There are some books that you start reading and instantly know you’re going to love and stay up all night reading. And there are some that are growers, where you’re not entirely sure to start with, but each chapter you read you’re drawn further and further into the book. This Is How It Ends is definitely a grower – a book for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Set in Ireland, its central characters are Addie, a born and bred Irishwoman in her late 30s who knows all about heartbreak, and her distant cousin Bruno –an Irish American who comes over to his father’s birthplace to find his family. The story takes place against a backdrop of Obama’s victory in the 2008 American presidential elections (though politics is just a small part of it).
It’s not a story full of action and intrigue, but the pace definitely picks up in the second half. Throughout the book, the narrative remains both beautiful understated – and is perhaps all the more dramatic for it. This is going to be a big hit!
The verdict: A grown-up love story that will transport you off your sofa on to Ireland’s rugged coastline – but prepare to get emotional!
I’ve also been reading:
I’m not usually one for “misery memoir” type abuse stories, but this book is dark and intriguing and a cut above the rest. In fact, although the story centres around abuse, it’s not in a gratuitous, in-your-face way – it’s the lack of specific detail that actually makes it all the more dark and secretive. In many ways, it shows that appearances can definitely be deceptive.
Twins Hephzibah and Rebecca are ruled with a rod of steel by their vicar father, who beats them and makes them spend the time they’re not being home schooled scrubbing the church. Finally he allows them to go to college. there they meet “normal” people their age. Beautiful Hephzi quickly settles in, learns what’s cool and who to hang around with and pulls the hottest boy in their year. Rebecca, who suffers from a disfiguring medical condition, hides in her sister’s shadow away from the stares and jibes and sees exam success as her way out of their terrible home life. Then Hephzi dies – and no one knows how, except her family.
The story is told through Hephzi’s eyes before her death, and Rebecca’s after, with one chapter going back to events before, and the next after. As you read further and further, you get closer and closer to finding out the truth about what happened to Hephzi. I won’t tell you what happens because I still have a a few chapters to go myself – so you’ll have to excuse me, I’m off to read them now…!
Let me know what you thought of these books and tell me what you’re reading at the moment – tweet me @FabFrosty.