the chasm that exists through simply not being native to that place. How does one bridge those gaps? By the time Anna gains clarity on this and realises how much she had, she has lost everything.

I finished Hausfrau a few days ago and have moved on to another book, yet still it haunts me, fragments of it interrupt my current reading. It was such a good book that I fear it may taint my opinion of my next read!

Rating: 4.5/5


My kindle copy of Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum (Mantle 2015)

ISBN: 9781447280828

Author FB page:

THE HANDMAID’S TALE by Margaret Atwood

Handmaids tale v1
Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale has been on my ‘must read’ list for some time now. I’d heard and read so many good things about this book that I was excited to finally get the chance to read it for myself.

The novel is set in a future-America, where the political extremists have created the Republic of Gilead. Radiation, chemical pollution and rampant sexual disease have resulted in widespread infertility. Under the guise of attempting to bolster birth rates, the new social regime subjugates women, removes their rights to choice or freedom of any sort, instead forcing them into roles as breeders for wealthy and high-ranking infertile couples.

We follow Offred, who remembers parts of her life before the new regime, and the rules dictating her presence in the household of the Commander and his wife. Offred’s life is sparse, nothing is left to chance, and her room is devoid of anything that could be used to harm herself – a common occurrence in handmaids. Reading is forbidden, as is making general conversation with other handmaids, and Offred and the other handmaids are monitored closely – any sign of dissent and she will find herself hanged at the wall.

Desires, however, do not follow the whims of any regime, no matter how tyrannical, and it is through the desires of other people in the household that Offred finds herself in dangerous territory. The Commander desires more from her than obligatory sex at the set hour of the Ceremony, and the Commander’s wife, Serena Joy, desires a child and doesn’t care if she has to break some rules to get one. Offred’s own many desires surface as she becomes a pawn in a game of fulfilling her owners’ needs while attempting to keep hidden her actions and avoid being taken to the wall and hanged.

I haven’t read a lot of dystopian novels and so I am always fascinated by the author’s ability to create a whole new world where control of the people has reached such bleak, restrictive and soul destroying conditions. Margaret Atwood is a master at creating this bleak new world populated with the tension and agony of women being reduced to nothing but breeding machines. Every minutiae of Offred’s day is excruciating, slow, and devoid of intimate contact or acknowledgement that she exists as a human. The Ceremony, the time of copulation and attempted conception, is an act that boggles the mind and makes the feminist in me want to shout in outrage.

Actually, The Handmaid’s Tale triggered deep reactions and emotions in me, both as a woman and as a reader in general. There’s a whole kaleidoscope of emotions that swirl to the surface, retreat and come forth again in a different combination. Despair, bleakness, desperation, anger, outrage, apathy, desire, hope, joy and sadness have all been intertwined with masterful skill.

The Handmaid’s Tale is not a cheerful read, more likely if you’re a woman it will chill your blood and then set it boiling again. But don’t let that put you off. This novel reaffirms that the struggles women face and oppose every day to ensure they remain equal and free are worth it.

Rating:   4/5


My digital copy of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood  (Vintage, 2010)

Epub ISBN: 9781446485477

Author website:

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins


I thought I’d start the new year with a bang, and review Paula Hawkins’ thriller The Girl on the Train, which I read over the Christmas break. This is a book that has received a lot of press and deservedly so – it’s intense with a slow burn and building tension that hooks you in right from the start.

Rachel catches the train into London every morning on her way to work, or so she’s been telling her flatmate. On the daily commute she’s watches the backyards that face the rail line and has fixated on the residents of one particular residence. She names them ‘Jess and Jason’ and based on the snippets of their interactions that she sees as the train slows and stops for a minute each day, she fabricates a fantasy life for the couple. Then, one day, Rachel witnesses Megan (aka ‘Jess’) with another man, and not long after Jess goes missing. She is certain that she has seen something important, that she can help find Megan.

Rachel has problems of her own. She’s a divorced, jobless alcoholic who is pretending to go to work every day, and can’t quite seem to let go of her ex-husband, Tom, who has married Anna, and now has a baby. The one thing Rachel wanted but couldn’t have was a baby. Her ex-husband lives a few doors down from ‘Jess and Jason’, and Rachel has on occasion paid Anna and Tom a visit, but can’t always remember what happened because she’s so drunk she has blackouts.

Rachel’s desire to feel important, to be needed, lead her to involve herself in the investigation surrounding Megan’s disappearance. Along the way she is forced to confront her own actions and she wrestles with her inner demons and desires to reach for a drink at every moment. She’s unreliable, desperate, and despite her best intentions she gets herself into a deeper and deeper mess with her ex, her flatmate and the police. Rachel’s alcoholism makes her an unreliable witness to her own life, and the frustration that she feels at not being able to remember events is palpable. She’s sure that she saw something important, if only she could remember that night at the train station. She just needs to somehow regain those lost moments so that she can help find Megan.

