I read a lot. All genres. All authors. Even the back of a packet of cereal if I’m really in a bind. And although part of me wants to give an opinion on most anything I read (Strawberry Crisp box – 10/10 for convincing me I made the healthy choice) this is a naptime entertainment segment, and I can’t be recommending stories that don’t make the most of those precious, often short, moments we get to ourselves. As such, here are four books that have stood out to me lately, each of which I’d give (at least) a 9 out of 5. Enjoy!
The Perfect Father
The latest in a series of parent-lead psychological thrillers from one of my favourite authors, The Perfect Father is an absolute rollercoaster of emotional suspense, tense interpersonal relationships, and obsessive mama (and papa)-lead drama. Moving between the accounts of both the mother and father of the tale, The Perfect Father tells the story of Esther and Robin, a couple who endured a difficult pregnancy before father, Robin, took on the role of stay at home dad. He appears perfect, to the outside world, and Esther is doing important work. Their set up looks to be a modern fairy tale, until Esther returns home one day, and both her husband and daughter are missing… Begging the question, are things as perfect as they seem? Gripping, unexpected, and somewhat anger-inducing, The Perfect Father is the perfect read for anyone that enjoys this genre, easily holding the title, on my shelf, of thriller of the year, 2020.
Meet Me In London
Victoria is a barmaid by day, designer by night, and she has a terrible secret. Oliver is an overworked bachelor, and has unwisely promised his mother she can meet his fictional fiance this Christmas. Despite an unacknowledged mutual attraction, the two strike a deal to fake a relationship, in exchange for Victoria’s designs being given a spotlight at Oliver’s new department store. But will their feelings get in the way of their business arrangement? And will Victoria’s secret destroy everything they work toward? Georgia Toffolo, the queen of enormous smiles and looking on the bright side, serves up pure chick-lit in this festive tale of love, and the seemingly disastrous obstacles real relationships can bring. With insights into the true meaning of friendship, fiery family drama, awful exes and more, Meet Me In London is the ideal fireside companion this Christmas period, and one Toff fans won’t want to miss ♡
This Is How It Always Is
This novel is a little different. Centred on the lives of an otherwise regular family, This Is How It Always Is explores the ways in which life can be tipped on its head when one of your children comes out as transgender. When Claude becomes Poppy at just five years old, her entire family is accepting of the choice. But they can’t be sure other people will be. Packing up and moving in order to keep Poppy’s secret a secret, they all live their lives as the people they are meant to be, without revealing that Poppy was born a boy. But what happens when the secret can no longer be kept? Heartwarming and heartbreaking, This Is How It Always Is is the perfect tale of parents doing their best, with very little guidance to help them. It is a story of acceptance, of love, and of confusion in the face of change, and it is wonderful. A true experience of a read, This Is How It Always Is will stick with you long after the back cover is closed and, hopefully, give food for thought for your own approaches to parenting, and life.
The Chicken Sisters
Mimi’s and Frannie’s are at war. A war to serve the best fried chicken in town. And now, thanks to flailing widower Amanda, a TV crew is coming to film them. What could possibly go wrong? Told from the perspective of two very different sisters, Amanda and Mae, The Chicken Sisters is a fun, whimsical view of what happens on the other side of the camera when your favourite food show hits record, and what happens behind closed doors when the flames of family feuds are left to burn. A brilliant tale of sisterhood, rage fuelled misunderstandings, and the lengths women will go to in any given situation, The Chicken Sisters is a female driven story with heart, and one to which any sibling will relate.
And there we have it, my top four distractions of late. Now I’ll throw it back to you… what are you reading? And would you recommend?