Good Reading : September 2005
46 goodreading Here’s a selection of some of the reviews you sent in to us. Keep them coming to: email@example.com And What Do You Do? Every Second Counts Haunted Ground Sarah Long Arrow $23.95 Reviewed by Rebecca Court Jostling for space among books like Sarah Tur nbull’s Almost French and Mary Moody’s Au Revoir is this delightful tale of Laura, who lives in a smart appartement in Paris with her two beautiful children and a Finnish au pair. The stage is set for a rather trite-sounding story of bored expat housewives, bulimic au pairs and unfaithful husbands. I was prepared to be irritated by it all, but Sarah Long pulls it off with wonderfully incisive humour and a keen eye for national idiosyncrasies. Much of this light-hearted tale is achingly close to the truth of how non-working mothers, expa- triate or not, try to validate their positions in society.The title alone is telling enough. The dénouement is a bit too tidy – real life would be much messier – but, with your mor ning ‘chocolat chaud’ or a glass of champagne at night, And What Do You Do? is worth settling down to. Lance Armstrong with Sally Jenkins Divided Kingdom Rupert Thomson Erin Hart readers’ reviews New English Library $19.95 Reviewed by Doreen Campbell Bantam $22.95 Reviewed by Fotini Dangiris Bloomsbury $29.95 Reviewed by Jerome O’Connor Matthew Micklewright is taken from his parents to be re-educated in the ‘Rear rangement’ – a new social order, whereby the United Kingdom is divided up into four regions:Yellow (Choleric), Green (Melancholic), Blue (Phlegmatic), and Red (Sanguine). Given a new name (Thomas Parry) and a new family,Thomas grows up in the red quarter and adapts to his new Sanguine life. But while visiting the Blue quarter Thomas has an experience in a nightclub that changes him and puts his life on a different course. He begins a jour ney through the UK, encountering many people representing the different personalities. This novel can be seen as far-fetched, but it’s still an engaging and readable story about a person’s place and identity in a radically different society. Highly recommended. Every Second Counts is a special insight into the life of a sporting cham- pion. Avid cycling enthusiasts will be enthralled by this autobiographical sequel, but general readers will find it inspirational too. Ar mstrong’s constant goal is the annual Tour de France; a gruelling three- week cross-country bike race. A cancer survivor, Armstrong strives to achieve and to live life to his fullest. He is candid in this telling aftermath of living in the shadow of cancer. Readers see a realistic picture of his life, from managing his cancer foundation and maintaining a world-class career to sustaining a personal life and devoting time to the cancer patients he encounters almost daily. In Every Second Counts we don’t just read about a hard-working cyclist who chases championship titles.We meet a strong, yet vulnerable man who, every day, chases and captures his right to live. This is a wonderful book. There are three inter- woven mysteries, archaeological, recent past and present; there is also the threat of cur rent danger, plus a suggestion of romance. A perfect recipe for a good read! The author moves through all these layers so smoothly that there is not that sudden change of gear that brings you up short, making you adjust your thinking to a different pace. The story is set in Ireland and has a side dish of Irish music!