A Place to Read

Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough. A book review.

I saw that Behind Her Eyes was a new series on Netflix and remembered that it was a book on my TBR (to be read) pile. So, before indulging myself in the television series I got into the book first.

I listened to Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinbourough on Audible. Links in my post are affiliate links and may earn me some money if you click through and buy, but they won’t cost you any extra so thank you for your support.

Behind Her Eyes, audiobook cover by Sarah Pinborough
By: Sarah Pinborough
Narrated by: Anna BentinckJosie DunnBea HollandHuw Parmenter
Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 26-01-17
Language: English
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Behind Her Eyes The Blurb

Exploring the dichotomy between one’s inner and outer self is central to Behind Her Eyes. When a vulnerable woman is drawn into the lives of an enigmatic couple, she finds it hard to differentiate between reality and what truly lies beneath a seemingly perfect exterior. 

Don’t trust this book, 

Don’t trust these people. 

Don’t trust yourself.

And whatever you do, don’t give away that ending…. 

Louise

 Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets…. 

David

 Young, successful and charming – Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice, let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife…. 

Adele 

Beautiful, elegant and sweet – Louise’s new friend seems perfect in every way. As she becomes obsessed by this flawless couple, entangled in the intricate web of their marriage, they each in turn reach out to her. But only when she gets to know them both does she begin to see the cracks…. Is David really the man she thought she knew, and is Adele as vulnerable as she appears? Just what terrible secrets are they both hiding, and how far will they go to keep them? 

My Review

As it says above…don’t give away the ending…so I’ll do my best not to.

A lot of people have said they were disappointed with the ending but those are the ones that have seen the television series. I’ve not seen it yet, so I don’t know how much of it is the same, or if it comes across the same.

Basically, if you are looking for a bunny boiler type novel, this isn’t it. If you are looking for a murder/thriller novel, this isn’t it. If you are looking for a book that will confuse and confound you then you may be on the right tracks. It’s focuses a lot on Lucid Dreaming and some people find this easy to believe, some difficult. I have experienced lucid dreaming but not in the sense that you can actually spy on people. In Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, one of his characters, Granny Weatherwax, is superb at lucid dreaming. She’s so good she has to wear a placard which says ‘I ainten’t Dead’ while she’s away from her body.

But I digress, whether you believe in lucid dreaming or not, this book has a strong storyline based on it. So don’t get into it if you are not prepared to believe the impossible (or possible, whichever way you look at it.)

The characters are all very different but likeable in their own ways. Even Adele, perceived as the baddie, will have you feeling sorry for her. David is just totally caught in the middle, he feels trapped by the woman he once loved but he doesn’t understand why she is so different to the girl he once loved so much. Louise is the most ‘normal’ character but even she is tinged with betrayal.

In the book the events all happen very quickly, in the space of just over a month, which doesn’t seem to tally with all the things that happen. The lives of the characters change drastically in such a short space of time. I guess we know deception of this degree can’t go on for so long, but I found the fact that Louise had given up smoking and slimmed down so much even more unbelievable than the fact that she could master lucid dreaming. Maybe it’s different in the television series?

The ending is a bit of a shocker, especially in the book. You kind of know Adele’s plans, but do you know what has really happened? I don’t want to give any more away.

If you are intrigued then I will say that I got through this book very quickly and I did enjoy it. The ending totally baffled me and I’m still not sure it actually worked as a story on the whole. But, suspend belief in normal things and you will enjoy this book.

Now, to watch the television series.

You can buy the book on Amazon

Or in My Bookshop

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A Place To Read – My Book Reviews

A Place to Read

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

I’m so glad I chose to listen to this audio book this month. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the first part of Maya Angelou’s autobiography. It describes her childhood and how her character was developed from a very early age.

front cover of I know why the caged bird sings, showing a pink background with one bird in a cage and one on a branch
By: Maya Angelou
Narrated by: Maya Angelou
Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-04-14
Language: English
Publisher: Hachette Audio UK

The Blurb

Maya Angelou’s six volumes of autobiography are a testament to the talents and resilience of this extraordinary writer. Loving the world, she also knows its cruelty. As a Black woman she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope, joy, achievement, and celebration.

In this first volume of her six books of autobiography, Maya Angelou beautifully evokes her childhood with her grandmother in the American south of the 1930s. She learns the power of the white folks at the other end of town. And suffers the terrible trauma of rape by her mother’s lover.

“I write about being a Black American woman, however, I am always talking about what it’s like to be a human being. This is how we are, what makes us laugh, and this is how we fall and how we somehow, amazingly, stand up again.”

Maya Angelou

My Review on Why the Caged Bird Sings

Most people have heard an inspirational quote from Maya Angelou.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you, a quote from Maya Angelou

This is why I decided to read her autobiography. I know why the Caged Bird Sings is the first book.

