Random honourable mention: Euphoria by Lily King

I read Euphoria two years ago among the flurry and haze of caring for baby twins. It is one of the few things I haven’t already forgotten about that period and I still find myself recommending it to anyone silly enough to ask me if I have read anything good lately (well of course I have). It is quite simply one of the most excellent novels I have had the pleasure of reading. Skilfully told and written, it is a fictional account of the relationship between three anthropologists in isolated Sepik River communities in New Guinea in the 1930s, though inspired by the life and works of Margaret Mead.

One can hardly imagine the research entailed in a creation that reads so authentically, and yet at no time is the research conspicuous. It is an enthralling story involving fascinating characters in an almost unimaginable situation, and though for most of the book we are among people who say so little to each other (whether due to secrets, emotional reserve, mistrust, language barriers or complete cultural incomprehension), you feel as if you learn quite a lot about these people, and you quickly become invested in Andrew and Nell and their futures, not to mention standing beside them in this rare world that was alien then and, to the vast majority of us, still is now.

Euphoria is a novel with a beating pulse that will capture your mind and spirit. Wonderfully written, enthralling, emotional, tense, heartfelt, intelligent. It is a book with its own soul and completely unforgettable. And that is why, when you ask me for a book recommendation this is still one of the titles that immediately comes to mind. Simply brilliant.

Random honourable mention: The Poet’s Wife by Rebecca Stonehill

Without further ado, explanation or a long list of excuses for a lack of general posting, here is the first in a series of short posts of books once read, but yet to be mentioned, that I want to share.

The Poet’s Wife by Rebecca Stonehill

A sweeping family tale set during last century’s Spanish Civil War, The Poet’s Wife, is a truly enthralling story, populated with memorable characters and infused with emotion and drama. The strong female characters particularly appealed to me, as did the Spanish setting – most of the narrative takes place in Granada – as I have a special place in my heart for Spain and the Spanish culture. Well-researched and well-written, I was intrigued, entertained, thrilled and put to both despair and joy at different stages of the novel. It was also a book that after reading I felt as if I knew a little more about the world, and that is always a good thing in my view. I would thoroughly recommend this novel to historical fiction readers and those who enjoy a sweeping tale.