‘This is How it Ends’

I had been desperate to read This is How it Ends since receiving it at a work thing and I featured it as my Cover Design of the Month for April and I wasn’t disappointed!

It is an absolutely beautiful book, the photo above doesn’t do it justice! Bear in mind that this is a proof AND that it has become a little battered in my bag…but hopefully this gives you an idea of the foil detail!

A stunning book that your bookshelf deserves to be friends with!

Anyway, there’s a lot more to this book than the gorgeous cover…This is How it Ends by Kathleen MacMahon is

“A story of unexpected, live changing love”

What is so refreshing about this love story, in addition to the unexpectedness and the old ‘Stop looking for love, it will find you’ thing…instead of two young protagonists who are unexperienced, awkward and think they know everything about the world…our lovers have lived, loved and lost.

The book opens as Bruno, a New Yorker in his late forties (not ‘nearly fifty’, a distinction that Addie is keen to maintain) is on a flight to Ireland after losing his banking job with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and he decides to try and reconnect with his extended Irish family…much to their initial delight! The relatives whom he is trying to connect with are Addie, an out of work architect/swimming enthusiast who is currently a live-in carer for her father…only because he has broken both arms mind, not because he is unable to care for himself! However, he has also been suspended from his work as a doctor so there is little to keep him occupied during the day…which makes him (and Addie) feel very claustrophobic!

Anyway despite impressive efforts to avoid him, Addie finally meets Bruno and they fall in love. It’s not all plain sailing along the way but the book reminds you that life is for living and that you shouldn’t waste a second of it!

‘The Book of Summers’

This is an incredible book! Absolutely stunning!

Right, swooning over…for the time being! The Book of Summers is the debut novel of Emylia Hall and it is simply wonderful! Our protagonist is Beth Lowe, an artist living in London. The book opens as Beth is getting ready for her father to come and visit. It becomes clear that their relationship is quite strained and when he arrives, he hands Beth a parcel that arrived for her…from Hungary. This sparks a disagreement, which results in her father leaving immediately for Devon…Beth finds herself holding the parcel that she so desperately did not want anything to do with. She recognises the handwriting and decides to open the parcel…soon Beth is forced to remember times that she had tried in vain to forget as inside the parcel is a book, full of photos and memories from her summer holidays in Hungary entitled, The Book of Summers.

Beth takes us through the book, summer by summer…recollecting the sights, smells, tastes, experiences and emotions that she felt during those holidays. This book is written so honestly and beautifully that it really is a joy to read. I have never been to Hungary, but I am genuinely keen to go at some point now! You can read this book ANYWHERE and yet imagine yourself exploring rural Hungary! I mainly read this during my commute to and from work and was amazingly able to ignore the insane people on my train and escape! As Beth recollects summer after summer, I became more and more determined to find out what went so terribly wrong on her seventh summer – why doesn’t Beth want to remember those moments?! Why doesn’t she get along with her father? The strength of Hall’s writing lies in the realism of the characters and the empathy that we feel throughout each and every moment with Beth. I really felt like I was privy to someone’s deepest and most precious memories, but it was written so naturally that I didn’t feel like I was intruding…I just felt like I was there with Beth in the park, in her flat, exploring Zoltan’s garden, watching two young people fall in love purely and honestly.

This is a truly wonderful book which offers an escape into a world, so different from our own and yet within reach! This is a must-read! Not just for the summer, but for any time that you need to escape into beautiful imagery, wonderful descriptions and simply read about love, without cliche or pretension.

Eat, Pray, Love

So, after three years of studying English…reading hundreds of books for consumption, I finally went into Waterstones and bought 3 random books that I actually wanted to read! Now, this is not to say that I didn’t want to read or enjoy reading any of the books from the curriculum…but when you know you have to read about 4 different books from completely different genres every week to a deadline, it does tend to take some of the fun out of reading.

Anyway, I spent ages wandering around Waterstones trying to find three random books that interested me and ended up with…

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Lovely Bones by Alice Seabold

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

…and for spending over £10 I got On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan (for about £4…)

At the moment, I’m reading Eat, Pray, Love and already am feeling both thrilled to be reading for pleasure again, and utterly inspired! I’m only a quarter of the way through but find myself completely drawn in!

An introduction to the story, for those who haven’t read it yet…Liz is thirty-something, married and desperately unhappy. After finally making the decision to leave her husband, he makes the divorce extremely bittter and difficult for her, this perhaps being the reason for her fling with David. She soon embarks on a life and faith altering journey and although I haven’t read much further than this…already I’m engrossed. Her strength and courage, along with a variety of interesting characters makes it clear why it’s “The Number One Bestseller that everyone is talking about”.

Anywho, I will do a more detailed review when I’ve finished it! So far, I would definitely recommend it…in fact, I already have done, to my housemate!