Narrated by three different characters, all as unreliable as each other, all with secrets of their own to hide, this is a thriller that does not disappoint. But, don’t expect it to be a big, bold in-your-face action thriller. The Girl on a Train travels at a slower pace, circling and escalating that tension. There is a clever layering and intertwining of lives and events that snake around each other, revealing little by little clues to Megan’s disappearance. Addictive reading at it’s best. Once you start it, you won’t want to put it down.

Rating: 5/5

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Transworld Publishers 2015)

eISBN: 9781448171682

Author website:

Author FB page:



SummerHousewith Pool

I’m a fan of Herman Koch’s writing after reading The Dinner, and his new book Summer House with Swimming Pool did not disappoint. It lived up to Koch’s style of drawing the reader in, then exposing the main characters’ flaws and the lengths they will go to to avoid being held responsible for their actions. Even if that means committing unlawful acts, which they then justify as serving a higher purpose.

Generally the focus in Koch’s books is on the gentrified middle class, which in many ways makes these acts more shocking, less acceptable because they are educated, well-to-do people who know better but their sense of entitlement and arrogance gets in the way and they succumb to committing horrible acts against others, or covering them up. Koch’s characters are so real that they trigger intense reactions – discomfort, indignation and even outrage. It makes for some excellent reading.

Summer House with Swimming Pool revolves around the sudden death of famous actor, Ralph Meier, and if his high profile doctor, Marc Schlosser was involved in his patient’s demise. Ralph and Marc knew each other outside of doctor/patient parameters: Marc, his wife and two teenage daughters spent the previous summer with the Meiers at their summer house in the Mediterranean. During that holiday personal boundaries are crossed, the relaxed atmosphere generates a relaxing of morals, and a violent incident triggers suspicion, blame and the desire for revenge.

Summer House with Swimming Pool is written with precision and sharp cutting insights into narrator, Dr Marc Schlosser’s detached and oft scornful view of his patients and the people around him. The writing is well sculpted and slices away any pretence. From Mark’s perspective the patient is reduced down to bodily form, in all its naked sick ugliness, that he loathes to touch, but has no qualms with issuing drugs when asked. (I’ll never look at a standard doctor’s appointment the same way again.)

The tension builds slowly in this book, winding and twisting with psychological angst, and just when you think you have the answer to who did what, you turn the page to find out you’re wrong. Overall, a kicker of a psychological thriller, with the quick pace of a holiday read, and tied together by some truly great literary writing.

Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch (Text Publishing 2014)

Translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett

eISBN: 9781922148919

CHASING THE SCREAM: The first and last days of the war on drugs by Johann Hari

Chasing the screamChasing the Scream is an excellent book filled with fascinating facts and personal stories that will challenge your outlook and beliefs about drugs and how to solve the drug problem. It looks at drug users and addiction, and also the supply of drugs and how to end the drug wars that ravage so many communities.

This book is an absolute must-read. It’s not often that I say that. It’s a big statement, but I’m willing to stand by it. Chasing the Scream is a brilliant, powerful book that will turn your ideas about drug use and drug addiction upside down, and offer insights and solutions that you perhaps never thought were possible.

Johann Hari’s book focuses on the war on drugs that is occurring the world over, how western countries approach the drug problem, and their attitudes toward tackling that problem. The drug prohibition act started in America in 1914, but it was Harry Anslinger’s appointment as the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics that changed it from a tiny agency on the verge of being abolished to a seething, raging machine that ferociously and relentlessly targeted drug users. Quite often Anslinger’s policies were founded on false pretences or fabricated information. Even though statistics and research revealed that drug prohibition was not working (just like alcohol prohibition didn’t work) and that allowing a moderated use of drugs was more effective, Anslinger buried this evidence in favour of promoting his own agenda, that of focusing his personal rage and disgust at drug users and channelling it through his governmental power. That has since escalated over the past 100 years to influence the anti-drug campaigns that are now standard in most governments, and along with it the attitude that drug users are low life losers who should be scorned, and pushed to the outer fringes of society.

Hari himself admits throughout the book to having a negative attitude toward drugs and drug users through both his own personal experiences – he’s had loved ones spiral out of control due to drug use – but also through government propaganda generated through the media that conditioned his ideas and attitudes from an early age, as it does most people, because it was backed up by science. No one questioned this information because after all how could the government and scientists be wrong?

What is admirable is that Hari is determined to face up to his predetermined ideas about drug use and consider other perspectives. His research is well balanced and he approaches his subject from opposing sides, attempting to get a clearer picture about drug addicts and why they constantly return to substance abuse, to understand what drives that addiction, and to find out what the best means of treating that addiction might be. This is not a dry, history text. The evidence that Hari uncovers is makes for fascinating, page-turning reading.

For example, the World Health Organisation (WHO) conducted a study in 1995 into drug use, and the results showed that “experimental and occasional use are by far the most common types of use, and compulsive/dysfunctional [use] is far less common” (p148). The report was suppressed and never published because the US government threatened to cut WHO funding.

