Bookworm - Spring 2016

Whether it’s a favourite paperback or a new release on Kindle, we all love a good read. Here’s what you’ve been enjoying recently. You recommend the books you couldn't put down...

‘A tense, compelling melodrama’ The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters (£8.99, Virago)

 Set in London in 1922, this is the story of a middle class mother and daughter who fall on hard times and have to take in paying guests. The author paints a vivid picture of life after World War I, when most families mourned the loss of a father or son, and brings the period alive so well that I felt I’d gone back in time. Part love story, part crime drama, it’s an exciting tale – I raced through the final few pages and was disappointed when it was over.

Audrey Hampton, Surrey

‘There’s a brilliant twist at the end’ I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh (£7.99, Sphere)

 I discovered after reading this excellent book that the author used to work in the police force. This makes total sense to me because the crime at the heart of the novel (a hit and run accident) and its handling by police are so believable. All the characters, from the police officers to the victims and the perpetrators, are sympathetically drawn and totally convincing. I had been warned about the ‘twist’ at the end of the story and was looking out for it, but it still caught me by surprise! I won’t give too much away, but this psychological thriller is one book that I’ll be talking about for some time.

Cecil Matison, Edinburgh

“A Children’s book that i enjoyed too” Ancell’s Quest by Tony Main (£7.99, Matador)

I bought this book for a friend’s 10-year-old son, but found myself reading it first. It tells the tale of an incongruous band of animal sailors battling pirates to rescue kidnapped orphan children. My friend’s son particularly loved the back-chatting, often comical animal characters as they narrowly escape one peril after another. I think that now children seem to be expected to succeed at everything, they will enjoy the story of a very ordinary hedgehog overcoming his failings and triumphing by holding onto his dreams.

Sarah Stinton, Kent

‘This is a surprisingly uplifting read’ The Little Girl in the Radiator by Martin Slevin (£8.99, Monday Books)

I was a little worried about reading this true story about a woman called Rose, who has Alzheimer’s, and the son who cares for her. I’ve cared for a relative with this condition myself, and I know how hard it is. However, this story isn’t depressing – it’s funny, sad,at times hilarious and at times heartbreaking. I particularly like the way the author finally resolves the mystery at the heart of the story – who is the little girl in the radiator? If you know anyone suffering with dementia, this book will definitely resonate with you...but without making you feel really miserable. 

Alice Smith, Derbyshire

‘I felt as if I knew all the characters’ A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson (£7.99, Black Swan)

I’m a big fan of Kate Atkinson. This book follows on from her last novel Life After Life (but you don’t need to have read that in order to appreciate this one). It tells the story of Teddy, a bomber pilot in World War II, and what happens to him after the war. The story constantly switches back and forward from past to present and then to the future. It’s so cleverly written and the style is ingenious. By the time I reached the end, I felt as if I’d known Teddy and his family all my life.

William Moss, Cheshire

Song of the Skylark by Erica James (£14.99, Orion, on sale now)

A run of very bad luck forces Lizzie to move back home with her parents. While she’s there, she meets a seemingly ordinary elderly woman in her nineties with an astonishing past. Mrs Dallimore tells her a story about her own life that makes Lizzie realise she’s not the only person to experience bad luck. A lovely, captivating story.

Devotion by Louisa Young (£14.99, The Borough Press, published 2 June)

From the author of My Dear, I Wanted To Tell You, this family saga set in 1930s Italy focuses on a Jewish Italian family who support Mussolini, without understanding the implications. This is a tense, compelling novel about love, race, politics and war.

Its your turn! Why not send us a review of your favourite book?  Post your review on You should be able to find the books above at your local library or try