Maya Angelou was an American author, actress, screenwriter, dancer, poet and civil rights activist best known for her 1969 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which made literary history as the first nonfiction bestseller by an African American woman.

I listened to the book on Audible and it was narrated by Maya Angelou herself. It really gave a personal touch to such a personal story. Her young life was difficult and she had some pretty awful experiences. But when you finish you come away with the sense that she had amazing strength and compassion from a young age. It’s easy to understand that she would become someone who is prepared to speak her mind and make a difference in the world. She will forever be remembered. Not bad for a young girl brought up by her grandma in Arkansas in the early 1930s.

I can’t wait to read the rest of her autobiography.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill, of things unknown, but longed for still, and his tune is heard on the distant hill, for the caged bird sings of freedom.

I am an affiliate for audible so my links in this post may earn me a little money if you click through and purchase something. However, this will cost you no extra so thank you for your support.

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A Place to Read

Books to Listen to this Summer

I’ve decided to compile a list of books to listen to this summer. I’m a big fan of Audible. I’m also an affiliate so my links will earn me money if you click them, but don’t worry, you won’t pay any extra. Thanks for your support.

Books to Listen to this Summer

Little Fires Everywhere

books for summer, little fires everywhere.
By: Celeste Ng
Narrated by: Jennifer Lim
Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 09-11-17
Language: English
Publisher: Hachette Audio

This is next on my reading list. I’ve not watched the series so I’m going in for the story first. If I like it I might watch the series afterwards. I’m just waiting for my next Audible credit and this is the audio book I’m using it on. Have you read it?

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

i know why the caged bird sings, books to listen to this summer
By: Maya Angelou
Narrated by: Maya Angelou
Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-04-14
Language: English
Publisher: Hachette Audio UK

I’m listening to this right now and it’s both sad and beautiful. I have often seen quotes from Maya Angelou all over the internet but this is the first time I’ve started on of her books. This is the first book of her six book autobiography. And I will definitely be listening to more.

Playgroups and Prosecco

Playgroups and prosecco
By: Jo Middleton
Narrated by: Elizabeth Bower
Length: 9 hrs
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 02-05-19
Language: English
Publisher: Random House Audiobooks

I’ve already read this book, but I really want to listen to the audio book as well. Jo Middleton is a very funny lady and fabulous writer. I do hope she writes some more.

Midnight Sun

Midnight Sun
By: Stephenie Meyer
Narrated by: Jake Abel
Length: 25 hrs and 49 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-08-20
Language: English
Publisher: Hachette Audio UK

And, just in case you want a trip to the ‘dark side’ here is Stephenie Meyers Twighlight story told from a different angle. It’s actually Edward’s story an we can get an inside view on why he behaved the way he did. And if you are a Twilight fan then you will know that he did act pretty strange at times. I’m not a fan of the films, but I’ve read all the Twilight books.

Invisible Girl

By: Lisa Jewell
Narrated by: Donna BanyaRebekah StatonConnor Swindells
Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 06-08-20
Language: English
Publisher: Penguin Audio

Still a bit dark, but I love the concept of this book. Definitely one for my wish list.

Invisible Girl: a story of secrets and injustices and of how we look in the wrong places for the bad people while the real predators walk among us in plain sight.

Sunrise over Sapphire Bay

sunrise over sapphire bay, books to listen to this summer
By: Holly Martin
Narrated by: Penny Andrews
Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-06-20
Language: English
Publisher: Whole Story QUEST

Not going on holiday this year? Why not pick a book that will take you somewhere lovely. There are plenty of books to choose from but I decided to go for this romantic little novel set on a beautiful Jewel Island where “where the sapphire sea sparkles, the golden sun warms your skin and the islanders melt your heart. ”

Thanks for reading, have a wonderful summer,

Anne x

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A Place to Read

Interesting Times – Terry Pratchett

April 28th would have been Sir Terry Pratchett’s birthday, so it was only natural that I would re-read one of his books. In fact I decided to listen to one on Audible, Interesting Times, read by Nigel Planer.

Interesting Times

‘May You Live in Interesting Times’ is purported to be a Chinese Curse, although there is no real evidence of this. So, as you can imagine, Sir Terry Pratchett ran with this and this book is set mainly in Hung Hung in the Counterweight Continent. In this world we would be looking towards China and Hong Kong. Ok, I thought it would be an appropriate read for these Interesting times that originated in China.

The Blurb

MIGHTY BATTLES! REVOLUTION! DEATH! WAR! (AND HIS SONS TERROR AND PANIC, AND DAUGHTER CLANCY)

The oldest and most inscrutable empire on the Discworld is in turmoil, brought about by the revolutionary treatise What I did on My Holidays. Workers are uniting, with nothing to lose but their water buffaloes. Warlords are struggling for power. War (and Clancy) are spreading throughout the ancient cities.

