The Librarian’s Cellar Books 2020: Actress by Anne Enright

 

“Katherine O’Dell is an Irish theatre legend. As her daughter Norah retraces her mother’s celebrated career and bohemian life, she delves into long-kept secrets, both her mother’s and her own.”

The narrator, Norah is a writer. In order to make meaning of her own experiences (the ghost in my blood) she remembers her mother’s life and career. A tumultuous life that culminated in great sadness…

There is pain and grief for Norah, but there is also catharsis, and for the reader, so much more between the lines of Enright’s beautifully constructed sentences… of a generation of women gone, and the truth of their lives…

I loved this book.

The Librarian’s Cellar Books 2020: Sisters by Daisy Johnson

 

An eerie glimpse into the lives of haunted people, SISTERS is compelling and beautiful.

Born just ten months apart, July and September are as close as twins, never needing anyone but each other. When their single mother moves them to Settle House, a palpable unease slowly emerges, as do a series of unsettling revelations that will keep you reading until the very end.

Multi-faceted in theme and style, SISTERS creeps upon you and is completely absorbing.

 

Published July 2020. My thanks to Netgalley and Penguin for the opportunity to read this ARC.

 

The Librarian’s Cellar Books 2020: Recollections of My Nonexistence: A Memoir by Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit has written prolifically on feminism, politics and art, and while not a traditionally written memoir, ‘Recollections of my Non-Existence’ is an interesting and relatable insight into her formative years, charting a journey of enlightenment, experiences and friendships that influenced her writing and activism.

More importantly, the book shines a light on the experience of Rebecca, and indeed, for all women, finding their space in the world – a world, that because of our gender, is filled with danger and threat – and how we have negotiated survival while navigating these perils. Has anything changed, really?

 

Published by Viking. Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for opportunity to read this ARC.

The Librarian’s Cellar Book Recommendations 2020: You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce

 

Fantastical, sinister and disturbing. Unreliable narrator, Cassandra Tipp is an elderly author, and she is missing. However, she has left a manuscript for her niece and nephew to read which details her strange and harrowing life, while also holding a password to accessing the vast fortune she has accumulated from her romance novels.

Cassandra’s story is darkly surreal and woven around her lifelong relationship with ‘Pepper-man’ a vampiric faerie (yes!) and his community of woodland creatures. ‘Pepper-man is perhaps metaphorical – as companion and abuser – or perhaps not. Up to the reader to decide!

An unusual and weirdly compelling debut that layers in the real and the supernatural experiences of a troubled life. One that lingers, though if I have one gripe, it is that I don’t believe that the book title does this story justice.

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, Bantam Press for the opportunity to read this ARC. ‘You Let Me In’ is published on March 5th, 2020.

The Librarian’s Cellar Book of The Week: The Hiding Game by Louise Phillips

Heather Baxter is an attorney who by day, defends a young girl accused of killing an infant boy in her charge, and by night, is tormented as she tries to make sense of her mother’s unsolved murder, many years earlier. Through her journey of discovery, Heather uncovers several links between the two cases, often in terrible danger as she moves ever closer to a cruel and ruthless killer. A thoroughly enjoyable thriller combining exciting courtroom drama with unsettling secrets, mystery and intrigue!

The HIDING GAME is released on September 5th. Thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Books Ireland for the opportunity to read this ARC.

The Librarian’s Cellar: Book of The Week – All That Glitters by Thomas Maier

‘ALL THAT GLITTERS Anna Wintour, Tina Brown, and the Rivalry Inside America’s Richest Media Empire’, by Thomas Maier, is an appropriate title for quite a complex book that may prove to be a useful addition to the study of American media, politics and pop culture. The author delves into the Condé Nast empire run by S. I. Newhouse Jr. and creative guru and influencer Alex Liberman. Perhaps the most interesting element of the book is how it examines the contribution of Anna Wintour and Tina Brown, both British women who worked their way to the top of this male-dominated American industry, and how they challenged the rules set down by that male establishment. It is also a sobering study of the power of magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair before the onset of social media. I received this ARC copy from Net Galley with thanks also to Skyhorse Publishing. Publication Date September 2019

The Librarian’s Cellar Book of The Week: Apple of My Eye by Claire Allan

Claire Allan’s latest novel is a quick and compelling read – for all the twisted reasons that you can imagine. Eli is a nurse working in a hospice. She is expecting her first child, feeling unwell and filled with doubts about her ability to love and care for her new baby. However, she has great support from work colleagues, a loving husband, and a very caring mother, so what could possibly go wrong? Everything, it seems as she begins to receive mysterious messages hinting that Martin, her husband, may be cheating on her. In her vulnerable state, and despite his vehement denials of any wrong-doing, Eli begins to doubt Martin… no spoilers here, but the sinister element of gaslighting takes this thriller to a chilling conclusion.

 

Published by Avon | 2019

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Caroline E Farrell is a writer, filmmaker and blogger. She is the author of the novel, LADY BETH and has written and directed the short film FRAMED (2018). She has also written and co-produced the short films IN RIBBONS (2015) and ADAM (2013).