Recommended reads to kick start 2020

book reviews Hertfordshire

Having just returned from my babymoon in Dubai, naturally I’ve got a few books on the go at the moment and will be adding to this list over the coming weeks and months.

Of all the books I’ve read recently, here are three (two memoirs and one fiction book) that stood out to me and that I think you will enjoy if you are looking for something powerful, memorable and different to sink your teeth into.

All at Sea

Decca Aitkenhead

Read All at Sea.

Just beautiful.

A moving true story about love and loss from Decca Aitkenhead – an award-winning Guardian journalist who tragically and helplessly watched her husband drown whilst rescuing their eldest son from the same fate.

This moving memoir recounts the couple’s real and imperfect life together before the tragedy, as well as how Decca and her children navigate their way through life without him by their side.

This courageous story of love, loss and resilience will stay with you long after you close the final page.

This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Summer of Letting Go, Loving from Afar and 21 Jars of Tomato Sauce

Laura Munson

Read This Is Not The Story You Think It Is.

I was entirely addicted to Laura Munson’s memoir which follows her account of what happened when her husband of over twenty years told her he didn’t love her anymore and wanted to move out.

Laura vowed to save her marriage, telling her husband: “I don’t buy it”.

The relatable Laura takes us on her life’s journey up until this point; sharing how her beloved father’s death had so profoundly affected her and how a lack of professional success forced her to question her own pursuit of happiness.

Laura commits to an ‘end of suffering’ and strives to stop basing her happiness on things that are outside of her control – all the while supporting her husband as he struggles to articulate his own source of unhappiness.

Whether you admire Laura’s stance or want to throw your book at her husband in disbelief at how he’s gotten away with his behaviour, this a real look at real life, and something that we can all relate to.

What the Wind Knows

Amy Harmon

Read What the Wind Knows.

Not the type of book I’d typically choose but I took a chance on this modern fairytale and quite enjoyed being carried away to a different era.

What the Wind Knows is a sweet and uplifting tale about American novelist Anne Gallagher, who returns to her roots in Ireland to scatter the ashes of her beloved grandfather.

Whilst scattering his ashes in the lake, Anne is pulled back in time to the Ireland of 1921, which is teetering on the edge of war. She is cared for by the handsome Dr. Thomas Smith, and welcomed into a very familiar family who seem adamant that she is the lost Anne that they have been searching for.

As a love she never expected to find consumes her, Anne must contemplate whether this new life in a new era is something she wants to embrace or escape from.

Books I’m currently reading…

The books I’m currently reading and will review soon include:

  • Disappearing Earth – Julia Phillips
  • The Salt Path: The Sunday Times bestseller, shortlisted for the 2018 Costa Biography Award & The Wainwright Prize – Raynor Winn
  • The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt

Do you have any recommendations? I’m particularly interested in any pregnancy, birth and parenting books that anyone can recommend.

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