The last couple of books that I read were so good that I couldn’t decide which one to review…so I thought I would mix things up a bit and review them both.
I first heard of these two books when they were listed in The Top Twenty Books That Women Should Read List…being a woman and liking books it was kind of a no-brainer that I should read them…and I am happy to report that I am currently reading my way through the rest of the list!
Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
This story is set in 1914, two years after the Titanic catastrophe. The story is narrated by Grace, an unforgettable yet complex woman who is on her honeymoon with her husband when their ocean liner they are on suffers a mysterious explosion. Her husband Henry putting his own safety aside secures a seat for Grace in a lifeboat, which occupants quickly realise has exceeded capacity. For any to live, some must die.
The story flicks back and forth between the lifeboat and the surviving and Grace’s life afterwards where she is on trial.
A great debut. Fast paced, you want to race through this book but have to slow yourself down so you can process your thoughts. Suspenseful. Questioning. You start to question who should die, who should survive, or whether you should keep yourself alive at all costs. I couldn’t put this book down, and despite the content and the complexity of events it was a very easy read. It’s been a couple of weeks since I have read Lifeboat, and I think I would like to read it again but this time slower…(and knowing the ending would give it a totally different perspective).
Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
The author Katherine Boo spent three years living with the residents of Annawadi, a slum on the edge of Mumbai Airport. During that time she follows a few of the families, and then documents and weaves their dreams, fortunes and misfortunes into a remarkable true story.
“Abdul’s deepest affection was for his two year old brother, Lallu, a fact that had begun to concern him. Listening to Bollywood love songs, he could only conclude that his own heart had been made too small. He’d never longed with extravagance for a girl, and while he felt certain that he loved his mother, the feeling didn’t come in any big gush. But he could get tearful just looking at Lallu, who was as fearless as Abdul was flinchy. All those swollen rat bites on his cheeks, on the back of his head.”
Astonishing. An amazing and very shocking insight into the real India. An eye opener. I had to remind myself throughout the book that this was a true story. Brilliant writing, harrowing story. A book that everyone should and needs to read.