Audio Books
The Girl on Mill Street
A Novel
By Peter Gillboy
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Aug 15th 2017.
The Girl on Mill Street by Peter GillboyAnnie Taylor has a psychotherapist father and an Indian stay-at-home mother. She has a sister a few years younger than her. They live in a small town by the Hudson in upstate New York. She is 19 years old as she narrates her story, which starts with her mother's disappearance ten years before. She just vanished one day, and the police searches turned up nothing. Although Annie is vague about the details, it soon becomes clear that her father has been arrested for his wife's murder, and she is convinced that he could never have done it. Her father, Simon Taylor, is the author of a series of be
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The Fortunate Ones
A Novel
By Ellen Umansky
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 25th 2017.
In this novel that alternates between the Second World War and the present, Ellen Umansky explores the relationship between Rose and Lizzie, who meet after Lizzie's father dies in California. Rose knew him for many years. He had owned a painting called "The Bell Hop," by an artist Chaim Soutine until it was stolen. The painting is what ties the two sides of the novel together, with two women leading very separate lives until they meet and make friends. Rose is older, having grown up in Vienna in the 1930s with her parents and brother. Lizzie lives in Manhattan but she grew up in Los Angeles an
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The Fortunate Ones by Ellen Umansky

The Drifter
By Christine Lennon
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 18th 2017.
The  Drifter by Christine LennonElizabeth lives a wealthy life with her husband and young daughter in Manhattan, but she is haunted by her college years in Florida. The narrative shifts between the present day and Elizabeth's life in Gainesville in the 1990s. In college, her life was devoted to her sorority. She was called Betsy and she was always with her sorority sisters, often getting drunk or high. Eventually she moved to the big city with her boyfriend Gavin, and changed her whole image. What caused such a change? The story delves into the time in college when the campus was preoccupied by a killer going around selectin
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The Vegetarian
By Han Kang
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 18th 2017.
Han Kang's The Vegetarian was originally published in South Korea in 2007. It was published in English in 2015 and won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. It was published in the USA in 2016. The central character is a woman Yeong-hye who refuses to eat any animal products. Her husband is horrified and her family tries to force her to eat, but she is determined. She becomes increasingly bizarre and ends up in a psychiatric hospital. She has strange ideas about being connected with the earth, and not needing any food at all. At one level, this is a story of a woman's mental illness. Her
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The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Dead Little Mean Girl
By Eva Darrows
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 11th 2017.
Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows  Emma tells the story of the terrible behavior of her step-sister Quinn. They are teens in the same year of high school, and they are forced to live together when their mothers decide to move in to the same house. Emma is a funny and acerbic narrator, but she is a geek who likes reading books like The Hunger Games. She works hard and has a small group of friends. Quinn is obsessed by her appearance and is expert at being popular. When she does not get her way, Quinn gets her revenge, and puts a lot of energy into humiliating others. She has a string of boyfriends and girlfriends, and sh
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The Chemist
By Stephenie Meyer
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 4th 2017.
Alex is a brainy inventive expert in biochemistry who has a range of creations that can cause extraordinary pain. Her skills made her extraordinarily good at interrogating people. She always got the information she looking for. For years she worked for an ultra-secret government agency that was deeply riven by fighting between different factions. But then they turned against her. The Chemist starts with her in hiding, in fear for her life, after she has successfully thwarted many attempts to kill her. She is discovered again by them, but this time they say they need her back. She doesn't belie
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The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

The Arrangement
By Sarah Dunn
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 27th 2017.
The Arrangement by Sarah DunnThe most interesting figure in The Arrangement is pundit Constance Waverly, quoted at the start of each chapter from her books, her articles for the Huffington Post, or her TV appearances. She argues that monogamous marriages can never work and open marriages would be a good option if society would be more accepting of them. It's a tempting view, at least for some -- generally people who have seen how difficult long term relationships are. Sarah Dunn's novel The Arrangement can be read as an argument against open marriages, setting out the many problems that they invite. The central figures
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The Keeper of Lost Things
By Ruth Hogan
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 20th 2017.
Ruth Hogan's debut novel is set in England, some time after the Second World War. Most of the time it does not feel contemporary, although there are occasional references to technology that show the novel is set in the present day. The story omits much reference to politics, modern culture or language, or even specific location, although London seems the likely place. There are references to shops like Marks & Spencer's. Narrators use words like "knickers" for women's underwear, which is a little dated.  It seems meant to appeal those who yearn for an apolitical English world with mil
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The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

 
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