Tag Archives: must read books

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Read Lisa Jewell’s Then She Was Gone yesterday. Started it in the evening and I couldn’t put it down till I had finished it. Then I couldn’t sleep because the story kept buzzing around in my head. I completely forgot that we were in the middle of the Corona pandemic. It is that kind of book… completely absorbing.

The story revolves around Laurel, a middle-aged mother whose teenage daughter Ellie, simply disappeared from the face of the earth ten years ago. Ellie was pretty, smart, charming and her mother’s darling. Police investigation revealed nothing and it was assumed that Ellie was just another teenage runaway. But Laurel refused to believe it. She becomes obsessed with finding out something, anything about Ellie to the point of the ruin of her marriage and alienation of her other two children. Her husband Paul and she part ways. Her other two elder children move out. She exists, just filling in her days, waiting…

Suddenly, ten years later she meets Floyd, a charming mathematician who makes her come alive again. Things which had meant nothing to her for so long suddenly become important…cooking, looking good, reaching out to her family. Her life has meaning again. Then she meets Poppy, Floyd’s nine year old daughter who bears an uncanny resemblance to her Ellie. The book is told from different POVs… Laurel, Floyd and Ellie. Dear reader, I pity you because I have already read the book and you haven’t! Sorry, got carried away 🙂 The author cleverly switches between POVs, keeping you gripping your seat. It was Ellie’s POV that kept me sleepless for a long time. Then there is a fourth POV. Whose that? Hey…that would be telling! READ THE BOOK!!!

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Just finished reading My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing. And let me tell you, whatever kind of books you might love, you will gobble this book. I finished it in a day, would have finished it in half if people would have left me alone 😑 Coming to the book, is it a thriller, a really weird love story, a domestic suspense? Heck, I don’t care. I loved it. I wish I could erase it from my mind so that I could have the delicious, wicked fun of reading it all over again! The story revolves around Millicent and her husband, who is incidentally the narrator of the story. The couple is happily married and still in love after 15 years of togetherness. They have two great kids and a lovely home. But something is missing. The spark has gone out of their romance. Most couples experience this at some point of their relationships but I can bet nobody would have tried what this couple does to reignite their relationship. They do something together, something huge, something unspeakable, they murder young woman. Why? Umm..read the story. The way Downing has weaved the story, the couple’s reasoning seems completely acceptable. Help, am I turning into a psychopath! Bet you feel the same way when you read this book.

The narrator loves his wife madly, even after so many years of marriage she remains something of a mystery, a woman he shouldn’t have got. He would do anything for her. Isn’t that what is every woman’s dream. From helping her cook, to picking up the kids from school to stalking prospective women to kill, the guy does it all. But surprisingly, the way Downing has drawn him, you do not hate him; he is actually endearing, he is human. 

As the story progresses, the narrator along with the readers slowly discovers who his wife really is. And what a ride it is! If I tell you about Millicent, it would rob you of the dark fun of finding out for yourself. Suffice it to say, you will not regret it. And you will start looking at everyday, common things which your partner does with new eyes. Oh, and your neighbours. Almost everyone you meet! You just have to read this book! 

Lockwood & Co by Jonathan Stroud

Whatever genre you maybe into, I can vouch for this series. It’s so very good. You are bound to like it. Jonathan Stroud is a gem of a writer. His Bartimaeus trilogy is fabulous. And this one is even more so. The premise is so very imaginative and unusual. A London plagued by ghosts. Ghosts which only the young can see. And so, it’s the lot of the children to rid London of its ghosts. Lockwood & Co is the smallest ghostbusting agency in town. But it’s definitely one of the best. The leader is the charismatic Anthony Lockwood, a suave, brave, handsome, charming (you can see how much I like him 😊) hero with a past. Then there is Lucy Carlyle who has the uncanny ability to talk to ghosts and who is incidentally the narrator of the books. Last but definitely not the least is plump, dirty, bespectacled George Cubbins who acts as the group’s researcher. Together they make a formidable team. There are so many tiny details which Stroud has penned, making this difficult to imagine world seem as real as well, the real world. When I read the first book in the series, The Screaming Staircase, I was spooked. I loved it but I didn’t want that book with me. It gave me the creeps. So, I gave it away to a friend, highly recommending it. After a while, my curiosity got the better of me and I devoured the rest of the books in the series, each more fantastic than the last. In each book, Stroud unfolds one particular haunting case in dark, dangerous detail. Ooh, I can see a ghost peeping over my shoulder as I write this. Quick, where is my lavender spray? Or even a salt bomb would do. Now what are these things to do with ghosts? You know the answer. READ these books to find out. It’s a spooky, engrossing, thrilling ride. And the end of the series is fantastic. Do give this one a try.

