The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt


The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is quite a behemoth of a novel; it is pretty daunting in its length and scope. It is the type of novel, that for me anyway, you have to be in the right frame of mind for to start, knowing that it’s going to take some time finish. I started reading it in August of this year and did not finish it until early November – I did read quite a few books in between as well, but always returned to where I had left off. The novel is very accessible, there is not an over-abundance of characters to try and keep track of, and the story is quite simple at heart; this really helped when I was chopping and changing my reading. I didn’t feel like I had lost track of what was going on and it didn’t detract from the novel.

The Goldfinch is about a boy, Theo, who very early in the book gets caught up in a terrorist attack on a museum in New York, it is at this point that two overriding factors that affect the entire novel thereafter occur Continue reading

On the Beach by Nevil Shute

On the Beach

I had not heard of On the Beach, by Nevil Shute prior to reading for book group recently; I had heard of one of his other novels, A Town Like Alice, but never heard of the author – I shall definitely be reading more works by Mr Shute. We decided to read On the Beach after one of our members suggested we should read it. She had indeed read it before, but several years ago, and fancied re-reading the book to compare how she remembered the book against her twenty year older self. I am quite happy to reveal early on in this review that it was fantastic!

On the Beach is a simple novel about a small group of people living in Melbourne; the world has experienced a catastrophic nuclear war which as killed the entire population of the Northern Hemisphere. The fallout from this global conflict is drifting slowly South, encompassing everything in its path – Continue reading

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates


I have been meaning to read Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates for some time now, and I finally picked up a paperback copy during the summer. I also suggested at book group in August that we should read it and so it came to pass that we did. I have been reading more American contemporary fiction over the last few years and really enjoyed this type of melodramatic novel written in the 1950s and 1960s.

Revolutionary Road is about the lives of a typical American couple in the 1950s; they’re living an entirely suburban life with two kids, the husband dislikes his mundane job in the city, whilst the ‘pretty little’ wife stays at home being a ‘pretty little wife’. The main difference between Frank and April Wheeler and their all American counterparts is that they want out. Frank being more and more downtrodden by the sheer mundanity of life, who thinks of himself to be more philosophical and in some ways superior to be stuck in this endless suburbia, is thrown a lifeline by April to escape. The Wheeler’s could move away, April could work; she could support Frank and the family whilst he finds himself… Continue reading