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Thursday, 1 September 2011

September Reads

Welcome to my little Niche within the library. So grab a coffee and let's review some books.

The LanternThe Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Deborah Lawerenson

In a little Hamlet in Provence lies Les GenÉvriers, an old run- down farmhouse in the Luberon valley of Provence. When Eve met Dom she thought she met her match. Dom and Eve decide to build a future in Provence in the Luberon Valley of Southern France. At first Eve is enchanted by the cottage and surrounding farmhouse when they first purchased it from the Estate Agents and went to live in it. But soon, as summer ends, Eve discovers secrets and ghosts in the cottage...secrets that haunt her. With each day Dom begins to withdraw within himself and Eve is left on her own to ponder the strange shadows and flickering lights that emerge throughout the house and garden.

Eve, an avid bookworm discovers a children's book in one of the wardrobes of the house and soon begins to delve into Le Genevries's history and previous owners....the Lincel family. When Eve and Dom meet a strange woman at a dinner party....a woman who claims to know about Dom's past and several legends surrounding Les GenÉvriers, Eve begins to question he really the man he says he is. What became of Rachel, his first wife? Each day a new mystery unfolds and Eve is caught in a web of mystery, deceit and lies. What secrets does the house hold? Who is Benedict and Marthe?

The Lantern is a well-written story about how dangerous a wild imagination can be. It is a ghost story, a romance novel, a mystery, a Crime story and a Gothic Novel rolled into one. I fell in love with the story and couldn't put it down. As the story unfolded I wanted to find out what happened to Rachel. Was she murdered? Did she vanish without a trace like Marthe Lincel? The answers to all these questions are revealed within the descriptive pages of this wonderful book. The characters are well-rounded and I identified with the character of BÉnÉdicte. I disliked the character of Pierre Lincel. I was shocked by a scene in the book where Pierre strangles a cat and quarters it before Benedict’s eyes for being betrayed by his sister when their father, discovers a revolver which Pierre had asked BÉnÉdicte to hide for him. Yet, this story is well-written and highly descriptive. I love the plot twist in the end. I commend the author for a great story.

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The RadleysThe Radleys by Matt Haig

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Radleys by Matt Haig

The Radleys is a book by Matt Haig. It is a book about Vampires, but with a twist. Meet the Radleys, four seemingly normal members of modern society living on 19 Orchard Lane in Bishothorpe, a very mundane village in York. The family is composed of Peter Radley, a doctor, his wife, Helen, Rowan...their son who suffers from a skin disorder and insomnia and his sister, Clara.....a sickly girl who is a vegetarian. On the surface, this is a normal family living in suburbia but on closer look this family is hiding a guarded secret..........a very dark and Gothic secret. Pete and Helen try to suppress this secret not only from society, but from their children whom they try desperately to protect.

One night, Clara is attacked by a boy whom she met at her friend Eve’s party. Pinning her on the ground the boy tries to have his way with her; but then something strange happens and Clara’s true colours bursts out leaving the boy dead. Confused, Clara phones her parents and they are forced to tell her and her brother the truth about who they really are.
The book isn’t just about vampires; it is a book about families and how they cope and come together as a family unit when dealing with crises. It is a book about facades and stigmas of family people learn to suppress their true identity from society and hide it from their children in an effort to conform to society and normality. Within the book is another book called the Abstainer’s Handbook...a handbook for vampires to abstain from their cravings for blood. I thought this was funny and very original.

The book is well written and funny. Haig takes the overrated subject of Vampires and weaves it into a modern farce with humourous undertones; giving this overrated genre a human twist to it. I enjoyed reading this light but entertaining book. The characters are well-rounded and rich. One of my favourite characters is Uncle Will. He strikes me as a young version of Leslie Nelson in Dracula--Dead and Loving it. LOL The book ends on a positive note.

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