This series is an adaptation of something I saw on Twitter – people were posting 26 books in 26 days, each title beginning with a different letter of the alphabet. However, I’m planning on taking around 26 months to get to Z. Each month I’ll post a newish book I’ve enjoyed, plus a children’s book and an older book.
This month, it’s the R books:
A student, Rick, is found dead in halls of residence.
His friends get caught up in the aftermath: Dan, who was in love with Rick; and Becky, who is in love with Dan.
Their fraught emotions lead them into dark places – particularly a connection to a mysterious Kabbalistic sect.
Will Becky discover who killed Rick in time to save her best friend?
This is the first of Jo Fenton’s books I’ve read – I really enjoyed the university setting, and the way the students reacted to the death of their friend was very realistic. It’s the kind of book you don’t want to put down, because the characters are making rash decisions and you need to know it’s going to be all right!
In 1957, after travelling in southern Iraq, Gavin Maxwell returned to the West Highlands of Scotland with an otter cub called Mijbil. Written within the sound of the sea, in a remote cottage where they set up home together, this enduring story evokes the unspoilt seascape and wildlife of a place Maxwell called Camusfearna. Ring of Bright Water was hailed as a masterpiece when it was first published, sold over two million copies worldwide, and was later adapted into a successful film. Fifty years on it remains one of the most lyrical, moving descriptions of a man’s relationship with the natural world.
Ring of Bright Water was a home reader when I was at secondary school, and I absolutely loved it. There was a wonderful film, too. The book is the first of a trilogy, with The Rocks Remain, and Raven Seek Thy Brother continuing Gavin Maxwell’s story.
Working as a lady’s companion, the orphaned heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Life begins to look very bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. Whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to his brooding estate, Manderley, on the Cornish Coast, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding Mrs Danvers . . .
Not since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with the Other Woman. An international bestseller that has never gone out of print, Rebecca is the haunting story of a young girl consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.
This is one of those books I keep meaning to re-read – maybe I’ll manage it in the Christmas holidays. It’s another that grabs you and you can’t let it go. I haven’t seen the new film adaptation, but the older one is very atmospheric.
Look out for the ‘S’ books next month!