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Three Debut Novels

The April/May edition of Hertfordshire Life Magazine featured a fabulous book called It's Raining in Moscow and I Forgot my Umbrella. It's good to be recognised, but I was also pleased when the editor asked if I would like to contribute to the magazine again with three book reviews.

I decided it would be appropriate to review debut novels (as mine is also my debut), but as I only have 60 words for each review it is a challenge. In my Blog I am uninhibited, so I shall add a few more honest comments:

My favourite book of the three by far is a children's book (definitely suitable for adults - I loved it). "The Graceful Ghost" by Eleanor Dixon. Like me, Eleanor was nominated for the 2021 Selfies Award and, like me she has worked tirelessly to promote her book. We both want to write more, but marketing takes up far too much time!

What a joy to be swept away into the semi-fantasy world of an aspiring ballerina! The Graceful Ghost is the book I needed as a child. The elegant tale couples real problems faced by living children with the dream-world of a young ghost wanting to escape the confines of the ballet school she haunts. Highly recommended (not just for ballerinas!).

The second book, "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous" by Ocean Vuong is far less enjoyable (indeed, some sections left me feeling somewhat traumatised), but has become an international bestseller, winning various awards. Ocean has the benefit of a big publishing house and, to be fair, an adequate book of poems to his name.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

How can anyone resist the brilliant title? Be prepared for a real and a metaphorical journey if you take on this award-winning debut novel. ‘Little Dog’ (Vuong) writes a letter to his illiterate mother about his memories, his childhood and his family history. Both specific and universal, this calls for the most open-minded of readers to appreciate the bittersweet narrative.

Finally I reviewed "The Thursday Murder Club". My least favourite of the three, but with a massive heavyweight team behind him, Richard Osman could hardly fail. Now if Eleanor and I could secure a team like that, well Spielberg would be knocking at our doors too!

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Imagine your favourite burger squished between two pieces of cardboard. That’s how I would describe Richard Osman’s debut. If you are prepared to put up with a boring beginning and a frustrating finale, you will find an enjoyable and exciting core. I wonder if anyone else found his sporadic and unfathomable attempts at the present tense as irritating as me!

My debut novel, It's Raining in Moscow and I Forgot my Umbrella is available on Amazon, Click here.


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