Louise is one of those authors I’ve always wanted to read but for whatever reason, I haven’t been able to get my hands on one of her new books on publication. I’ve just read her new book coming in June – The Round House – and I want to kick myself for all those other books I’ve missed. The Round House won the 2012 National Book Award for fiction and what an amazing story it is. Joe is a 13 year old Indian boy, living with his family on the reservation. His father is a tribal judge, juggling the difficulties of Indian law versus American law. One morning his mother is severely raped, beaten and traumatised, takes to her bed and refuses to talk. Joe and his friends try to find a solution that will put the perpetrator behind bars but the US law thinks otherwise. It is a brilliant story of a young boy trying to deal with an adult situation. Definitely this will be one of the best books for the year.
Sometimes I just dont pick up an author – dont know why – and when I finally do, I’m really pissed that years have gone by and look what I’ve missed! This is exactly how I feel about R J Ellory. He’s won crime awards but for some reason I’ve ignored all those brilliant books. Well, my friendly Hachette rep pushed a copy of The Devil and the River into my hands, I started reading the first page to get an idea of the style, and here I am overwhelmed with this amazing story, set in Mississippi. Ellory is dipping his toes into James Lee Burke territory but we Burke fans can live with that. Fabulous story, fabulous writing, but you’re going to have to wait until June to read it. I’ll remind you closer to the time.
The frustration with Maggie O’Farrell is that I have to wait such a long time between books. Her last book, The Hand That First Held Mine, came out 2010. Ah well, it’s really worth the wait, her books are jewels. Her new one, Instructions for a Heatwave, is set in July 1976 and London is in the grip of a heatwave. Robert Riordan tells his wife Gretta that he’s going around the corner to buy a newspaper but doesn’t come back. The search for Robert brings Gretta’s children back home, each with a different idea of where Robert has gone. O’Farrell is a brilliant storyteller and weaves the strands of this split family beautifully back together. Love it!