I gave this review a lot of thought. Lecky’s protagonist, Sarah, is an Irish spy with a tragic background—par for the course given the setting—and overall, she’s a character with a nice growth arc. That and the fresh take Lecky goes for, the use of Ireland as a backdrop, deserve a star, no questions asked.
The Mother of the Brontës just suffers from Manzoni's curse: the first few pages of a novel are eye watering, but if you can get past them, it’s all smooth sailing. Scratch that, it’s captivating.
Cleaning up the backlog means it’s two-in-one today, on which ‘two’ stands for ‘a couple of impressive photography books’. The topics couldn’t be any more different: one is about gardens and the other features theatres; nature and architecture are maybe on the opposite side of the spectrum, but I think they can complement each other in a beautiful way.
So, without further ado, I’ve got to say that Summer at the French Café is a peculiar one. It’s well-written, even if a bit slow here and there, and with an interesting pair of MCs. Kat and Noah have good inner voices, and they’re quite fun to follow along; maybe they should be a little more proactive though, less–less ‘life is steamrolling all over me’, but that’s a matter of personal tastes.
Travel books are comfort books. They’re there to take you on a journey–always appreciated–and show you new places. Or, old places you can’t get enough of. Here We Are… on Route 66 belongs to the latter category. I think I read a decent chunk of Route 66-related books, and I’m still coming back for more: there are so many attractions, so many cool places, and signs.
So if you’re wondering why I’m reviewing books at a slower pace, here’s your answer, and Truly, Darkly, Deeply is one of those novels caught up in the bottleneck. Is it a bad thing? Well. Not really, because the delay made me realize something: I couldn’t remember the plot anymore less than a month after shelving it. If you’re grimacing right now, I wouldn’t blame you–alarm bells and the likes.
Let me be as clear as possible here: Fu’s stronger point is her style. It’s beautiful, with a unique pacing and a rhythm that amazed me from start to finish. It’s lyrical, almost poetic, and yet precise. I mean, I can’t believe Peach Blossom Spring is her first novel: Fu proves to be a top-notch wordsmith already, achieving quality levels other authors can only dream of—yeah, even the more experienced ones.
Wow. And I mean, wow. And There He Kept Her is a straight five, no questions asked; it’s also going to be in my 2022 top ten list—yeah, it’s that good. Also, it's a debut. I'm sobbing here
The Downstairs Neighbours is a thriller I picked almost as an afterthought. I had no expectations going in and I ended up being surprised—in a good way! Cooper’s debut is a captivating read, featuring mystery and secrets in equal measure.
Covering recent historical events is not an easy feat. Both authors and readers might be emotionally biased about it, and that could affect the entire experience—that’s one reason why I’m careful when selecting such stories.