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Saturday, 23 August 2014

Highfell Grimoires

Highfell Grimoires - Langley Hyde

'Highfell Grimoires' has has me on tenterhooks from the first page. I have to say I don't usually read steampunk but it has intrigued me and this book did not disappoint it was incredible from start to finish. I am reluctant to put it on my 'best of the best' shelf, only because although it completely deserves 5 stars I wouldn't read it agin. However this book kept me hooked from the first page till the last. 

This novel starts with our protagonist Neil Franklin who is a Lord but loses his fortune after the death of his parents and must work at a charity school up in the clouds called Highfell to repay his debts of his family. We see instantly that the school is cruel and more like a victorian workhouse rather than a place of learning. I love to use my imagination when reading and this book was full of wonders that aloud my mind to explore. I love how Hyde includes a map at the beginning of her novel so that the reader gets a feel of the layout of the school. This picture gave me a constant almost claustrophobic ache at the cramped rooms that Neil, Leofa and the boys must live in.

The characters were all well thought out, even the few boys that came into the narrative and I wanted to know how they saw the narrative, especially Stanley, he was my favourite boy under Leofa's and Neil's care. Neil and Leofa were perfect but the story is definitely more an adventure thriller that a Romance and I really enjoyed that about the book. And yet the love between Neil and Leofa held the narrative together and I was constantly aware of the danger they were both in. 

Overall this novel was incredible and I cannot wait to read more of Hyde's work. I must praise Blind Eye Books, the publisher who I know that I will always enjoy the novels that they publish and cannot wait to read more of their new releases.


Rating 4.5 Stars 

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Line of Beauty

The Line Of Beauty - Allen Hollinghurst Review

Highly recomeneded to me by a lot of friends and we were going to look at this book in my Book Club. I was interested in this novel because I noticed 'The Strangers' Child' By Hollinghurst and wanted to know what other work he had written. This novel, now turned BBC mini series in 2006, explores the decade of the 80's through the eyes of Nick Guest, a homosexual man living in upperclass London. 

Nick struggles to find his place in this world, which is far away from the middle class background he grew up in. He tries to find his place living with a friend's family who's father is a Tory MP. Nick struggled throughout this book to adjust himself to his environment and goes from being an innocent boy straight from uni to truly understanding how it feel to be homosexual in London in the 80's. Hollinghurst does not romanticise Nicks life, like so many others, but portrays this world as being brutal and almost cruel. 

Nick is a character that I feel the reader can connect to as he is innocent and even naive at the beginning and we want him to succeed in finding unconditional love, which he craves. However is not achieved and therefore Nick struggled even harder to find beauty (or love), where there is none received. 
Hollinghurst creates a very realistic world that is difficult to pull away from. This world is all encompassing and extremely realistic in the poetic and lyrical language that Hollinghurt uses to portray the environment that Nick is experiencing. 

The aspect of this novel which I didn't take to was the ending, as it left me feel dissatisfied because I wanted Nick to find the happiness (beauty) that he had been trying to find the entire way through the novel. He is left alone with no place to belong and with the threat of AIDS over his head. For me I wanted Nick to find someone to love and be loved in return as this is all he craves throughout the novel. 

I would recommend this book to a reader who enjoys a challenge and likes to work at a novel to find the meaning the author was looking for. This book is not a light read and deserves attention to be read properly. 

I would rate this book 3.5 /  5 stars  

Saturday, 9 August 2014

To Lose A Loved One

To lose her
would break me.
She knows me
loves me and holds me.
One mistake
One touch of fate
Could crack our fragile world.

I'm alone
no longer whole
As she is my heart
and my soul.

The one who wronged us is loved
Dearly
Truly
Completely.

I am torn in two
left broken of the side
forgotten
but never forgiven.