Around ten per cent of users are addicts, and yet is it this small minority that are the focus of the drug war. They are the focus of arrests, government campaigns warning against the impact of drug use, and symbolise the addict that is to be feared and reviled, as portrayed in various forms of media.

And yet, Hari writes

“… the overwhelming majority of people who use prohibited drugs do it because they get something good out of it – a fun night out dancing, the ability to meet a deadline, the chance to get a good night’s sleep, or insights into the part of the brain they couldn’t get on their own. For them it’s a positive experience, one that makes their lives better…” (p.148)

Hari talks to American writer Nick Gillespie who states:

“ ‘There is such a thing as responsible drug use, and it’s the norm not the exception.’ “ (p.148)

Hari looks closely at the marginalised ten per cent of drug users that are the prominent image projected as the reason for the fight against drugs. The peaking, freaked-out, out of control drug user squatting in abandoned buildings, roaming the street looking for their next score, rotting teeth and sores on their body, the junkie that will jump you in the dark.

What he discovers is that these people are damaged, that they have suffered severe traumas in their life, that they were damaged before they turned to drugs. They use drugs as a form of self-medication to escape the pain. He also discovers clinics where these people are treated as real people, shown kindness and compassion, given psychological treatment, offered education, and yes are allowed to still access their drug of choice in a safe, clean environment. The results are astonishing. The US government’s response to these clinics is also surprising, and the lengths that people will go to to suppress the truth is frightening.

I’m not going to include any more teasers. All I can say is that if you want to know about the incredible solutions that are available and yet not being applied to the war on drugs, then you want to read this book.

Chasing the Scream: The first and last days of the war on drugs by Johann Hari (Bloomsbury Circus 2015) ISBN: 9781408857847

Website: Chasing the Scream

Facebook: Chasing the Scream

DAYS OF AWE by Lauren Fox

Days of AweApologies, dear readers, for the lapse in posting regular book reviews. I’m sporting a wrist injury that makes typing unwieldy and I’m supposed to be resting it, but I couldn’t stand it any longer. I have a couple of books that I finished reading some time ago, and I just needed to post at least one review before starting a new book.

The exploration of death through the lens of friendship as opposed to an intimate family member is a concept that really appealed, and I feel isn’t a perspective that is oft portrayed. The premise and plot of Days of Awe are sound – the death of her best friend leaves Isabel feeling adrift, lost and unable to reconcile the gawping emptiness in her life, and she seeks desperately find an answer as to why her friend was taken from her. Was it really just an accident? Or was there something more sinister behind Josie’s death?

Throughout the book there is a constant play on the theme of accident versus sinister actions, which drives the narrative forward and provides a good deal of tension. It succeeds in keeping the reader guessing, wanting to discover the answer, but when the answer is finally revealed, I found it to be anticlimactic. Rather than sizzle, I felt somewhat deflated and let down.

Days of Awe has a strong and powerful back blurb that unfortunately the story itself doesn’t quite live up to. Lauren Fox is a good writer, and there are some really great moments of creative writing and colourful expressions such as a ‘the herd of wild minivans’ and ‘Her rusty 11-year-old Toyota skidded off the slick road like a can of soup rolling across a supermarket aisle.’

However, this is often this is clouded by overwriting and long rambling sections that slow the book down causing it to lose momentum in places. For example, in one part Isabel contemplates dating a much older man, and in the spur of the moment she suggests that they should go back to his place. Whilst in the kitchen she toys with the idea of whether or not she will go through with her invitation of shagging her senior date and there is a delicious to-fro moment where she considers that fact that he is so much older, what the repercussions would be on her marriage (despite the fact that her husband has moved out) when the story segues into a flashback that goes on and on and on. The flashback provides a good deal of backstory about Isabel’s life and events from the past, but it goes on for pages and pages, that by the time we are flipped back into the kitchen I’d completely forgotten that Isabel was deciding whether or not to fall into bed with her new older friend.

These meandering sections aside, Fox does convincingly portray the stages of grief, the hole that is left behind when a loved one dies, how it lingers and refuses to go away when others have long moved on. She paints an all-to-real picture of the relationship between a mother and almost-teenage daughter, the scathing pre-teen disdain, and the tensions that arise out of separating from a partner and the change in family dynamics. She throws into this emotional mix moments of humour, my favourite being where Isabel purposely drags her oil-smeared fingers along the silk scarf of one of Josie’s work colleagues, who has now also moved into Josie’s husband’s bed, leaving a trail of oily fingerprints in retribution.

While I wouldn’t say that Days of Awe was ‘daring’, ‘dazzling’ or ‘luminous’ – I think the copywriter was a little too enthusiastic, this doesn’t match the theme of the book and it’s suggestive of fun and frivolity that simply isn’t a part of the story. I would say that it is confronting, that the book manages to portray the deep despair and grief that accompanies death, and that Fox tempers this with moments of joy, wicked snippets of humour, of revealing the multifaceted nature of people and no matter how well you think you know someone they can still surprise you.

Note: I received a my copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Days of Awe by Lauren Fox (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2015)