Normal People

The Sally Rooney book that everyone is in love with turned out to be quite good. Weirdo Marianne has a clandestine relationship with the son of her housekeeper, Connell, who’s popular in high school and doesn’t want people to know about the two of them. Fast forward to the next year and she’s the confident one at college, Connell shy and not knowing anyone. They have an on-again off-again relationship through several rocky years before settling in together. Beautiful writing, and I loved the way each chapter pushed forward, 2 months later, 4 months later, 5 minutes later, keeping the pacing going.

After I’m Gone

Buckle up, because I have finally discovered the joy of Laura Lippman and am looking down the barrel of her extensive list of published works, planning to gobble each one like a Pacman pellet. I think I found her covers too lurid previously, believing them to be supermarket bestsellers and nothing more. Nope, it’s good writing wrapped in a mystery, and apparently she’s half of the super-couple of Baltimore with David Simon.

This book follows the disappearance of Felix Brewer, a bookie looking at a short jail sentence back in 1976 who fled the country, leaving a wife and three daughters behind, along with a girlfriend who turns up dead 10 years later. Who killed Julie, and why? All signs smear towards Bambi (the wife) and daughter Rachel, but there’s a twist (of course!). Quality beach-reading.