Alexander Averin

Thursday, 6 March 2014


Dear Diary,

I have read two good books recently, one straight after the other and strangely and completely coincidentally, the themes of each book are very similar. Both are about searching, lost fathers and lost daughters and both cover psychological suffering.

I actually bought the first book, it is unusual for me to buy books as I am of course a library devotee but I happened to be in the local Tesco  -  not that I shop there very often as I am not a fan but when I do go in there  I always scan the book aisle thoroughly (fellow bibliophiles will understand).

I noticed this book for sale, priced at only £2!

Book description

Alice is back in the family house that has never felt like home, waiting out the last few days of her father's life and yearning to escape.  Across the city, a homeless man named Daniel searches for the daughter he has always loved but never met.

Connected by a secret, Alice and Daniel are about to cross paths in unexpected and life-changing ways.

Alice has just returned to London from months of travelling abroad. She is late to hear the news that her father is dying and arrives at the family home only just in time to say goodbye.  Daniel hasn't had a roof over his head for years but to him the city of London feels like home in a way that no bricks and mortar ever did.  He spends every day seearching for his daughter, the daughter he has never met.  Until now.

Heart-wrenching and life affirming, this is a unique story of love lost and found, of rootlessness and homecoming and the power of ties that bind. It is a story for fathers and daughters everywhere.

I couldn’t believe it, after all £2 is half the price of an average magazine these days!   I hardly ever buy magazines now, they are always crammed full of adverts and the  articles are either very samey and repetitive or cover subjects which have no relevance to me at my stage of life.  I find blogs far more interesting, I wonder do you agree or are you still a magazine reader?  The only publication I do subscribe to is Mslexia which I adore and always look forward to its arrival in the post,  if you haven't heard of it, it’s a quarterly magazine especially for women who write.

I digress as usual.

I checked the book and saw it had a good write-up with glowing reports:

Graceful and in all its shape-shifting complexity, is at the core of this novel' that and the consequences - good and bad - of keeping secrets...The shifting and intricate dynamics of family life and the vertiginously painful feelings of loss induced by relationship breakdown and bereavement are written with imaginative precision.  This is a thought - as well as an emotion-provoking novel...It also sparkles with hope. Independent on Sunday.

Exquisitely written. Butler writes with lucidity, compassion and a beautifully detailed eye for London and all its quirks.  Metro.

There were many others and some from a few eminent novelists.  

So I splashed out.

I did enjoy the book, it was original in style and very well written,  worth every penny and many, many pennies more.  I  would definitely recommend it to you, it reminded me a bit of Clare Morrall’s Astonishing Splashes of Colour (Morrall also praised the book). 

A very enjoyable read..subtle and clever. Clare Morrall, Booker Proze shortlisted authorof Astonishing Splashes of Colour.

This is Sarah Butler’s first novel.  I look forward to her second.   


This is the second book, one I have just finished (sadly).

Marian Keyes called it a gem of a book and I agree for it is certainly a classic and one to be treasured.

If you have got to know and understand the lovely Saga in the TV drama series The Bridge then you will be halfway to understanding the main character in this novel (another first novel!).  I borrowed it from the library and read it in just two sittings, one sitting covered about 75% of the book. - I admit I was a little unwell at the time but had I been fighting fit I would still have been glued to its pages.  

All through this novel I had such a strong feeling that this would make a great film; with the right director and good casting it could be a smash hit, I do hope it does happen. 

It is an unusual book in that it has many aspects which grip you. It is very well-written, it is funny, it is moving and touching romantically but above all I found it to be a memorable learning experience.  It is a must-read for folk who know only a little, or nothing at all about the subject of the autism spectrum/Aspergers.  The characters were real (I cared about them) and the 'whodunnit' element ran throughout, right to the end (who was the mystery father?).  I didn't want the book to end and yet I raced through it,  smiling and laughing a great deal inside and hoping things would work out in the end.  Did they? Well you will have to read it and see.  I have lent the book to my husband now and he is laughing out loud - a lot  - and I feared he wouldn't take to it. 

As I read it I must admit that I had the feeling that I might be one of only a few who would rave about it.  I recommended it to my daughter but feared she might not appreciate it. It is quirky and I do have rather quirky tastes sometimes and perhaps I identified a little with the male character in some of his OCD behaviour (only a little!) and perhaps I identified with the female in the book because of her lack of identity and her search for her father.  I have after all conducted my own search for both my parents........... but that is another (long!) story........

I had a look on Amazon before I recommended it to other folk, just to see if it was popular and lo and behold it has already had over 600 rave reviews and is in the bestsellers. I am probably a little late to the book and perhaps some of you have read it?  If you have read either of these two books do let me know your thoughts and any other good read recommendations anyone may have would be very much appreciated.

I shall blog soon about what books I have lined up on my bedside table.

Talking of which it is past ten and my bed is calling,

Bye for now,

Go mbeannai dia duit,



Marianne said...

Thank you for the recommendations - I shall look out for them as am running out of new reading material.

I have to say that the one thing I enjoy about being unwell is the opportunity for a good unbridled read without feeling that I should do something more challenging, like sort out my paperwork...

Btw I'm currently re-reading a Victoria Clayton novel called Past Mischief and hugely enjoying it. Again.

Stacy Lynn said...

ohh, i saw 'the rosie project' on amazon, it had some raving reviews! have def added it to my 'to be read' list! :)

Mac n' Janet said...

I too loved the Rosie Project. Not the type of book I usually like, but it just hit me right.
I haven't read anything very memorable lately, but hopefully I will.

Elizabeth said...

Both sound super suggestions and just the sort of thing I enjoy.
I will look out for them.
Thanks for the recommendation.

Procrastinator extraodinaire said...

Love getting book suggestion especially since I am back in a book club interestingly made up of internationals. The Clare Morrell book was good, had never heard of synthesia, the colour thing but my Mil does it. I found out when describing the book to her.

Procrastinator extraodinaire said...

P.s agree with magazine comment. I love interiors but think it is better to save up over a couple of months and get a book, no ads. I do buy French mags, same issues but it is a way of picking up the language.