The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger

I lovvve this series! This was my first leap into the steampunk genre and though since then I have read other books steampunky, nothing comes close to this for sheer wow! The world building is amazing. Set in an alternate history version of Victorian England, this world has it all, humans, werewolves and vampires. And they all coexist happily, more or less. Oooh, did I mention the soulless or the preternaturals? The soulless are human beings with no souls. I mean literally no souls. Only people with “excess soul” can be turned into vampires and werewolves. The soulless having no soul are immune to such transformations and they are also unaffected by the powers of the former. In fact, the soulless are the only ones who can effectively kill the fanged and the furred members of the society. The heroine of this series is one terrific lady. Alexia Tarabotti later Lady Maccon is a soulless. She is still unmarried at the ripe old age of twenty-six, her too Italian complexion is looked down upon and she is the daughter of the notorious Alessandro Tarabotti, a famous preternatural. What is more, she is fond of eating and speaking her mind! Man, I love Alexia. The series follows her adventures and misadventures. The care and love with which Gail Carriger has moulded all the characters shows in every page. There is Lord Maccon, Alexia’s loud and often nude werewolf husband. Ivy Hisselpenny, the wearer of the most outrageously ugly hats and Alexia’s best friend. Incidentally, poor Alexia being a soulless is fashion handicapped because her style lacks soul! See what I mean about Gail Carriger’s writing? And then there is Lord Akeldama, the vampire! If for nothing else, read this series for this oh so delicious vampire.  

House of the Pines by Jan Tempest

A beautiful young heroine. Check. Two handsome heroes and one plain. Check. An old house. Check. Spooky atmosphere. Check. Now what makes this book different is how the the author weaves the entire mystery around a pack of cards. Beautiful Yves Petrone returns to her ancestral home House of the Pines with her half sister Becky responding to a plea by Torquil, her ex fiancé and current tenant to convince his wife Dana that the house is not haunted. Becky is an amateur fortune teller. Cards are her medium. Yves doesn’t believe in fortunes but always humours her sister. But Becky seems to hit a lucky streak once back at the her old house. Everything she foretells comes out to be true. Including a potential suitor for Yves, the dashing, mysterious Brett Vanuson. Does he love Yves or is he still waiting for his ex lover and Torquil’s wife Dana to come back to him? Or is he in league with the nanny Manon? What is with Torquil’s penchant for blondes? (I know it detracts from the mysterious air I am trying to build but its true 😊). This is one mystery book which I long to discuss with fellow bookworms. But unfortunately I haven’t met anyone who has already read it. But they do read it once I have finished extolling its beauties to them. Give this book a chance, next time you crave some gothic mystery. It won’t disappoint you!

Emily’s Quest by L.M.Montgomery

L.M.Montgomery is one of my absolutely favourite authors. And I know you are supposed to like Anne of Green Gables the most of all her books but frankly, I can’t. Emily has some appeal which Anne never had. Perhaps because Anne is like an open book full of fun, mischief and goody goody love while Emily is much more appealing with her Murray and Starr heritage. This book is the third part of the Emily trilogy and my personal favourite. Montgomery has a real gift of describing beauty so that you feel you are really standing in the place being described. I can’t stand long descriptions of places by most authors. It seems awfully dull. But with Montgomery the words seem to float out of the book and take you with them. Our Emily is a writer, she writes because she cannot not write (I can empathise!). She is funny and stubborn and loves taking long walks under the night sky. All things disapproved in women. I love Emily! I always feel Teddy Kent, whom she has always loved, is not good enough for her. I liked Dean Priest better, Emily’s friend and fiancé whom she ditches post having a vision in which she saves Teddy. Why??? But apart from this dissatisfaction, it is a great book. If nothing else, read it for the beauty hidden within every page like the elusive, mesmerising scent of some perfume. Oh and for Mr.Carpenter’s advice who is Emily’s old schoolteacher and mentor to would be authors. Beware of italics! Point taken, Mr. Carpenter!