A few recommendations…
I’ve read some wonderful books over the last few months. Several of them had been on my ‘to be read’ list for a while, and I’m now wondering why I waited so long!
My absolute favourite was probably ‘An Equal Music’ by Vikram Seth (author of ‘A Suitable Boy’). I’m always fascinated by novelists who manage to write about music so well, as I know from personal experience that this is a challenge! The writing is beautiful, and I loved the character dynamics between the members of the string quartet.
I also loved ‘Sweet Sorrow’ by David Nicholls. His ‘The Understudy’ is one of my favourite books of all time, so I was very excited to see him return to the world of theatre. The novel follows Charlie over the summer following his GCSEs. He joins a drama group to get close to a girl, and falls in love for the first time. It’s a beautiful, poignant, tender novel, and a great summer read.
For something a little spooky, I thoroughly enjoyed ‘I Am Dust’ by Louise Beech, an excellent supernatural thriller about a theatre usher who finds herself haunted by a curse inflicted upon her when she was a teenager. It’s absolutely chilling in parts, but also offers a really fun behind-the-scenes glimpse into life in a theatre, and features great characters.
Another excellent summer read was ‘The Age of Light’ by Whitney Scharer. This novel swept me away to 1920s Paris, and explored the turbulent relationship between photographer Lee Miller and Surrealist artist Man Ray. It’s a brilliant period piece, and a fascinating exploration of what art means to those who create it.
Finally, I must mention ‘Leonard and Hungry Paul’ by Ronan Hession, one of the most charming books I’ve ever read. The humour is gentle and never cruel, but wonderfully observational, and I loved the two main characters more than I’ve loved any character in a long time. The ending is absolute perfection.