Well, those are for sure two things that I adore: summer and reading. Sometimes there is no better option for an afternoon than to go to the park with a blanket and a book. I’m quite proud of myself, because despite of spending like 90 % of my life either working or sleeping (just kidding… am I?) I managed to read quite a lot within last couple of months. And what has been my favourite?
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton.
I wanted to read this book since I first saw its advertisement on Victoria Station back at the beggining of 2015, right after I came to London (I feel in love with a cover instanly!). But somehow it wasn’t until very recently when I finally got a chance to read it (as always- thank you, Mum).
It’s a beautiful, atmospheric novel that I really enjoyed reading. It’s written with attention of detail which helps to create a breathtaking image of Amsterdam in the 17th century. The story begins when eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives to the city to move to the house of her husband, a wealthy merchant Johannes Brandt whom she married a month earlier. But her new life is not quite what she was expecting. I think the story is beautifully told, really addictive, misterious, and captivating. It also addresses a lot of important social issues, as seventeenth-century Dutch society does not look favorably on people who are somehow different from them.
The Versions of Us, Laura Barnett
I’ve never heard of this book before, I got it from my Mom and I completely didn’t know what to expect. But I think it took me like three minutes to fall in love with it (and I’m still in love btw). It’s definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year and one of my favourites whatsoever. A beautiful story about life, love and happiness. About how little choices we make every day may shape our entire future. And about how the life could be different- not better, not worse, just different. It’s one of those books that I didn’t want to finish because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the characters. I love the whole concept of it, as deep down I am the master of „what if” questions, and I think this one will stay with me for a long time. I would recommend it to absolutely everyone (which I do, I basically forced my Mom to read it- and she loved it as well, yay!)
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
It was on my to-read list from quite a while. I knew it’s a bestseller, but I had no idea what is it about; which was an advantage, because the story took me by surprise. I couldn’t put this book away because I wanted to know what is gonna happen next. I really got involved with trying to figure out who the bad guy is. That was making me feel really frustrated sometimes, as the main narrator of the story (and the person who may know the most about what happened) is completely unreliable due to her alcohol problem which leads to distorted perspective perception. I found this book really absorbing, it kept me awake for a few late evenings and I had a good time trying to solve the case.
Obsession, Amanda Robson
That one was, well, interesting. It all starts when a wife asks her husband a question: who else would you go for, if you could? The answer, even though it seems quite innocent, starts a spiral of events that will ruin everybody’s lives. The plot is twisted, the characters unlikable, but somehow I wasn’t able to put this book down. As the story delevops the tension thickens and I was desperate to find out who is the craziest of them all and who is just an innocent victim of others’ vicious games. The events are told alternately by four main characters, and with every chapter I was changing my mind about who should I believe. It’s not a happy story. The plot is dark, twisted and it shows the worst side of main characters and their crazy minds. It adresses the whole lot of important issues, such as depression, addictions, infidelity; but I think that some of those threads could be developed more deeply. It also has a strong sexual content with some very explicit scenes that not everyone may like. It’s not the kind of book that I would recommend to everyone, but I certainly enjoyed it.
Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach
As I liked The Miniaturist so much, I was kinda looking for something similar. The plot is also set in 17th century Amsterdam, in the days of the great Dutch painters and tulip mania. Very pictoresque tale about love, lust and art. I like that it’s not a typical love story- in fact the character I felt most compassionate about was the one that I disliked at first. I loved the plot twists, references to Dutch paintings and, once again, the image of Amsterdam created by the author. The book is quite short- it took me two afternoons to finish it and it made a perfect summer reading story.
Thank you for reading! What has been your favourite book recently? Please share as I’m looking for something to read at the moment 🙂