Archives for posts with tag: grief

Hi all:

First, a word of warning. I’ve been having all kinds of computer trouble (I’ll tell you about it later) and I hope to be able to get it fixed during the week, but if you don’t see me replying to the comments straight away, that could be the reason. (I try and programme a few posts in advance to keep things going in case of unexpected things happening. Oh, and doesn’t life love randomness!)

As you know I was away from the internet for a while and I used the time to read. I’ll try and catch up with the reviews in the next few weeks (and might do a roundup for Christmas).

Today I bring you a review of a book by Hans Hirschi I’ve read two of his books before and participated in blog tours for some of his books (and have another one coming up next month). So I knew I was in for a treat.

The Opera House by Hans Hirschi

The Opera House by Hans Hirschi

The Opera House by Hans Hirschi. Creating the Family You Deserve.

This novel deals with some serious and important themes we all come across at some point in our lives, some more directly than others: grief, homelessness, family relationships, love, spiritual and religious beliefs, prejudice (sexual, social…), paedophilia, young runaways…but it is not an issue novel where the characters are just mouthpieces for different points of view or an attempt at indoctrinating the reader. It is a novel where the reader gets inside the skin of a series of complex characters and experiences strong emotions with them . We might share their points of view or not and the world they live in might be far from our daily existence but the author manages to get us completely enthralled by the events life keeps throwing at the protagonists and we can’t help but feel for them.

Raphael experiences the loss of his teenage son to a cruel illness, and full of guilt for not being able to reassure him about the afterlife, he lets his life sink, falling into depression and losing his partner, his job and his voice in the company he created, and his earthly possessions. He meets a boy slightly older than his son at the cemetery, Brian, who is homeless like him and whose life is a disaster waiting to happen. Through him, he meets Michael, a children’s social worker. There is hope and Raphael works hard to rebuild his life and create a new family but there are also many difficulties on the way, and the happy moments are interspersed with disappointments and drawbacks. The lives of all the characters in the story are touched by their interactions with each other, and in this drama, nobody is truly evil (with the exception of one of Brian’s johns) and most are trying to do their best. The third person narration that follows the different characters and allows the reader to see things from their point of view works well; it avoids becoming too intrusive whilst offering insight into the motivations and emotions of the main players.

I was very intrigued by the character of Angela, the nurse, who plays the part of the fairy godmother/guardian angel, always appearing at the most difficult moments, with vital information, support and advice. I’d be curious to know what other readers thought about her.

The title of the novel comes from Raphael’s job as an architect, and the impact his experience of homelessness has on his creativity and his design of the next big project for the city, the opera house, that serves as backdrop to the action. Although I don’t know how well the practicalities of the design of the opera house proposed in the novel would work, I admit to loving the concept and the idea.

As a word of warning, there are some erotic scenes (not the most explicit I’ve read by far, and fairly brief, one with violence towards a minor). Ah, and emotions ride high. I’d advise readers to be prepared, especially if they tend to get emotional when reading, and have tissues at hand.

If you like novels about relationships that explore serious issues, with complex characters you’ll get to care about, I recommend it. This is the third novel I’ve read by Hans Hirschi and it won’t be the last one.

Links:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B014JYNF9U/

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014JYNF9U/

Don’t forget to sign on to my mailing list. I have some surprises on store!

http://eepurl.com/bAUc0v

Thanks to Hans Hirschi for his novel, thanks to you all for reading, and you know, like, share, comment and CLICK!

As you all know, I’m a writer and I’ve always loved books and reading. Unfortunately I don’t always have time to read as much as I’d like (for pleasure rather than for professional reasons, although when you’re a writer, reading other people’s books is always informative as well). Recently I’ve finished reading two book, a romantic novella with a paranormal touch, ‘Believe’ and a Young Adult story also set in the realms of fantasy (or maybe not. Bigfoot anybody?). I thoroughly enjoyed both reads and I thought I’d shared the reviews with you.

