One golden afternoon, Persephone was chasing butterflies as they flitted from blossom to blossom in a sun-dappled meadow. Suddenly, she heard a deep rending and roaring sound. The hillside in front of her split apart, and from out of the opening there thundered a great chariot. Before the terrified girl had a chance to turn and run, the driver had scooped her up, swung the chariot round and driven it back through the cleft in the hillside.
Hades, the king of the Underworld had claimed his queen.
‘Persephone has eaten fruit from my kingdom,’ Hades explained to Zeus. ‘It is ordained that all who have tasted the food of hell must return. She has tasted six pomegranate seeds so she must come back to me for sixth months of every year.’
The world had found a new rhythm.
Unsurprisingly, Stephen Fry proves to be a wonderful narrator, bringing life, humour, and modernity into these age-old stories, and the book never feels dry or dull in any way. His down-to-earth humour and modern narration have turned these gods into relatable and fascinating characters. Fry’s unique style allows us to enjoy the Greek myths in all their glory. Mythos is a total joy to read, and hugely entertaining.
The Giver of Stars
England, late 1930s, and Alice Wright – restless, stifled – makes an impulsive decision to marry wealthy American Bennett Van Cleve and leave her home and family behind.
But stuffy, disapproving Baileyville, Kentucky, where her husband favours his work over his wife and is dominated by his overbearing father, is not the adventure – or the escape – that she hoped for.
That is, until she meets Margery O’Hare, a troublesome woman – and daughter of a notorious felon – the town wishes to forget. Margery’s on a mission to spread the wonder of books and reading to the poor and lost – and she needs Alice’s help.
Trekking alone under big open skies, through wild. Mountain forests, Alice, Margery and their fellow sisters of the trail discover freedom, friendship, and a life to call their own.But when Baileyville turns against them, will their belief in one another – and the power of the written world – be enough to save them?
Inspired by a true story, The Giver of Stars is an entertaining, immersive and incredibly moving historical fiction novel. The novel is based on true events and people, yet it is Moyes’s rich character development and the story line of these ladies that really drives the novel.
This fantastic new standalone novel spins an inspiring tale of companionship and determination during the days of the Great Depression. The writing is captivating and highly entertaining throughout all the ups and downs of the story. I finished the book in just a few sittings and cherished every page. Following five incredible women across the dust bowls and prairies of America, The Giver of Stars is a beautifully told story of friendship and the eternal power of books.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.
Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled existence. Except, sometimes, everything…
This is a book about Eleanor Oliphant; one of the most fascinating, complex, amusing and brave characters I’ve come across in a while. She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Seemingly nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
Eleanor lives a pretty secluded life due to her crippling self esteem and anxiety issues, but she is very likeable and her character certainly grew on me the more I read. She has had a scarred childhood, although we don’t learn exactly what happened until much later in the story. She wears the evidence on her face, and this contributes to her severe lack of confidence, particularly in making friends or being able to enjoy a social life. She remembers little from her childhood, and the only thing she really knows for sure is that she was burned in a fire.
I loved this book and I really don’t think I’ll be forgetting Eleanor or her story anytime soon.
These Dividing Walls
Number thirty-seven has its stories; in this it is like any building. For what building doesn’t have secrets? How much does anyone know of what goes on behind their neighbours’ doors?
In a forgotten corner of Paris stands a building.
Within its walls, people talk and kiss, laugh and cry; some are glad to sit alone, while others wish they did not. A woman with silver-blonde hair opens her bookshop downstairs, an old man feeds the sparrows on his windowsill, and a young mother wills the morning to hold itself at bay.
Though each of their walls touches someone else’s, the neighbours they pass in the courtyard remain strangers.
Into this courtyard arrives Edward. Still bearing the sweat of a Channel crossing, he takes his place in an attic room to wait out his grief.
But in distant corners of the city, as Paris is pulled taut with summer heat, there are those who meet with a darker purpose. As the feverish metropolis is brought to boiling point, secrets will rise, and walls will crumble both within and without number thirty-seven.
There is so much to enjoy in These Dividing Walls, and it certainly takes the reader on a unique journey. I loved the writing and I know this is a book I won’t forget about. Such a satisfying read.
Normal People is a story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people – funny, magnetic, complex – who try to stay apart but find they can’t. It shows us how difficult it is to change who we are. And with heart-breaking tenderness, it reveals how we learn about sex and power, the desire to hurt and be hurt, the desire to love and be loved.
Here is an exquisite love story that breathes fiction with new life.
It’s an insightful and quiet book that captures the realities of two damaged people navigating the intricacies of a relationship. They are drawn to each other in a way neither can explain. Throughout the years they forge a friendship, then a relationship of sorts, feeling the push and pull, which always remains the same. Neither satisfied, or ever getting what they want, yet both inexplicably drawn to the other.
Normal People is a wonderful coming of age story. It is a book about a relationship that is so real and authentic that I sometimes forgot these weren’t actual friends of mine. To say it struck a chord with me would be an understatement.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll most likely already know how much I love this one.
The importance of meaningful friendship is explored throughout The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and the relationship between the three central characters is a friendship that endures. In the beginning, Charlie keeps to himself and minds his own business until he meets his two future best friends, Sam and Patrick. The two quickly grow fond of Charlie and begin to show him what friendship is about. It's not all about having tons of friends who surround you; but the one or two close friends who become your partners in crime. It's about having the friends in your life who love you, and not just parts of you but all of you, regardless of what has defined you in the past. This is especially important to Charlie, who has faced many personal difficulties in his past.
No matter how many times I read it, nothing makes me feel more nostalgic than this book. It so perfectly explores the moments that truly define who we are and what happiness means to us. The book offers an insightful reflection on our teenage years filled with friendship, angst, future planning heartbreak and everything in between.