A lazy day and some miserable Sydney weather, has lead me to enjoy some quality time by myself with a couple of good books. After an early run and a stroll up the street to collect my coffee on Sunday morning, I found my comfy spot on the couch and didn’t plan on leaving for the rest of the day. Finishing two books over two days, for me is quite an achievement, as I usually tend to always be out during the day and come home to zone out/fall asleep in front of the TV of a night time.
Me, my couch and some good books
My first novel was Sister by Rosamund Lupton, which can only be described as when crime meets literature. The blurb on the back of my book threw me a little, but post reading and after further investigation I found that the blurb was changed to one that more accurately represents the plot. Beatrice returns home to London, after a call from her mother to tell her that her carefree sister, Tess is missing. But when Tess is found dead Bee is convinced she was murdered, despite the surrounding circumstances that lead the police and family to believe Tess committed suicide. Bee moves into Tess’ apartment to go in search of the killer that took her sister from her.
For me this was a slow starter, having picked this novel up over two weeks ago I was reading at a snail’s pace. Usually the psychological thriller is right up my alley, being my guilty pleasure novel of choice, but if you can hold on until you are five or six chapters in, the intrigue will make you want to finish. I was only a third of the way through when I re-started on Sunday and I think that forcing myself to sit down with no surrounding distractions made me give Sister the attention it deserved.
My second novel, was Tampa by Alissa Nutting. You may remember me talking about this novel, a couple of months previously I was caught up in the excessive media hype that Nutting had received and was unsure as to whether or not I would read it. The novel had been described in the media as controversial and explicit, being banned from several bookstores across Australia.
This weekend I decided to give it a try, thinking that if I walked away from this novel now I would never pick it up. But truthfully from the first page I was hooked. Although its subject is taboo and disturbing, it is so well written Nutting hooks you in from the very first page.
Controversial Book Cover – Tampa By Alissa Nutting
Celeste, although a clear sociopath, is an incredibly well developed character. The way that Nutting describes her and her every action is well thought out and planned that it sometimes makes it hard to believe this is a work of fiction. Nutting offers an exploration into the psyche of a female predator, as we see Celeste manipulate those around her and prey on the innocence of young Jack. The ability to portray the mindset of Celeste as a remorseless sexual predator is quite astonishing. We, as the reader, get to observe the inner thoughts of Celeste, as her every outward expression is meticulously planned to help her achieve her ultimate desire (a fourteen year old boy); from the husband who veils her true self to her career as a teacher that provides her with unlimited access.
I finally finished Tampa on Monday night in bed as the rain pounded down outside, the perfect night in to read. Not really having a suitable cover for the daily commute, I was busting all day to go home and continue reading and with only 70 pages to go I knew I would be finishing it tonight. I am quite embarrassed so say, but I loved this book, I am not sure if it because it delves into a topic that is not openly discussed or written about, or because the characters, Celeste in particular, are so well developed that I found it quite hard to put down.
I understand that Tampa is definitely not for everyone, I would never recommend to my grandmother or mother despite both of them being quite open-minded, as it is extremely confronting but I would recommend it for those of you are looking for a challenge and something very different.
I would love to hear any book recommendations, as I am always on the hunt for something new.