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The Wartime Book Club by Kate Thompson #Review

  The Wartime Book Club is a marvellous historical novel set on Jersey in World War Two. Written by Kate Thompson , it was published by Hodder $ Stoughton on February 13th. Jersey, 1943. Once a warm and neighbourly community, now German soldiers patrol the cobbled streets, imposing a harsh rule on the people of the island. Grace La Mottée, the island's only librarian, is ordered to destroy books which threaten the new regime. Instead, she hides the stories away in secret. Along with her headstrong best friend, postwoman Bea Rose, she wants to fight back. So she forms the wartime book club: a lifeline, offering fearful islanders the joy and escapism of reading. But as the occupation drags on, the women's quiet acts of bravery become more perilous - and more important - than ever before. And, when tensions turn to violence, they are forced to face the true, terrible cost of resistance . . . Based on astonishing real events, The Wartime Book Club is a love letter

Lie With Me by Sabinne Durrant

     I love the way that Lie With Me by Sabinne Durrant  figures a central character who is such an anti-hero. Paul Morris, the narrator, is a would be author who has written one book in his early twenties and failed since to produce anything else worthy of publication. By chance he meets Alice, a widow, and sets about inveigling himself into her life, eventually getting himself invited to spend a holiday in Greece with her family and friends. In the heat of the sun, the lies he weaves close in on him. Sabinne Durrant conveys the claustrophobia he feels as he backs himself into a corner. We follow him through the story as he lies and manipulates. We begin to see how each lie is leading him further into trouble but he seems unable to stop himself. What is surprising is that although I could see how egotistical and self- serving Paul he is, I had sympathy for such a flawed individual.

    All the characters in Lie With Me have secrets. They seem to shadow box each other, each spinning their own facade. It is one of the pleasures of the book to try to second guess and to speculate as to what each person believes is going on. Paul is the ultimate unreliable witness. Alice's trip to Pyros is part of the annual visit she has made there following the disappearance of a young girl who was her friend. It seems that Paul was there at the time but says that he cannot remember anything about the time or indeed who he met or what he did. As we see him lie and invent his own backstory, everything he says is doubted. It is clear from early on in the book that he is a totally self-serving person. Of course of all the people he meets, he may not be the only one.  

    When the twist comes at the end, it did surprise me as I had been taking myself up a different path. It gave it a satisfying end and certainly repaid the reading of the book. 

In short: a clever and intriguing read with dark humour thrown in.

Thanks to the publisher, Mulholland Books for a copy of the book via Bookbridgr.   


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