Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton

5 Stars from me

Oh my god – this book, this book, this book!

#ThreeHoursNovel by Rosamund Lupton is absolutely breathtaking. I really can’t recommend this book enough. Every page is powerful and beautifully crafted and I read most of the story with my breath held and my heart in my mouth.

The emotions within the book are captured perfectly and I was taken through the whole gambit from joy to fear to heartbreak and back again.

My heart broke for the poor mum who was waiting for news of her son, her emotions were tangible, palpable and I lived them with her. The emotive feelings from this stayed with me for days after I had finished the book.

The breaking of the story via Twitter and YouTube was cleverly delivered and again utterly believable and compelling.

Without wishing to give the story away or drop any spoilers, the brain washing and manipulation was terrifying and heart breaking again in equal measure.

However, among the horror and awfulness of the hatred and intolerance a bright light of love and warm shone out. The spirit and strength of the school staff, the resilience and protectiveness of the students, the faith in each other was beautiful.

I had high hopes owing to the sheer brilliance of Sister and can definitively confirm that I was not disappointed. Three Hours is a must read of 2020 and I am truly honoured to be kicking off the blog tour for Penguin Books.

Synopsis: The extraordinary new novel everyone is talking about from the Sunday Times best-selling author of Sister

Three hours is 180 minutes or 10,800 seconds.

It is a morning’s lessons, a dress rehearsal of Macbeth, a snowy trek through the woods.

It is an eternity waiting for news. Or a countdown to something terrible.

It is 180 minutes to discover who you will die for and what men will kill for.

In rural Somerset in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens: a school is under siege. Told from the point of view of the people at the heart of it, from the wounded headmaster in the library, unable to help his trapped pupils and staff, to teenage Hannah in love for the first time, to the parents gathering desperate for news, to the 16 year old Syrian refugee trying to rescue his little brother, to the police psychologist who must identify the gunmen, to the students taking refuge in the school theatre, all experience the most intense hours of their lives, where evil and terror are met by courage, love and redemption.

The Second Sister by Claire Kendal

4 stars from me

This book really put me in mind of Sister by Rosamund Lupton (which I loved), but rest assured it is different enough to be well worth reading.

Ella Brooke is a great character and I really enjoyed the chemistry between her and Ted (spoiler alert) I was quite sad that he had betrayed her and it was left unresolved as to whether they would get back together – I so wanted them to get back together!

The story itself is a sad little tale beautifully brought to life by Claire Kendal. It was a book of two halves for me, it seemed to jog along quite nicely and then all of I sudden it was a roller coaster ride to the conclusion. I really found myself reading faster and faster towards the end as I had to find out what happened.

Very enjoyable read and if you read it and enjoy it I very much urge you to read Sister.

 

Synopsis: An obsessive quest to solve the mystery of her older sister’s disappearance puts a young woman in mortal jeopardy in this taut, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense from the author of the “truly riveting” (New York Times) The Book of You. An intoxicating cocktail of loyalty and secrets, lies and betrayal, reminiscent of Rosamund Lupton’s Sister and Kimberly McCreight’s Reconstructing Amelia.

A decade ago, Ella Brooke’s older sister, Miranda, vanished without a trace. With every passing year, Ella has come to resemble more closely the sister she lost—the same dark hair, the same piercing blue eyes—and now she’s the same age Miranda was when she disappeared.

Ella has never let go of her sister. She can still feel Miranda’s presence, still hear her voice. She still talks to her. What holds Ella together is her love for her sister’s ten-year-old son and her work as a self-defense expert helping victims.

Ella is certain that Miranda was taken, and that one man is key to her disappearance: Jason Thorne. The tabloids report that a new link has been found connecting Miranda to this sadistic serial killer locked away in a psychiatric hospital. Ignoring warnings from the police and the disapproval of her parents, she seeks Thorne out. Ella will do whatever it takes to uncover the truth—no matter how dangerous…

Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

Afterwards5 Stars from me!

Another absolutely sensational book from Rosamund Lupton. I absolutely adore the way she writes, you jog along thinking you are reading the story and then suddenly your brain latches onto a flaw in one of the characters – and bang – you realise that you have that flaw too.

Much like Sister, Afterwards is a beautifully woven story that you know full well is going to play with your heartstrings.

I enjoyed the way the relationships unfolded, particularly the one between Grace and her sister-in-law; I wonder how many of us are too busy with our assumptions and prejudgements of people to bother getting to know them.

I would imagine this is a book that can only be read and intuited by a loving parent, I can’t imagine it having the same resonance unless you know without a shadow of a doubt that you would run into a burning building to save your child.

Synopsis: There is a fire and they are in there. They are in there… 

Black smoke stains a summer blue sky. A school is on fire. And one mother, Grace, sees the smoke and rush. She knows her teenage daughter Jenny is inside. She runs into the burning building to rescue her.

Afterwards Grace must find the identity of the arsonist and protect her children from the person who’s still intent on destroying them. Afterwards, she must fight the limits of her physical strength and discover the limitlessness of love.

The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton

Quality of Silence5 stars from me!

Having read and adored Sister by Rosamund Lupton I was absolutely delighted to receive a copy of the Quality of Silence.

Although the two books are literally nothing alike, they are both totally engrossing and The Quality of Silence is quite enchanting.

I also found myself really quite interested in the fracking element of the storyline, I now need to go and do some googling and see how much of it was true.

The relationship Ruby has with each of her parents is really beautiful, made more so by her deafness and how they deal with it. It seemed to me that the unthinkable journey brought a new level of closeness between Ruby and her mum, which was charming to follow.

Yes, some elements (not wishing to give any spoilers, let’s just say the journey) are a little unbelievable – however, it was all so elquently written and so perfectly put that I found myself captivated anyway.

Beautiful book from cover to cover and I heartily recommend it – along with Sister if you haven’t already read that.

 

Synopsis: On 24th November Yasmin and her deaf daughter Ruby arrived in Alaska.

Within hours they were driving alone across a frozen wilderness

Where nothing grows

Where no one lives

Where tears freeze

And night will last for another 54 days.

They are looking for Ruby’s father.

Travelling deeper into a silent land.

They still cannot find him.

And someone is watching them in the dark.