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review 2018-03-01 09:29
Tragic, and poignant, this beautifully-written book blew me away; the gun debate will rage on at the back of your mind, and your heart will break for the lead character
Gun Love - Jennifer Clement

This amazing, tragic, beautiful book completely blew me away. The gawdy pink and yellow cover and a title that can only imply a tale that’s going to leave you with something unforgettable, immediately made me want to read this, even though I will unashamedly say I detest firearms...and yes, there are a lot of guns in this book.
This poetically-written novel drew me in right away, as it’s really a tale about a young girl called Pearl who has spent her short life of 14 years living with her mom in a car parked at a trailer park, in Central Florida. The novel is written in three parts, and told from Pearl’s perspective, as if she were telling someone her story, her absolutely heart-wrenching story; it is told with the naivety of someone who is even younger because she has seen so little, yet this is also a little girl who has had to come to terms with not knowing who her father is, has her ‘wardrobe’ in the trunk of the car, and has smoked cigarettes since she was 10.
Huge issues come up in this pretty short book, and my heart broke over and over again, at the same time my head was screaming on about the gun debate (there’s no coincidence that this is set in Florida, but it comes at a time where recent incidents make this novel all the more poignant, regardless of the specific story contained within). It’s hard not to connect thoughts and feelings with current events when reading this. It’s also very hard to read this without a lump in your throat.
I’ve not read any of author Jennifer Clement’s work before but this is spectacular. I can’t give too much away regarding the full storyline, but the way Jennifer weaves words together is just magic, and I couldn’t take my eyes away from the page. This is one of the best things I’ve read so far this year and I won’t forget ‘Gun Love’ any time soon, especially given the sad tale within, and the tragedies brought on by firearms in the real world. Absolutely masterful and poignant.

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review 2016-03-30 19:02
Lost Among the Living
Lost Among the Living - Simone St. James

A highly atmospheric mystery.


We are in England after the First World War: Joanna, our protagonist, finds herself facing an uncertain future. Her husband, Alex, is missing and presumed dead. She has no family, no money and no job. Alex's aunt Dottie, hires Jo as her companion and personal assistant. But when Jo moves in with her boss to Alex's old house, strange things begin to happen... and I don't want to add more as it might spoil the plot.


It took me a bit to get into the story and although it wasn't an unpredictable plot, I enjoyed it very much. The setting should be noted, as it's so different of what I usually read. Forget fantasy lands, or dystopian futures. we are in Post War England. This added a certain atmospheric element that worked excellent with Jo's tale. I could see this being the script of a rather good film. The writing was really good and each scene involved great detail that made the story more compact and easy to immense yourself. It reminded me a bit of the movie "The Woman in Black".


The only part I didn't really buy was the romance of Joanna and her husband Alex. It wasn't fully justified in my opinion. I don't really get instant love and I don't like it in books. If you don't object to that, the whole book will work out quite well for you.


I'd recommend this to people who like mysteries with supernatural and historical elements.


**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review.

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