Ardnish Was Home by Angus MacDonald: The story is about a young Scottish soldier in WWI who gets injured at Gallipolli and then falls in love with his nurse. While he is convalescent he tells her stories about his home, the West Highlands. I loved this part since it described an area that we passed while traveling this year in Scotland but also a time which is long gone. The love story is well told. And I was rooting for these two to make it back to behind Allied lines. Very descriptive and vivid, the misery of the war and the life in the Highlands clearly comes alive with the authors words. An entertaining read, not only if you are into history or Scotland. It gave me all the more reasons to visit Scotland again and travel the islands next time.
The Children Act by Ian McEwan: As a judge at the High Court in London Fiona May has to deal with a Jehovah witness case. Doing everything within the law for the better of the religious minor comes easy to her. It is her duty after all. It’s the changing of the course of events by visiting the young man in the hospital while deciding his fate that has a profound impact on all persons involved. All the while she has to come to terms with the end of her marriage on the private front. Being at her most vulnerable the acquaintance with the young man reverberates within both of them. Of a sudden it’s not just a court case anymore but becomes deeply personal. Ian McEwan as usual writes with a clarity and detachment that makes the whole story even harder to stomach.
The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger: Imagine being a tennis pro and then taking a fall at Wimbledon. A fall which then leaves you unable to perform for months because you broke your wrist besides other injuries. That’s an awful scenario but the onset of the book. Watch Charlie working hard on turning her fortune around. All the while experiencing a new glitzy life style on the one hand and on the other being stuck in the boot camp from hell. Quick and entertaining read if you are into tennis, otherwise probably not enough romance for a chick lit.
Glencoe and the Indians by James Hunter: I haven’t read such a long-winded book in ages. The story itself is really interesting about the similarities of the English treatment of the Scotts and the American treatment of the natives which was of course way worse for the Indians. But it was the really long ground-laying of the characters background that had me going nuts while reading it. How often do facts need to be repeated? And does every sentence really need to have several clauses? I was going numb while reading the story and only felt more attached to it in the second half. It is wonderful because it describes an era long done and talks about people who earn our awe. But this could have been done so much better eg with a genealogical tree in the beginning.