Believe by Mia Fox Cover

Believe by Mia Fox Cover

Believe (#1, Chasing Shadows Series)

Romance, Grief and a Love that Survives Everything

I came across ‘Believe’ through a sample posted in Wattpad and the beginning of the story hit me like a bomb. The different voices, the changes in rhythm and twists and surprises and the transitions form sweetness and everyday life to tragedy made me want to keep reading.
‘Believe’ is the first in the ‘Chasing Shadows Series’ but rather than starting slowly and building up the tension, we hardly have time to get to know the characters before we are thrown into emotional turmoil and deep waters.
Ella suffers a huge loss and the author shows great skill at capturing, through inner dialogue, the depth of sadness and desperation she experiences. Despite her sister’s attempts at restoring normality and comforting her, Ella wants her boyfriend, Nate, back. And it seems he does not want to leave her either.
Is this love beyond death? Or a manifestation of grief? Ethan, the therapist/resident assigned to her case when she finally collapses, has issues of his own. What will their meeting do for both of them? Is it fate?
The story is gripping and intriguing and the writing vivid, sensual and focused on the internal workings of the minds of the characters. As a reader I found it difficult not to empathise and share the feelings of the characters, their doubts and insecurities, and also their excitement.
I recommend ‘Believe’ to readers who enjoy an emotional rollercoaster and being thrown into the internal universe of the characters. Only one word of warning. The book ends up on a cliffhanger and I know some readers find that frustrating. Personally, I’m looking forward to the next book.
If you want to have a look:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IVXZ5AS/

Phantom Bigfoot Strikes Again by Simon Okill

Phantom Bigfoot Strikes Again by Simon Okill

‘Phantom Bigfoot Strikes Again’ by Simon Okill

Movie waiting to happen

I had read the previous incarnation and incursion of Simon Okill’s into the world of Bigfoot and Big Beaver. I saw that the author had written a young adult version of the novel and of course I had to read it. Much of my original review still stands and I’ll include the parts that are relevant, although I must admit that I prefer this version. Why? Although the story is still humorous, it has become also more complex, and the characters are more nuanced. We have added elements to the story (the aliens and the fact that Duane’s affinity for the Bigfoot is fully explained now and he even has special powers) and the characters are more fully-fledged. Although it is classed as a young adult book, I think adults will enjoy it as much, if not more, than younger readers, especially as many of the cultural references might be more familiar to people of a certain age.

I am not a genre reader. I don’t read a particular type of novel (or even only fiction, although it is my predilection) exclusively and I normally see what tickles my fancy at the time of choosing a book, although once decided I’ll usually stick to it.

I like comedies and humour but rarely buy books that are exclusively humour. I probably watch more comedy films than I read comedy novels.

One thing that struck me as soon as I started reading Simon Okill’s new novel was how much it felt like a film. From the establishing of the setting (‘Big Beaver’) and the characters (female sheriff still pining for the boyfriend who left five years ago for unknown reasons, large donut eating deputies, lascivious female bartender, young Native American chief with wise sayings, hunters and crackpots) in the first few pages you feel as if you’d walked into Big Beaver and are an observer (when not a full participant. I must say I sometimes thought I could smell the Bigfoot) in all the shenanigans taking place. It made sense when I read that Mr Okill had written a number of scripts. He has a knack for it, that’s for sure.

You have a mysteriously disappeared youth (that like Peter and the wolf had pretended to be abducted so many times that nobody believes he’s gone missing), bizarre crimes (Bigfoot breaking and entering to have a bath and leaving a variety of sweet foodstuffs there), FBI investigating team (hot female agent and the return of the Big Beaver prodigal son) and some set pieces you’ll never forget (alien abduction by Swedish-looking and lusty aliens from the planet Abba).

And of course, you have the Bigfoot. Although narrated in the third person this is an omniscient narrator who gets in the heads of all character, including the Bigfoot. If the human characters keep defeating your expectations (they’re all familiar types but keep surprising you), the Bigfoot are (at least to me) completely unexpected. Loveable and romantic, civilised and wild, they are not far from the noble savage ideal…only a bit hairier.

If you like out-of-the-ordinary comedies, have a soft-spot for lovable and unwise characters and long to submerge yourself in an unexpected world you’ll feel right at home in Phantom Bigfoot Strikes Again. Imagine ‘American Pie’ or ‘There’s something about Mary’ in a small mountain-town setting, with Bigfoot, and you might get a vague idea of what the book is about. If you fancy that image and are looking for a series that promises never ending entertainment, what are you waiting for? Go on and buy the book!

If you want to read more about it:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H5Y2AWU/

Thank you for reading and if you’ve enjoyed it and are interesting in the books, like, share, comment, and of course, CLICK!

Living in the Gap

“Ruffled feathers and endless squawking over a minor difficulty is typical of a crow’s life. I lean back on the counter and realize that could be my line….”

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