The Other Me

 Eliza Bennett has the life she always dreamed of. She’s who she wants to be, and she’s with the man she wants to be with. But Eliza is living a lie. Her real name is Klaudia Myer. And Klaudia is on the run. She’s escaping her old life and a terrible secret buried at the heart of her family. This is the story of Eliza and Klaudia: one woman, two lives and a lie they cannot hide from.

This book blew me away. It was brilliant. Compelling, emotional and heartbreaking; bringing alive the feelings and thoughts of the individuals so well they jump off the page.

Once I had started it I just could not put it down, turning every page to see what was going to be revealed next. The story is told from 3 points of view – Klaudia, Eliza and Ernst, in 1986, 1996 and the 1930’s respectively. Ernst’s recollections in particular were thought provoking and heartbreaking and each narrative managed to evoke the era very well.

This book shows how quickly a lie can spiral out of control, how what we believe isn’t always the truth and the heartache of families torn apart by miscommunication.

The blurb indicates it is a thriller but I wouldn’t call it that at all, it is a powerful story about a young woman’s journey in dealing with the shadows of her past, accepting there are things she cannot change but do not define who she is now; there is also a love story entwined but is a very small part of the overall story.

Definitely not a book I would normally pick up to read but having been sent it by the publisher for an honest review I am so glad I did.

I would definitely recommend reading this, but put time aside to read as once you start you won’t want to stop!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Saskia Sarginson
  • Format: Paperback
  • Publisher: Piatkus
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Sister

I’d heard a lot about this book from various sources, usually with complete enthusiasm but never much about the plot.  Having just finished it, I totally get why.  You can’t say much about it beyond the main character’s sister has gone missing and it’s about her journey to find her.  Any more than that and it would completely ruin it for someone who wants to read it (and you really do!).

Sister is an amazing book that gripped me and I just couldn’t put it down.  I started it Sunday morning and finished it in the afternoon and I was left with that lovely ‘Wow’ feeling and then had to think about it for a while.  I didn’t see the ending coming at all and once I had finished I could see the tiny and very subtle hints leaning towards it but for the life of me, I totally missed putting them together.  Rosamund Lupton is a master at getting you to look the wrong way.  For that very reason I think the ending has that much more of an impact, when the dawning realisation mixed with horror hits you.

As a debut novel, it’s nothing short of amazing; the plot was intricate but easy to understand and the writing so clean and smooth, I didn’t realise how much of it I had read until my husband commented.

It’s hard to put a label on Sister.  It’s part crime, part thriller but with a little edge of future-science to wrap it up into a book that I now want everyone to read so I can talk about it!  I might find I was the only one who missed the clues but that’s not unusual because I get so caught up in the story.

Lupton’s characterisations were extremely well done.  I loved Beatrice and the changes she undergoes throughout her journey, how much her life alters through her solid refusal to believe what she’s been told, and her determination to find out the truth.  She was both believable and real, and the love she has for her sister got to me in a deep and profound way.

The supporting cast were as solid as Beatrice; her mother who has already been through enough tragedy with the loss of a son at an early age, her safe dependable and boring fiance who just wants her to accept things as they are so they can go back to the States.  The police she encounters repeatedly in her search were well written and their actions were understandable, even as you felt her frustration with them.   The best character other than Beatrice was Mr Wright, the CPS Lawyer who takes her through the events of her search.  They make up the most of the book along with narration or a letter to her sister.  He was utterly believeable and I loved him.

I can only briefly mention the ending in that it left me shocked and speechless but with the feeling that I had just read something incredible.

Sister is a fascinating and enjoyable book that will pull you in and refuse to let you go until you know the truth.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Rosamund Lupton
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Winston’s War

Winston’s war is the first of four books that follow Winston through the war years.

It’s 1938 and the then Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain has pulled off a masterstroke of diplomacy by securing “Peace for our time” thanks to a deal with Adolph Hitler.  Whilst Britain celebrates, Winston Churchill MP becomes ever more the villain as he seeks to replace compromise with conflict.  Intimately follow an outcast Winston as he defeats both his own internal gremlins and those within the House of Lords to become Britain’s newest Prime Minister.  All this, of course, set against the background of Europe, lost in retreat and looking for hope and leadership.

I loved this book.  Winston leaps off the page thanks to beautiful characterisation.  Churchill is well researched yet embellished with enough “writer’s licence” to give him back his human frailty and depth of thought.  Meanwhile key historical events are candidly experienced and explained through a number of interlaced side stories.

If you enjoy a good yarn that will teach you some of the less publicised truths behind Britains entry into WWII then you too will embrace this series of books.   On the other hand if you are a strict scholar of 20th Century history then you may find the odd fictional leap of faith unpalatable.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Michael Dobbs
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