Jane is a telemarketer. Although sometimes she's Sabrina. Other times she's Nancy. But she's almost always phoning the same person. And with each call he becomes angrier and more threatening. But she persists. And the more she phones this man, the more she reveals about her reasons, her past and why it may not be all she says it is.
Sharon Guskin's debut novel The Forgetting Time follows Janie Zimmerman and her 4-year-old son Noah. Noah suffers from nightmares. He is terrified of water and wakes up every night shouting for his mother. Only it's not Janie he's looking for. He wants his other mother. And he wants to go home, to a home that Janie has no knowledge of.
Jack and Sydney have just bought their first house. They were shocked when they're offer was accepted, especially considering how many people were at the viewing. But they don't question it. The only catch is that they get all of the junk that the previous owner left in the house as well, but cleaning it all away is a small price to pay for their dream home.
Melanie Black has woken up in a strange man’s bed. It’s not necessarily an unusual occurrence, but when he completely ignores her she starts to get worried. Her concern is made even worse when the man’s wife comes into the room, and also completely ignores her. She soon comes to realise what’s going on. She’s dead. And she has woken up in the house of her murderer.
When a severed finger turns up on Helen Taylor’s doorstep, the police must try to find out if she saw what happened to her recently deceased (and dismembered) neighbour. But Helen has trouble remembering things, and her dead husband, Bobby, talking over her shoulder isn’t helping. So the police call in her sister, Pat, to see if she can make any sense of what Helen says.
I’m going to admit to you now that I hate love stories. Romance novels where the girl meets a handsome millionaire who’s just messed up enough for her to save. Or the strong-willed business woman from the city meets a wild country-man who teaches her about life. Soppy, emotional, sentimental crap, in my opinion, but maybe I’ve just been single for too long. So, romance novels have never made it onto my reading list.
I haven't read much YA fiction in my life. I've seen The Hunger Games films, and I've read Harry Potter, but that's about it. So I was wary when my friend recommended Red Rising, assuming it wouldn't be something I was interested in. But, I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised.
Liz Nugent is a master of opening lines, and Unravelling Oliver doesn't disappoint.
I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.
And so we meet Oliver Ryan, a successful children's writer and charismatic charmer, and his wife, Alice, who illustrates his books. We start the story in the aftermath of Oliver attacking Alice and leaving her in a coma in hospital. Oliver begins to tell his story. Interspersed with the stories of people Oliver knew throughout his life, we discover his tale of abandonment, guilt and entitlement, and learn what drove him to attack his wife.
So 2016 is nearly over (finally) and it's time to look back on the book-year that's been. And a great year it has been, especially for Irish fiction (which most of the books on this list are, I will admit).
According to Goodreads I've read 33 books this year, and I've enjoyed most of them. So it was tough to come up with the best ones for this list, but not impossible. There were definitely a few that stood out more than others, that have stayed with me for the whole year, that I've passed on to others and made sure that they've been enjoyed by as many people as possible.
So here's the list of my favourite books from 2016
Graham Norton's debut novel, Holding, is an emotional and funny look at the inner workings of a small town and the secrets it can keep over the years.
Sergeant PJ Collins is an overweight Garda in the small town of Duneen, Co. Cork. He's self-conscious and feels like he's missed out on a lot in life. He's never been in a relationship, lives alone in the Garda barracks and feels even his job can't give him any satisfaction.