April’s challenge was a book recommended to me by my bookshop or librarian. And Mid March I was in my local bookshop yes it is on of my favourite haunts. Vivian the manager told me about this amazing book she had read “The Brilliant and Forever” by Kevin MacNeil. So the April challenge was set.
The Brilliant and Forever is indeed an amazing book it is certainly for me the stand out book of 2016. The front cover states
“Laugh out loud and funny. It’s so refreshing to read a book that isn’t like anything else.” David Robinson.
David is spot on but equally the book is one of the saddest books I have read and one of the most accurate about the strengths and weaknesses of the human spirit. So I hear you ask what is it about? It’s about a story telling festival on an inland an annual event much heralded in the literary world. It’s about three friends who are entering the competition one of whom is an Alpaca. The author manages to weave each of the stories of those entering the competition into the story so there are also many stories within this story. This book is magical for so many reasons. The author is from Lewis and it is obvious that the book is set there. I am drawn to the Hebrides like a fly to a spiders web as many of you know. But that isn’t why I love this book. The location is what it is but it’s the writing and the fact that this book is truly different that made me fall in love with this book.
April proved to be a good reading month. Other book that I read were.
1. Girl at War by Sara Novic
2. The Rat Stone Serenade by Denzil Meyrick
3. Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans
4. Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin
5. The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina
6. A special relationship by Douglas Kennedy
7. The illuminations by Andrew o’Hagan
8. The Brilliant and Forevers by Kevin MacNeil
9. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
10. Early One Morning by Virginia Baily
All of the above books were enjoyable reads particular highlights were Girl at War continuing my look at the fictional novels of the Baltic Wars. Career of Evil was also brilliant and I enjoyed the fact that part of the story was set in Melrose JK Rowling had the place just as it is warts and all. Finally just loved The Illuminations by Andrew O’ Hagan about a lady suffering from dementia and the relationship she has with her next door neighbour in the sheltered housing complex, her daughter and her grandson. Set in Saltcoats, Glasgow and Blackpool. Makes you think, smile and cry and if you are from the West Coast brings back so many memories which is essentially the point of the book as the lady starts living again in the past.