And all that stands in the way of terrible doom for everyone is:

Rincewind the Wizard, who can’t even spell the word ‘wizard’…

Cohen the barbarian hero, five foot tall in his surgical sandals, who has had a lifetime’s experience of not dying…

…and a very special butterfly.

My Thoughts

As a huge fan I was already familiar with most of the characters. This would be an advantage as they are not introduced and just become part of the story without much back history. When you already know all the back history of the characters then the story takes on a different meaning.

You only have to read Terry’s first two books, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic to know what the revolutionary treatise ‘What I Did On My Holidays’ would contain, which is probably a very different view to what actually happened. The Great Wizzard* sent to help the revolution is in fact a blundering idiot who just seems to get lucky sometimes. (when he’s not being very unlucky!)

*Wizzard – how Rincewind spells Wizard on his hat which makes him stand out from all the other Wizards.

The plot moves fast and can be a little confusing at times, but it’s also a great page turner and makes you laugh out loud. I remember when reading the book I got a little fed up of Mad Hamish (Who is deaf) saying ‘whaaaaat’ but being read by Nigel Planer it seemed a lot funnier. However, Nigel Planer also pronounced a few things not how I would have expected them to be pronounced, in particular place names. I have always pronounced Ankh Morpork as in Ank, not Arnk. This irritated me a little more than it should have done.

Conclusion

I would say that all of Terry Pratchett books are read alone, but there is a sequence in which the characters are introduced and they become like old friends when they pop up in new stories. If you are new to Terry then I’d consider starting more chronologically. You can find a complete chronological list of Discworld books here.

You can purchase the paperback version of Interesting Times from Waterstones for £8.99

Thanks for reading, do let me know if you have read any Terry Pratchett books and are familiar with the Discworld.

*Disclosure: I use affiliate links in my post which may earn me a little money at no extra cost to you, so thank you if you use them.

A Place to Read

What I’ve been Reading lately

The title of this post should really be what I’ve been listening to lately, but I do love my audio books. In this post I’ll include links to both Audio and Book versions.

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon

The Blurb

84-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, she considers the charming new resident who looks exactly like a man she once knew – a man who died sixty years ago. His arrival has stirred distant memories she and Elsie thought they’d laid to rest. Lying prone in the front room, Florence wonders if a terrible secret from her past is about to come to light …

Audible version

Amazon version

My Thoughts

I absolutely loved this book and didn’t want to put it down. The characters are beautifully described and the story gently told. There are twists and turns, some of them easy to work out, but the end still leaves you guessing a little. Can you work out what the third thing about Elsie is?

I love that even old people can have adventures, as well as skeletons in the closet. The story moved at a good pace despite the over use of flowery descriptions. There were so many things I read that I would love to quote…probably too many as I can’t remember any! But it didn’t distract from the story which had everything you need for a good read.

The Hoarder by Jess Kidd

The Blurb

Maud Drennan – underpaid carer and unintentional psychic – is the latest in a long line of dogsbodies for the ancient, belligerent Cathal Flood. Yet despite her best efforts, Maud is drawn into the mysteries concealed in his filthy, once-grand home. She realises that something is changing: Cathal, and the junk-filled rooms, are opening up to her.

With only her agoraphobic landlady and a troop of sarcastic ghostly saints to help, Maud must uncover what lies beneath Cathal’s decades-old hostility, and the strange activities of the house itself. And if someone has hidden a secret there, how far will they go to ensure it remains buried?

Audible Version

Amazon Version

My Thoughts

Another story about an old person with secrets, I guess if anything it makes me feel younger 🙂

This is another great story if a little weird. The main character obviously has some sort of psychic gift, or she’s just a little bonkers. No matter, I found her guardians entertaining.

The story has some great twists and secrets to discover, and it’s another page turner. The old man has a certain charm despite him hiding it well. There were parts that made me laugh, some that made me tense and others that even made a lump in my throat.

Great read if you like something a little different from the normal thriller.

The Ex-Wife by Jess Ryder

The Blurb

Newly married Natasha has the perfect house, a loving husband and a beautiful little girl called Emily. She’d have it all if it wasn’t for Jen, her husband’s ex-wife who just won’t leave them alone …

Then Natasha returns home one day to find her husband and Emily gone without trace. Desperate to get her daughter back, Natasha will do anything even if it means accepting an offer of help from Jen. But can she trust her? And do either of them really know the man they married?


Audible Version

Amazon Version

My Thoughts

This is a fast paced book with lots of twists and turns. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out who’s side you’re on. Then a certain character reveals their true colours which makes you wonder why any of the other characters have survived at all.

I really enjoyed the way the characters developed and the story line was strong. There was a couple of twists I really didn’t expect. The story flips from Now to Then and for a while you are not really sure of the relationship between the characters in the different time scales.

There were one or two things which I felt were a little far fetched but they added to the suspense and gave explanations as to why the characters acted the way they did.