Month: February 2016

Book Review – A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

The story starts with Miriam a young girl, the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy businessman, living a secluded life with her mother on the outskirts of Herat, Afghanistan. Mariam, grows to womanhood, and is forced into marriage with Rasheed and moves to the unfamiliar surroundings of Kabul where we are introduced to Laila. Laila is just nine years old and lives near to Miriam. She has been brought up by her father who has provided Laila with a loving upbringing and good education.

Events in the women’s lives are destined to merge. The story gives the reader an insight into life as a woman in Kabul and the oppression and struggles under the Soviet occupation, followed by the Taliban rule. Khaled Hosseini draws you in with the development of the characters so much you feel the emotion, joys and pains as it unravels in this classic novel.

a-thousand-splendid-suns-facebook-coverKhaled Hosseini is author of the best selling novel The Kite Runner and does not disappoint with A Thousand Splendid Suns. This is an exceptionally gripping and brilliantly crafted read that you will not be able to put down.

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I highly recommend this book, with my star rating of 11 out of 10, and one you should definitely add to your list of ‘must reads’.

To get your copy of A Thousand Splendid Suns Click Here

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Book Review – Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

The struggle and fear people experienced in the Soviet Union is graphically brought to life with such skill in Tom Rob Smith’s novel Child 44 set in 1953 shortly before Stalin’s death. The main character Leo Demidov world is shattered, his job and relationship with his wife are thrown into turmoil following the death of a young boy the parents believe to have been murdered. Leo from being a war hero and having a successful career as an officer in the Ministry of State Security, and enjoying life’s luxuries that come with the job, suddenly becomes an enemy of the state in Stalin’s perfect communist society where there can be no crime as this plague only happens in the capitalist west.

The book follows Leo and his wife’s struggle to bring justice in pursuit of a serial killer in a world of corruption where the image and structure is more important than truth and fairness. The story based loosely on the real life crimes of Andrei Chikatilo in a later decade to what the book is set manages to capture and convey the events incomprehensible to someone who has not lived in that time and place.

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A sub plot to the main story I wanted to add a note on is, the romantic element between Leo and his wife Raisa as this has not appeared much in other reviews. This is a great love story where emotions and realities of their relationship are revealed.

Child 44 is exciting, emotional and of historical interest and one I will add to my bookshelf to read again.

To get a copy of Child 44 click here

New Sign on the M25

Last week I was driving down the M25 and I noticed a new sign they added. It seems everybody is heading to The Writers Forum.

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Click to go to The Writers Forum

Alright, I know it’s convincing but in truth I found a clever little app that allowed me to create this sign. However, The Writers Forum is the place to be if you have an interest in creative writing whatever your level. The website is something I and few budding authors set up a couple of months back and it is going from strength to strength.

It’s a great place to submit short stories and get feedback from others. We are now running our third flash fiction Competition and this month will see our first short story competition.

Ready to Start 2016

Made it! Survived January, what a month and I am kind of glad it is over with the loss of so many great celebs and Terry finishing off the list. RIP Terry and thank you for all the pleasure and good you have spread around this world.

Now back to normal, no more ‘Dry January’ as we hit boozie February. No I have promise I will be good. It is 8am 1st February and I still have not had a drink so I consider myself to be doing very well. Productivity is my word for the New Year. Big plans for 2016 with lots of short stories and flash fiction to come over the next couple of months and I target by the end of the year to have my first novel ready. Ready for editing at least but hopefully a little further down the line

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Also signed up for the A- Z April challenge where I will blog every day of April to a related letter A – Z. With only twenty six days in April it fits perfectly – maybe.

So I must be off now to start writing and try and find the key to the drinks cabinet. Where did I put it!