Had been meaning to read this book since quite a while and am glad I finally picked it up. And what a story it is! It is a story of Theo, a psychotherapist and his patient, Alicia Berenson. Alicia has supposedly killed her husband six years ago. And since then she has been living in a mental care facility where she has not spoken a single word Why? That is what Theo desperately wants to find out
Theo is not without his own demons that hound him round the clock. A terrifying, hot tempered father whom he still carries around with him, even though he fled from the family home in his teens. His own “fucked up life” is what drew Theo towards psychotherapy. He can still remember Ruth, the lady who listened to him and cried for him when he thought his tears were frozen over. That is what he is determined to do for Alicia. Save her, just as Ruth saved him.
But how can he do that when Alicia refuses to talk? Undeterred, he seeks out her lawyer, Max, who is also her husband’s brother. Max is hiding something but what? He also pays a visit to Jean Pierre, Alicia’s art dealer and supposed best friend who has not visited Alicia once since the time of her husband’s death. Theo finds out about Alicia’s troubled childhood and a meeting with her cousin brother suddenly provides him with the key to the mystery.
So, mystery solved then, right? Nu..uh. This is the part where I sat with my nose touching the page till I had turned the last page of the book. Now, that’s a mystery. If you haven’t already, read this book right now.
These days thanks to the Corona virus, I am on a reading spree. Am currently devouring all Diana Wynne gems. Really, if there is one writer whose mind I would like to visit, even for an hour then that would be Diana Jones. If you have any of her books in your hand, you are bound to find it interesting, funny, gripping, somehow realistic, uplifting and the book will definitely enter the list of your all time favourite books. How does she do it? I wish I knew. And the plots of her books are absolutely delicious.
Take The Ogre Downstairs for instance. If you go by the cover, you would think the book is about a real ogre. But the ogre in this book is a man but when you hear the kids in the story talking about him, you start to fervently agree with them. The man is definitely an ogre. The ogre is Caspar, Johnny and Gwinny’s step dad. He has two kids of his own, Douglas and Malcolm. Together, with Sally, their mother, they all live in a house which is simply too small to accommodate them all. Caspar and Co hate the ogre and his snobby kids. Sally tries her best with them but they are always polite, nothing more. One month into their new life, things suddenly change. The ogre gifts a chemistry set to Johnny and Malcolm. Ooh, I really really wish I had one of those. Because you see these sets are magic. Johnny and Malcolm, both with an inquiring set of mind get experimenting with surprising and disastrous results. There is a lot of rivalry and secrecy is the key. Both set of kinds mix up a formula which makes them fly. Caspar somehow turns his finger invisible. Malcolm becomes a boy chameleon. Gwinny’s dolls come alive and demand food. And don’t get me started on the chocolate bars and the radiator. And the bucket! Jones weaves a magical tale and slowly things between the two set of kids start improving. They go from hating each other’s guts to understanding and defending one another from the ogre. But one day, their mother disappears. Johnny and Gwinny both try to kill the ogre with disastrous consequences. Of course, Sally returns and they all live happily ever after. But what happens to the ogre? Does he die or simply vanish? Want to find out. Read this book right now.
You know how I discovered Tom Holt…? By reading the Mapp & Lucia books written by him. I had finished all written by E.F.Benson, found two more written by somebody called Tom Holt and gobbled them like the rest. I couldn’t believe somebody could have so seamlessly taken over E.F.Benson’s books. Had I not already known that these two books were written by a different author, I would have never come to know. And that would have been a major loss. I would have missed out on two Lucia books and never discovered the zany, laugh out loud funny and unbelievably cool world of Tom Holt. Each of his stories is absolutely, completely different but with the quintessential, Tom Holt funniness running through every single page. The Good, The Bad and The Smug is one great read. As the title suggests, it questions our perceptions of good and bad and turns them completely over their heads. It makes you THINK but you think while having a good laugh. That is my idea of a good book. It follows the stories of several different characters over different universes but it all ties up in the end. One of the protagonists is Mordak, the king of goblins. Of course he is wickedly evil. Why? Oh, because he is a goblin! The goblins are all evil. So, whether he is getting better roads made or ensure that all goblin homes have indoor toilets, it is all part of a conspiracy! I love Tom Holt!!! Then we have his take on the subprime crisis via Mr Winckler or Rumpelstiltskin. His adventures or misadventures are laugh out loud funny. Oh and there is also a Dark Lord who wants pretty curtains for his tower, a snarky, witty elf and a whole lot of other amazing characters. Do give this one a try. You won’t regret it. And once you are done with this one, there are lots of other Tom Holt beauties to choose from. Happy reading!