I figured '@TheBooks' as that's pretty much where you'll find me...or at least most of me when life isn't taking time away from reading!


I'm usually very selective about what I'll go for but I'm pretty diverse at the same time; so most fellow booklikers out there should find something ;)

Raw, Flawed and Honest

Evening Is the Whole Day - Preeta Samarasan

Occasionally you come across a novel that so accurately captures the human condition that it is impossible not to identify with some tiny fragment of personality or emotion.

This novel wove together both the story of a servant girl wrongfully accused and that of her employers lives, trials and tribulations, both internally and on the surface.

few books that I have read have portrayed such a raw and deeply flawed cast of individuals, I found it difficult to openly dislike any of them because each had such depth and true emotion to them.


Evening Is The Whole Day does not paint the image of a happy family institution, This family hurt; they hurt each other, sometimes deliberately and often without shame, but it is through this that we witness the inner turmoil of each, it is this fact that so deeply saddened me and allowed to connect with each.


The colourful social dynamic of Malaysia and its melting pot of cultures was another aspect that reared its (sometimes ugly) head throughout this novel, particularly the treatment of servants but also the amalgamation of languages and struggle for identity, something which each character had to do battle with in their own way, be it the role of husband, sister or elder...not just servant.


To try and capture the essence of each character in a single review would do this book no justice, its one of those books that you simply have to pick up to understand. I really would like to read more of this relatively unknown authors work as her combination of vivid prose and unrestricted plot are not easily found these days.


“I felt like I had proof that not all days are the same length, not all time has the same weight. Proof that there are worlds and worlds and worlds on top of worlds, if you want them to be there.”

Tell the Wolves I'm Home - Carol Rifka Brunt

Tell The Wolves I’m Home is a coming of age story at heart and yet at the same time a deep exploration of the nature of human relationships and at times the unpredictable paths they take us on.


Told through the eyes of quirky adolescent June Elbus whose only real relationship is the one she shares with her homosexual uncle Finn who happens to be dying of AIDS at a period of time where little was known or understood about the disease. Finn’s understanding of June goes beyond the constraints of an ordinary connection, be it her wandering in the woods in his coat or her appreciation of the smaller aspects of life so often overlooked by many others.


The framework of the story revolves around Finns painting of June and her often sardonic older sister Greta. This act of beauty and creation is in stark contrast to the mundane existence of her Tax-accountant parents and the strained relationship that June has with her sister.


Finns passing away rocks June’s foundations and so begins a journey through a desert of self-doubt and questions as to whether she ever really knew Finn, and in turn herself.


June discovers that she is not alone in her loss as the reluctantly allows Finn’s mysterious partner Toby into her picture.  June’s family shun his existence for reasons that only unravel as the book progresses. Together the portrait of Finn is slowly pieced together through their exchanging of stories about Finn’s life, about the intimate moments they shared with him and the intricacies of each relationship. It is through these exchanges that a bond that defies convention is formed between the two of them.


This relationship of stories and exchanges follows June to Toby’s deathbed as the only person who really knew the truth about him, and the only person that she could ever share Finn with.


Tell The Wolves I’m Home is also a story of siblings – of sisters. Torn between the past they shared growing up and pull of different currents their relationship has taken now; June and Greta both seek solace privately in the painting Finn has created (now worth a fortune) by altering it. Emotions flow into colours, shape and detail that manifest as a part of the gift their uncle left them. Through the ‘destruction’ of Finn’s painting so does the relationship between June and Greta find a place where their lines once again meet.


Ultimately, June’s story shows us that in death; it’s still okay to be alive and that love  matters more than the relationship it takes form in.

Only Time Will Tell - Jeffrey Archer

From time to time you come across a book that just nags you to read it, Jeffrey Archers First instalment of the Clifton Chronicles was one such book. It constantly popped up on the shelves at work, in-between requests for that ‘new Jeffrey Archer’. It was with much ambivalence that I finally decided to give this one a go.

Archer’s tale centres around Harry Clifton; the modest and unassuming son of a deceased Dockworker and the mysterious consequences surrounding his death.

We witness Clifton’s rather effortless rise from public school student to private school scholarship as the town of Bristol’s numerous do-gooders; including the highly implausible ‘Old Jack’ do all they can to aid Harry through his life’s personal lows.

The story is told through multiple perspectives which can add dimension and intricacy, however in this case it was a slog through the retelling of events with long passages almost reading like a dull self gratifying memoir. With that being said I found myself speeding through the majority of the book as Archer’s writing is squeaky clean and flows effortlessly.

We are presented with a villain along the way as well a twist or two in the form of both a legal and moral dilemma however the crux of novel centres on the true identity of Harry’s father – Bristol Dockworker or Tycoon of a lucrative shipping line?  Only time will tell I’m afraid. 

There’s also a fair dose of suspense thrown into the equation as the book ends on a total cliff-hanger, enough for me to resort to getting my hands on the follow up (very devious of you , Mr Archer)

Currently reading

An Equal Music
Vikram Seth