Thursday, 11 January 2018

Review - The Silence Between Breaths by Cath Staincliffe

The Silence Between Breaths by Cath Staincliffe is perhaps one of the hardest books that I’ve ever had to review, something which is largely due to its subject matter. With so much time having lapsed since I first downloaded this book, I went into it with very little idea what to expect but have to say that it truly did pull me in and have me hooked from the very first page. Whilst I can’t say that it was a particularly happy or uplifting read, one thing that can definitely be said is that it was extremely powerful and emotive. 

Within this particular novel, eight passengers board coach B of the 10.35 train from Manchester to London Euston and settle into their seats for what will be an almighty journey. All with different reasons for boarding the train, whether to attend a job interview, family wedding or little holiday, many begin their journey full of hope for the future with little to burden them. That is all except for Saheel, a man with terrible intentions who unbeknown to the other passengers has a bomb concealed in his rucksack which he intends to wreak havok with and destroy innocent lives, hopes and dreams in the process. 

The Silence Between Breaths is told from the perspective of the eight different people who are on board the train in addition to Saheel’s sister who is at home when the atrocity takes place. As such it did take me a little while to get into the swing of the novel and remember who everyone was. However, this didn’t last long and I have to say that I was thoroughly impressed by how fabulously developed each of the characters were. As we got to know more and more about the lives of each of those on board the train, I found it harder to read without wondering who would survive. 

Cath Staincliffe has created a novel that was extremely powerful, moving and thought-provoking that really highlights the importance of making the most of each and every moment you get to share with those you love. Despite being rather gripping to the point where I struggled to put it down, it certainly wasn’t a pleasant or easy read but was extremely topical in nature. With events such as what took place within this novel, being reported far too frequently, I couldn’t help but be filled with a sense of sadness that this book is not purely a figment of an author’s imagination. I think Cath is to be commended for how superbly she has pulled this novel off, with a vast amount of sensitivity and tact throughout. 

The sort of book that made me want to hug all those that are dear to me and tell them how much they are loved, The Silence Between Breaths was a book that has had an incredible impact on me and is a book that I will not be able to forget for a long time to come. This was the first of Cath Staincliffe’s novels that I have ever read before and I can guarantee that it will not be the last as I’m now looking forward to discovering more of what she has written. 

Monday, 8 January 2018

Review - Watching Edie by Camilla Way

Watching Edie is the debut novel by Camilla Way and I have to say that it was an astoundingly good and thoroughly addictive read. This was one of those books that once started was truly impossible to put down and I found myself racing through it at an incredible speed, devouring the entire book in just one sitting. Relatively creepy in nature, this was a book that got right under my skin in a way that I was not expecting and in a way that no book has done in a very long time. 

Within the book, Camilla Way introduces us to Edie and Heather, two women who formed an unlikely friendship when they were at school. Having gone their separate ways many years ago, Edie is now thirty-three years old, heavily pregnant and living alone with a lot on her mind so is a tiny bit surprised to open her front door one day and find Heather on the doorstep. Not knowing what to say to Heather, someone who Edie hoped never to see again, memories of the past come flooding back. Just what happened all those years ago that kept these girls apart for so long and why has Heather come to find Edie now? 

Whilst I wouldn’t say that either of the characters that we met throughout Watching Edie were particularly likeable, one thing that can definitely be said is that they were thoroughly intriguing. With both Heather and Edie being fabulously crafted, I quickly became involved in their story and was so keen to discover just what happened between them all those years ago. From the very start with Edie’s shock and surprise at Heather arriving at her house being so incredibly palpable, I knew that something signifant had taken place between the two and as the book progressed it delved further into the minds of each of the characters, revealing exactly what made each of them tick. 

Watching Edie by Camilla Way was a book with an extremely compelling plot that contained so many twists and turns that I did not see coming and were truly impossible to predict. Camilla has written Watching Edie in a truly fabulous way, with each chapter being told from the perspective of both Edie and Heather, alternating between the past and present day. As the tension built at an incredible pace, you just knew that something big was going to happen and I found that I was both impressed and shocked by what was truly a spectacular ending that will stay with me for a long time to come. 

As a book that deserves an incredible amount of both attention and success, Watching Edie is a book that I absolutely adored from beginning to end. A true psychological thriller, written by someone who I feel is an exciting new voice in the genre, I’m thoroughly looking forward to discovering and reading more from Camilla in the future. If I could give this book more than five stars I would!