Friday, 9 February 2018

What Are You Reading (2) ... and is it romantic?

By Gillian Hamer

So, February is the month of love. Ho-hum. Or so we are told. But in the spirit of all things romantic, in the second of our What Are You Reading articles we touch on love stories in all their guises.

In the hope of discovering a few more masterpieces, or at least adding to our ‘to be read’ pile, Triskele members share our current reads with you - and ask for your latest hot reads in exchange. Please join in the discussion and let's spread the word about some of the great books out there - whether classics or latest finds.

FEBRUARY - What are you reading?


LIZA PERRAT

The Lost Son of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith

Not a romance in the true sense of the word, but plenty of love features in this true and tragic story of an unmarried mother whose son was forcibly adopted (stolen and sold) from Ireland in the mid-1950s.
The story follows firstly her atrocious experience with the nuns in the Irish convent, then the son's life adopted life in the USA, where he becomes a high-level Republican worker for Pres Reagan. His search for his mother and her search for him expose the crimes of the Catholic Church concerning forced adoptions. This books certainly pulled on my heartstrings far more than a classic tale of romance.



JANE DIXON SMITH

The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory.

The title says it all and the cover is very pink ... It follows Elizabeth I as she finally ascends the English throne, with many pushing for her marriage to secure the future of England. Her eye is on Robert Dudley, but as always, everyone at court is jostling for power and there are enemies in every corner.





GILLIAN HAMER

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Again, not a traditional romance, but there is love in there, mostly of the 'unrequited', 'unexpected' and 'search for unconditional' varieties. This is a cleverly written novel from the perspective of a character who sees the world through very different eyes than most, and survives each day the only way she knows how ... because no one has ever shown Eleanor Oliphant how to live rather than simply survive. When the layers of her life are slowly revealed, the reader is dragged through every emotion possible.
Romance? Possibly not. But Valentines is probably a good time to read it to help you appreciate the good things in life.




 
J.J. MARSH

Mythos by Stephen Fry.

Mythos is a retelling of some Greek myths by Stephen Fry and it is most definitely romantic.
Fry’s urbane tones shine through as he tells legendary tales of passion and drama, and reveals all kinds of quite interesting facts in his footnotes.
Entertaining, educational and filled with genuine love for a good story.



CATRIONA TROTH

Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

Sofia Khan is a totally recognisable, flawed, modern young woman. She wears skinny jeans, smokes, swears, has issues with deadlines and agonises about getting fat while scoffing muffins and lemon puffs. So far, so Bridget Jones. On the other hand, she wears a hijab, doesn’t drink alcohol, prays five times a day and has no intention of having sex before marriage. And Sofia and her friends have to deal with things Bridget could never have imagined - from Muslim speed dating, to deciding whether it’s okay to become a polygamous second wife. As for emotional blackmail, Muslim aunties take it to new heights.

But Sofia Khan has something BJD never quite achieved – a sense of real heart. Do not expect this to end with Sofia ripping off her hijab and going on a binge. Nor with her settling down to be a ‘traditional’ submissive wife. This is about how you can be modern, independent, strong-minded – and still a faithful Muslim. Something most Muslim women have always known; Malik is just letting the rest of us in on the secret.

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