BOOK REVIEW – Bodies of Water by V.H. Leslie

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This was kindly sent to me by a lovely publishing house called Salt Publishing after I requested a copy to review.

From the back of the book:

After ministering to fallen women in Victorian London, Evelyn has suffered a nervous breakdown and finds herself treated by the Water Doctors in the imposing Wakewater House, a hydropathy sanatorium. Years later, Wakewater House is renovated into modern apartments and Kirsten moves in, fresh from a break up and eager for the restorative calm of the Thames. But her archivist neighbour, Manon, fills her head with the river’s murky past and with those men of science and art who were obsessed with the drowned women who were washed up on its banks. As Kirsten learns more about Wakewater’s secrets, she becomes haunted by a solitary figure in the river and increasingly desperate to understand what the water wants from her.

This is a simply brilliant little book.

Considering that this book is about water, specifically the Thames and its pull on the inhabitants of Wakewater House both in the present day and Victorian times, its weird how it called to me so strongly too.  There is something about the cover, dark and brooding that made me want to read this so badly. It took me just over a day from its arrival.

Its an easy read at 130 pages but i dont mean that in a bad way, just that I felt myself drawn into the story and like the water it carried me floating along in its wake.

Both Evelyn in 1871 and Kirsten in the present day were fascinating characters to discover. Both had ended up at the same place because of their pasts, both were drawn to the water in different ways and both surprised me more than I had imagined they would which was a delight. The whole book is mostly female dominated which was a real change and a good one.

The writing is simply gorgeous, at times lyrical and beautiful in its simplicity, with hints of magical realism/folklore and fantasy and the tension was always present throughout. It is quite a creepy, eerie and very atmospheric read and, for someone who has never liked the water much, a damn scary one at times.

I can’t pretend to fully understand the ending but thats okay, it will keep me pondering on it for ages to come. I had an idea in my head about how the book would go but I was way off and suffice to say I never saw it coming for a moment which is the way it should be.

Now i can’t wait to read more of V.H. Leslie’s work and have downloaded a sample of her supernatural/ghost stories collection, Skein and Bone.

Have you read this, what did you think?

What books like it would you recommend i read?

June book haul – Part 2

Welcome to my second June book haul post. I have been mega lucky this month with books sent to me plus i did indulge myself using a gift voucher from Christmas. (incidentally there are only 25 weeks to next Christmas! Hee hee) Anyway, here’s what i hauled.

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Isnt that just a glorious sight to behold?

Books sent for review

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Smoke by Dan Vyleta – I’ve already begun reading this but it didnt hold my attention as much as i’d hoped but I will persevere in the future.

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The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss – I find this cover so striking, it has to be my cover design of 2106 so far, its amazing and makes me want to pick it without knowing anything about it. Everyone I have seen talking about it on Twitter or You Tube reckon its the business so i’m so excited to read it.

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Bodies of Water by V.H. Leslie – This is another book that has been doing the rounds on You Tube and always being highly spoken of and i can understand why. I’m currently reading it and its wonderful.


Books I splurged on

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We should all be feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I’ve already read this as its little more than a pamphlet in some ways but a powerful little book that I really enjoyed. I plan to do a post on sexism as a few points she mentioned really hit home.

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Girls will be girls by Emer O’Toole – Lauren from Reads and Daydreams on You Tube sold this to me in about 5 mins during one of her wonderful videos. I began reading it as soon as it came but i’m not getting on with it really. She makes some interesting points but i cant help feeling its more of an excuse to write an autobiography even though she isnt well enough known for that yet. IMHO anyway.

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How hard can love be? by Holly Bourne – Holly is such a funny writer but her books are normally not my thing at all, however i began reading this on Amazon and its really sweet and very funny so i had to buy it for a bit of light reading.

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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I am way late to the party as they say on this one but having read her feminist book I just love her writing style so decided to give this a go and the cover aint half bad either eh?  The only problem I have with this is the font size. Its ridiculously small!  Why oh why publishers are you doing this to me lately? I am considering sending it back and buying it in ebook form to read on my iPad, at least that way i can control the font size.

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Romantic Outlaws by Charlotte Gordon – Isnt this another stunnner and its a right chunker to at over 600 pages! what am i thinking? books over 300 usually stump me. However this does sound amazing fun and i do love a biography about strong women. Sadly this is another victim of stupidly small font syndrome (SSFS) but i dont think i can part with this for a boring flat ebook version, i just wanna hug it all the time.

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Sweet Home by Carys Bray – this is a book of short stories which sound so good albeit heartbreaking and sad apparently. I havent read any of her other books but couldnt resist this one. Just look at that cover too its a stunner!

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Slade House by David Mitchell – This has been on my wish list for months and ive been waiting for it to come out in paperback form. The cover is beautiful and has a shiny slightly embossed design but the back is just as gorgeous look! I read a sample on Amazon months back and cant wait to find out more so this is near to the top of my TBR already.

Well thats it folks, what books have you hauled this month?

Where has this year gone? half of it is now over already! madness!

Do I overuse this! I think i do.