Tag Archives: identity

Dreamland by Tom Gilling

DATE FINISHED: July 28th, 2012 

RATED: ***

SYNOPSIS:  A seven year relationship has washed up to nothing, a career in journalism has been equally lacking in impetus. When Nick, against his better judgment, agrees to lie about a speeding ticket to get an old friend off the hook, he has no idea just how much the incident will change his so-so life. The speeding ticket turns into a fatal hit and run, and with no evidence of his innocence, Nick takes to the road and picks up a stranger’s identity en route.

THOUGHTS:  My main reason for picking up this book was the author – he wrote the wonderfully light historical novel Miles McGinty, and I hoped he might bring a similarly light touch to this mystery thriller, Read more of this post

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A True Story Based on Lies by Jennifer Clement

DATE FINISHED: July 19th, 2012 

RATED: **** (4.5)

SYNOPSIS:  Leonora is raised on Mexican folklore, its rhythm in her blood. After studying at a convent she is taken on as maid and nanny to a well-off couple, but when she falls pregnant by her employer, Mr. O’ Connor, she must give up her child to the couple for the sake of society and appearance. Aura Olivia calls Mrs O’ Connor mother, but Leonora’s blood courses through the household’s veins. In a house full of women, sometimes it is hard to know exactly where the power lies…

THOUGHTS:  Although set only decades ago, Clement’s prose has a timeless, storybook feel. Read more of this post

In a Dark Wood by Amanda Craig

DATE FINISHED: July 18th, 2012 

RATED: **** 

SYNOPSIS:  Benedick is miserable: recently divorced, acting career in the doldrums, at war with his father, and barely able to look after himself, let alone his two young children (who ex-wife Georgie keeps insisting spend time with him). Taking refuge in the home of Ruth, the woman who raised him as one of her own, Benedick suddenly realises he can remember almost nothing about his real mother, who committed suicide when he was six years old. Inspired by a book of fairy tales written and illustrated by Laura, he embarks upon a quest to discover more about her, whether she was mad as many of her ‘friends’ seem to claim, and what drove her beyond the brink.

THOUGHTS:  In the sheer unlikeability of lead character Benedick, Craig sets herself for a potentially huge downfall – he is irritating, whiny, hypocritical, rude, quite simply unpleasant. Those readers who force themselves beyond this, however, will be rewarded Read more of this post

I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb

DATE FINISHED: March 21st, 2011

RATED: *** (3.5)

SYNOPSIS: Twins Thomas and Dominick have always been opposites – Thomas sweet but weak, and Dominick strong but angry.  Together they grow-up with a mother who loves them but cannot stand up to the rages of their ex-military step-father Ray, against whom Dominick feels he alone carries the burden of protecting them.  When Thomas is diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 19 and his mother dies of cancer, Dominick remains loyal to his familial duties but his feelings of anger and guilt have increasing impact on his own personal life.  Before his mother dies she hands Dominick the manuscript of his grandfather’s life story – but will it answer any of the questions which plague him?

THOUGHTS: Read more of this post