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The Faithful Couple By A.D. Miller

The Faithful Couple‘The Faithful Couple’ is the latest book by Man Booker shortlisted author, A.D. Miller.

Neil and Adam, two young men on the cusp of adulthood, meet one golden summer in California and, despite their different backgrounds, soon become best friends. Buton a camping trip in Yosemite they lead each other into wrongdoing that, years later, both will desperately regret. Their connection holds through love affairs, fatherhood, the wild successes and unforeseen failures of booming London, as power and guilt ebb between them. Then the truth of that long-ago night emerges. What happens when you discover that the friendship you can’t live without was always built on a lie?

‘The Faithful Couple’ is an interesting story that catches the reader off guard with its title, the reader is lead to believe that the couple are a man and a woman, but it is in fact about two men who meet one day whilst travelling in America. After an incident occurs one night, the men share a strong bond and continue to be friends through the hurdles and dramas of life.

The story is split in chapters which takes place from the years 1993 to 2011, as both Neil and Adam fall in love, have families and further their careers, but the night that changed their lives is still fresh in their memory especially Adam’s as he lives with the guilt and upset that they caused.

Both men are interesting characters, Neil is the shy one of the two but the more successful, a wealthy bachelor, he floats from jobs and occasionally envies Adam’s life, married and settled with children. Adam is boisterous but as the years pass, he becomes quiet and withdrawn as he battles with feelings that Neil is unable to understand, whereas in the beginning of the friendship, he was much more outgoing of the two men.

It’s hard to write a review of this book, as it would be very easy to give the main the plot line away, but it’s a deeply compelling book, that oozes tension from each page, as the years pass and secrets are unfolded, both Adam and Neil wonder about their friendship that has lasted over thirty years.

Filled with the complexities of the everyday relationships, competitiveness and love, the story is intelligently and darkly written and makes for deep and insightful reading, ‘The Faithful Couple’ is a book that stays with you long after you reach the final page.

You can buy The Faithful Couple from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Carrie Fletcher Reveals New Book – On The Other Side

On The Other Side’ is After the success of Carrie Fletcher’s first book, ‘All I Know Now: Wonderings and Reflections on Growing Up Gracefully’, a guide to help with growing up, Carrie is returning with her debut novel called ‘On The Other Side’.

The story of ‘On The Other Side’ is –

Your soul is too heavy to pass through this door,
Leave the weight of the world in the world from before

Evie Snow is eighty-two when she quietly passes away in her sleep, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. It’s the way most people wish to leave the world but when Evie reaches the door of her own private heaven, she finds that she’s become her twenty seven- year-old self and the door won’t open. Evie’s soul must be light enough to pass through so she needs to get rid of whatever is making her soul heavy. For Evie, this means unburdening herself of the three secrets that have weighed her down for over fifty years, so she must find a way to reveal them before it’s too late. As Evie begins the journey of a lifetime, she learns more about life and love than she ever thought possible, and somehow, some way, she may also find her way back to her long lost love…

With a sweet cover and a mysterious plot, ‘On The Other Side’ sounds like a captivating story.

You can pre-order On the Other Side from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 14th July 2016.

If You Go Away By Adele Parks

If You Go Away‘If You Go Way’ is the latest book by Adele Parks.

1914. Vivian, a young, impassioned debutante is hurried into a pedestrian marriage to cover a scandal. War breaks out on her wedding day – domestically and across Europe. Quick to escape the disappointment of matrimony, her traditionalist husband immediately enlists and Vivian has no alternative than to take up the management and running of his estate – after all, everyone is required to do their bit. Even pretty, inadequately-educated young wives. Howard, a brilliant young playwright rushes to the front to see for himself the best and the worst of humanity; he cannot imagine what the horror might be. In March 1916, when conscription becomes law, it is no longer enough for him to report on the War, it’s a legal requirement that he joins the ranks. Howard refuses, becoming one of the most notorious conscientious objectors of the time. Disarmingly handsome, famous, articulate and informed, he’s a threat to the government. Narrowly escaping a death sentence by agreeing to take essential work on Vivian’s farm, it’s only then Howard understands what is worth fighting for.

Adele’s latest book is another glamorous and romantic historical take set against the backdrop of the First World War.

The story is seen through the eyes of Vivian and Howard. Vivian, is a young woman who is in season and is hoping to be paired up with one of the lusted men in the country, unfortunately that isn’t the case for the young heroine and she finds herself, the subject of shame. No longer able to pick a suitor, she finds herself paired off with Aubrey Owens, a quiet young man and the complete opposite to the vicarious Vivian and together they embark on a marriage, based on the companionship and formalities and lacking in the love that Vivian craves. As the war rages, Aubrey goes off to battle for his country leaving Vivian and their daughter Mabel behind and Vivian finds herself forgetting about the glamour of life and instead sets about looking after her house and garden and wanting to do more for the small village with the men being at war.

Howard hates the war and everything that it stands for. He longs to be back in the theatre producing and writing plays but he goes with his friend, a journalist who wants to give actual accounts of war and the pair of them witness the carnage and chaos. Tormented from the things, he witnessed at war, Howard refuses to take part in the war and this leads to him being subjected to abuse and prison for his beliefs.

Vivian and Howard embark on a tentative friendship when she hires him to help around the house, doing the jobs she’s unable to do. They become friends and slowly become closer as the war progresses and time goes by.

Just like Adele’s previous book, this book is a glamorous tale, but with the inclusion of the war, it does make for gritty and gruesome reading which is unsettling in scenes. The war accounts are very descriptive and are obviously well researched. The characters in the story are likeable and relatable people, Vivian is like any other girl looking for her happy ever after, she’s sweet and really comes out her shell when Howard arrives, he provides masculinity to the war tale.

A compelling and captivating story that is beautifully written with powerful authenticity, ‘If You Go Away’ is a romantic and harrowing story that makes for emotional reading, another great historical book from Adele.

You can buy If You Go Away from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Dorothy Koomson Reveals New Book – When I Was Invisible

When I Was InvisibleDorothy is returning to our bookshelves in 2016 with her new book called ‘When I Was Invisible’. The story of ‘When I Was Invisible’ is –

‘Do you ever wonder if you’ve lived the life you were meant to?’ I ask her.

She sighs, and dips her head. ‘Even if I do, what difference will it make?’

In 1988, two eight-year-old girls with almost identical names and the same love of ballet meet for the first time. They seem destined to be best friends forever and to become professional dancers. Years later, however, they have both been dealt so many cruel blows that they walk away from each other into very different futures – one enters a convent, the other becomes a minor celebrity. Will these new, ‘invisible’ lives be the ones they were meant to live, or will they only find that kind of salvation when they are reunited twenty years later?

I’ve read a couple of Dorothy’s books and they make for enjoyable and intriguing reading and ‘When I Was Invisible’ sounds just as gripping.

You can pre-order When I Was Invisible from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 5th May 2015.

Claudia Carroll Is Coming To Newry Library

For fans of Irish author and actress, Claudia Carroll, I’ve good news if you’re based in Northern Ireland as the Avon Books author is coming to Newry Library on Saturday 13th February.

Registration for the event will commence at 10-10.30am, so come along for a reading group discussion, an author talk followed by a Q&A. It’s an event not to be missed as it’s guaranteed to be fun and informative.

To book your tickets for the event email – newrycity.library@libariesni.org.uk

Claudia Carroll Newspiecer