Ever Rest by Roz Morris
Encouraged by the media, the fans can’t rest until Ash’s body is brought home. But two decades on, he hasn’t been found. Elza is in a new relationship, with a new career as a visual artist, but how can she settle where her old one is unfinished? Hugo has turned his back on music completely, immersing himself in the mountains and culture of Nepal.
Other vested interests muddy the waters. Robert, a session player with the Ashbirds, thinks he can finally find fame by reviving the band’s old songs. His ambition dovetails temporarily with that of Oliver Jared, an immensely wealthy fan.
With perfect prose, Roz Morris beckons the reader into the recording studio and guides us to the top of the highest mountain in the world. (Although I’ve been to Nepal, both settings unfamiliar to me.) And brings us down safely with a satisfying resolution that keeps us guessing until the last page.
Old Bones by Helen Kitson
They’re certainly stuck in adolescent grievances, never having recovered from lost love and betrayal. Diana blames her old school friend Naomi, the head librarian, now living a similarly empty life. Abandoned by two husbands, she’s worried the remains recently discovered in a nearby quarry could belong to Brian, who disappeared years before.
Farcical, sad, that two sixty-year-old women are still arguing over a trivial incident that occurred when they were teenagers, Diana tells us towards the end. I wondered which way the author wanted us to take the story. Was it farcical or sad?
Diana’s history proves more interesting and greater depth around this issue could have made me more engaged. Not one for me, then, but others may like it. I bought my copy from the publisher Louise Walters Books.
This Other Island by Steffanie Edward
Despite years of estrangement, his daughter Yvette abandons a shopping trip with her mother to rush to his bedside. When Joe asks her to find out whether his nemesis is still alive, she readily agrees. Little does she suspect that finding him will have major implications for herself, her mother and the girl she loved as a sister with whom she was fostered as a young child.
Having met the author on a residential writing course many years ago, and having read this in an earlier draft, I’m excited to see This Other Island published at last. It’s a story about migration, family and deception, and the lengths some people will go to in order to get what they want.
My debut novel, Sugar and Snails, is about the past lingering on; my recently-published third novel, Matilda Windsor Is Coming Home, is also, although you won’t find those words in the blurb. (Click on either image to learn more.) Although I’m still doing lots of promotion for the latter, I’m finding pockets of time to get back to the sequel, set during the pandemic, but about much more than that.
Her book group is blinkered. Gloria sits back and watches as her friends turn themselves inside out to prove that Jeanette Winterson’s memoir isn’t about Christianity’s cruelty to kids growing up gay.
They know about her son and his soon-to-be husband. Yet they persist in picking adoption quotes. The author would have been fine if she’d had better parents. What’s the big deal?
Love didn’t hold when I was born, Randall reads. Gloria blushes as a desperate howl rises from her belly. To avoid public meltdown, she rushes to the toilets. No-one can know she’s been that abandoned child.