Good Reading : July 2015
GOOD READING JULY 2015 45 THRILLER WOM word of mouth RATINGS ★ ★ ★★ ★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★ RG Pretty Baby Mary Kubica Adisheveled young woman stands on a railway station platform. Wrapped inside her coat is a little baby. It’s raining and cold. She is there most days. She looks hungry and frightened.You see her most mornings on your way to work.You can see she needs help. What do you do? Ignore her and go on with your normal day? Or do you reach out and help? This is the beginning of Pretty Baby. Heidi Wood is a caring person. She works for a charitable organisation, and she is not one to idly stand by and watch another person suffer when she can help to make a change. After watching this young woman with a baby standing in the cold and wet she decides to take action: she brings her home. Her name is Willow. Her baby is Ruby. To the disbelief of Heidi’s obstinate and rebellious teenager daughter, Zoe, and her shocked husband, Chris, she welcomes Willow and Ruby into their home, giving them shelter, food and tending to their ailments. But what is Willow’s story? She sits and stares at the TV as if she’s never seen one before. She is not forthcoming on where she has come from. Where is her family? Each chapter focuses on the story of Willow, Heidi or Chris, which gives you a picture from their individual viewpoints. As discover ies are made, perceptions change and the terr ible truth is revealed. I really enjoyed this book. I found myself heading to bed earlier each night as I was so drawn to read it. The climax of the story builds, propelling the reader along. If you liked Gone Girl, you’ll like Pretty Baby even more. ★★★★ MIRA $29.99 Reviewed by Rowena Morcom World Gone By Dennis Lehane World Gone By is the third entry in a historical series that explores the rise of organised crime in a volatile and corrupt America in the early 20th century. The previous entries are The Given Day and Live by Night. Joe Coughlin – the protagonist of Live by Night – is a gangster. Once a boss, he is now an advisor with a respectable face. He is seemingly untouchable in his own private kingdom of Tampa, Florida. But somebody wants Joe dead, and the race is on for Joe to figure out who his would-be killer is before they succeed. The writing of Dennis Lehane is characterised by a certain gravity; his prose is clear and uncluttered, and his stories are filled with human complexities and moral puzzles. This is not a bad book, but it just lacks something: a certain edginess, intensity and freshness that I usually associate with Lehane. It’s meticulously detailed, filled with historical figures and details, and the characters – particularly Joe – are complex and conflicted. Lehane’s prose is, as ever, concise, and the evocation of a time and place both gone and in the process of going is impressive. But at times World Gone By feels like the literary equivalent of a sepia photograph: nostalgic, but distant and a little cold. ★★★ Little, Brown $29.99 Reviewed by Tessa Chudy . Joe Coughlin – the protagonist of freshness that I usually associate with Lehane. It’s meticulously detailed, filled with historical figures and details, and the characters – particularly Joe – are complex and conflicted. Lehane’s prose is, as ever, concise, and the evocation of a time and place both gone and in the process of going is impressive. But at times World Gone By Pretty Baby Mary Kubica Arailway station platform. Wrapped inside her coat is a little baby. It’s raining and cold. She is there most days. She looks hungry and About Dennis Lehane Dennis Lehane attributes his storytelling skills to being the son of Irish immigrants and hearing stories told in the Irish bars of the Boston town he grew up in.