I didn’t have a lot of time to browse for books as I usually do when it’s my turn to host book club, so I ran into Fogarty’s and took advice from expert Theresa. She recommended Woman in the Window by A J Finn. Theresa gave the added recommendation that the author was suitable ‘eye candy’ and produced a photo and a newspaper cutting – over and above the call of duty I thought, but I took the book and shared her viewpoint with Shakespear’s Sisters. We are divided on the topic of ‘eye candy’ but I think united on the choice of book!
Anna Fox lives alone-a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her days drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times and spying on her neighbors. It's been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside as agoraphobia took hold of her. Anna's lifeline to the world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers. But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something and now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe a wine soaked agoraphobic.
The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen.
I have seen endless reviews about this book and I am always curious when a book is co- authored. I mean how does that happen – Do the authors come up with a plot together and then write a chapter each or do they sit together and write everyday until the book is finished? What do they do when they disagree? It must take enormous strength and reserve not to want your characters to be exactly who you want them to be and to share their creation with another. I have started to read this and am hooked and halfway through at the first sitting so I can say it’s a page turner. Here are what the publishers say about it. "Vanessa and Richard fell deeply in love and were married for seven years – until he left her for another woman, someone younger and more desirable. She now spends her days immersed in painful memories, trying to decipher how it all went so wrong. Of course, she isn’t blameless, she was never the woman Richard thought she was, ‘A clever thriller with masterful twists’ Karin Slaughter. When you read this book, you will make many assumptions. It’s about a jealous wife, obsessed with her replacement. It’s about a younger woman set to marry the man she loves. The first wife seems like a disaster; her replacement is the perfect woman. You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships." You will be wrong.
I stumbled across this on Kindle and it was free and like most things we don’t pay for we assume it will be worth little but I loved this heart-warming tale of Alfred’s unusual life. Alfred Warner, nee Werner he was born in Germany. He has been witness to the persecution of Jews and the rise of the Nazi party. He was a POW in a camp in Scotland and has lived in the UK up until 6 days before his death when he arrives back in Germany. The journey is for the purpose of meeting his granddaughter Brynja, the two have never met. The narrator of the story is Julia, she comes across Alfred while he is a little confused and lonely. She helps him in a way she could never have imagined. The story leads from the just before Julia meets Brynja back to Brynja’s childhood and told over the six days that Julia will know both of them. The story is heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking. It covers all the things that a person may go through in their life, with the exception that Alfred has a little something extra. It is beautifully written and passes backwards and forwards through the characters histories. I didn’t want to say goodbye to Alfred but all good things come to an end and that is very true of this book.Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks
I heard about this book through The Graham Norton Show and was pleased that it found its way into book club. I took it out the month that I was packing to come here knowing that a book of short stories would be ideal as there would be no pressure to finish the whole book – just the story I was reading but I found that I wanted to finish the book – I really enjoyed the stories. Mr Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor and, when interviewed just seems an all round great guy! I expected the stories to be anecdotes of his acting career but most are pure tales of fiction and others, I think a combination of memoir and imagination. A hectic, funny sexual affair between two best friends, a World War II veteran dealing with his emotional and physical scars. A second-rate actor plunged into sudden stardom and a whirlwind press junket. A small-town newspaper columnist with old-fashioned views of the modern world. A woman adjusting to life in a new neighborhood after her divorce. Four friends going to the moon and back in a rocket ship constructed in the backyard. A teenage surfer stumbling into his father’s secret life. These are just some of the people and situations that Tom Hanks explores . The stories are linked by one thing: in each of them, a typewriter plays a part, sometimes minor, sometimes central. A man of words either spoken or typed – Mr Hanks delights!