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Recommended Reads - Fiction

The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam   The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam
Published by Faber and Faber 2017

This beautifully written book tells the story of religious intolerance in modern day Pakistan. Pakistan is deeply divided along religious lines of Muslin and Christian, but is also divided from its nearby neighbour of India. Suspicion and extreme brutality are constant features of life here. Yet, Aslam, writes exquisite, deeply moving stories of love and loyalty despite the visceral violence present in all segments of society.

The story opens with Nargis and her husband, Massud attending the opening of a new library. Shots ring out and Massud is killed. Under pressure from Pakistani secret intelligence, Nargis fears her deepest secret will be revealed. She, her surrogate daughter Helen and Imran, a mysterious stranger seek refuge on an island. Here love, hope and resilience blossom despite all.

‘I found this book to be an enlightening read as I knew so little about Pakistan and its divided society. It is also beautifully written filled with visual images such as the paper buildings hanging in the architect’s library.’ – a DeValera Library staff member

     
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne   The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
Published by Doubleday in 2017

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery or at least that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?

‘This is a very emotive book, gives a greater understanding of social pressures. You will laugh and cry and you won’t want to put it down!!!!’ - a Lisdoonvarna Library staff member

     
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles   A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Published by Hutchinson in 2016

On 21 June 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol. However, instead of being taken to his usual suite as a guest, he is instead led to an attic room and is sentenced to house arrest indefinitely. Thus begins the story of his life inside the small confines of this room.

‘A wonderfully written book, to be read slowly and savoured and most enjoyable for anyone interested in Russian history.’ - Miltown Malbay Bookclub

     
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline   Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Published William Morrow in 2013

This was an amazing story covering the past and the present of two orphans. Molly is living with foster parents, Dina and Ralph. She is caught 'stealing' a book from the library and has to serve 20 hours on a service project. Her project is to help 90 year old Vivian clean out her attic. Vivian and Molly talk about Vivian's life in America, her journey starting out travelling across the Atlantic Ocean on a ship to Ellis Island. Her family dies in a fire and so she is put on an 'Orphan Train', a train full of orphans looking for foster families. While cleaning out the attic, Molly takes a visit into Vivian's past, learning about her journey on the Orphan Train.

‘A really good book based on a true story – an eye opener.’ – Sixmilebridge Library Bookclub

     
  Tin Man by Sarah Winman
Published by Tinder Press 2017

This is a story of friendship and love and the power of art to make a difference in a life. The opening narration is by 46-year-old Ellis. His mother had a great appreciation of art which she passed on to Ellis. However, following her death when Ellis was still a teenager, his father refused to entertain his plan of becoming an artist. Ellis now works night shifts in an Oxford car plant and is a widower living a lonely life.
The second narrator is Michael, best friend of Ellis since childhood. He tells of his life in London and his memories of their special times together, including a trip to the south of France where, for a brief period, they were lovers.

‘The writing is powerful, the story is poignant and the language is beautiful. You’ll want to read it in one sitting but it’ll stay with you for far longer.’ - a Clare County Library staff member

 
The Good People by Hannah Kent   The Good People by Hannah Kent
Published by Picador in 2017

Nora struggles to care for her grandson following the death of her daughter and her husband. Mary arrives in the valley to help Nóra just as the whispers are spreading: the stories of unexplained misfortunes, of illnesses, and the rumours that Micheál is a changeling child who is bringing bad luck to the valley. Set in 1820s Kerry and based on a true story, this book shows the depths to which people in desperate circumstances are driven.

‘A compelling, though disturbing, book. Very atmospheric. People who enjoyed Burial Rites will not be disappointed.’ - a reader in DeValera Library, Ennis.

 
The Witness by Simon Kernick   The Witness by Simon Kernick
Published by Century in 2016

When Jane Kinnear sees her lover being murdered, she suddenly finds herself in danger. Taken to an anonymous police safe house, it soon becomes clear that her lover was an MI5 informant with important information about an imminent terrorist attack.

‘A very entertaining book. The plot is superb and keeps the reader glued to the pages right to the end. I will be looking for more books by this author.’ - a reader in Tulla Library.

 
 Coffin Road by Peter May   Coffin Road by Peter May
Published by Quercus in 2016

A man is washed up on a deserted beach on the Hebridean Isle of Harris, barely alive and borderline hypothermic. He has no idea who he is or how he got there. The only clue to his identity is a map tracing a track called the Coffin Road.

‘Great read – gripping from start to finish.’ - a reader in Sixmilebridge Library.

 
Would you like to recommend a book that you have read?
Email mailbox@clarelibrary.ie with your nomination, giving the title,
author, brief synopsis of the book and the reason why you recommend it.
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