Thursday, 3 July 2008

Greenery and reading

Recent reading.
The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill. Interesting long involved whodunnit, with a scary upsetting ending I didn’t expect. When I next take to crime, I’ll read her again.

East of the Sun by Julia Gregson. Three girls travel to India in 1928. A long and absorbing novel. I hesitated in one of the opening chapters describing a shopping journey along Piccadilly when the London facts didn’t quite seem to ring true but these were just minute quibbles, and perhaps a case of too much research crammed into one page for scene-setting effect. I particularly enjoyed the voyage with the weird boy, and then the various factions of Bombay society, and found the two younger girls absolutely convincing. I wasn’t totally sure, though, that a 25-year-old would be quite as brave and unconventional as lonely Viva in 1928. She seemed too modern. But that didn’t spoil the story for me - an excellent holiday read. (R&J choice)


Cath said...

I have The Various Haunts of Men on my tbr pile too. It's high time I got to it as I love Susan Hill's ghost stories.

I've not heard of the other book but that sounds right up my street too. Will add it to the 'keep an eye out for' list.

Lovely photo!

Juliet said...

Me too - I've acquired all Susan Hill's Serrailler novels in recent rummagings in charity-shop. Opinion seems completely divided - people either love them a lot or hate them with a vengeance. It seems to be the serious crime-fiction devotees who are most dismissive of them because they don't quite 'fit' the genre. (To me that is a recommendation!) High time I opened the first in the series and decided for myself, I think (so up the south face of the TBR mountain they ascend!)

Susie Vereker said...

Cath, East of the Sun is a Richard & Judy Summer Read (so it will be a bestseller!)
I'll give The Various Haunts of Men to Son 1 but, when I acquire them, will save SH's other Serrailler novels for when I need a long holiday read. I only read one or two crime novels a year anyway.
Of all the books lately, I enjoyed Sharon Maas's the most - it had an unusual setting and seemed to be written from the heart.

Cath said...

I hardly read any modern crime either, although I don't mind a little historical crime. I can't imagine *only* reading crime books as some people do. I think I agree with Juliet that the serious crime book fans not liking a book would probably recommend it to me!

Which book by Sharon Maas did you like, Susie? I had a quick check in your posts but couldn't see it.

Susie Vereker said...

Cath, it was Of Marriageable Age by Sharon Maas.

Anonymous said...

All the Hill/Serrailler novels are brilliant and well worth reading. I think the crime writers got sniffy because Susan is invading their territory (she seems to write in so many genres with ease) and they did not like it.

East of the Sun is on my list

Read heaps of 'holiday reading' in turkey a few weeks ago if anybody wants to get any ideas check out my post