There has not been that many reviews here lately, although I have read quite a lot. Well, time is the culprit. Here are a few short notes on some of the books I have read in June.
Three books by Colm Tóibín; The Empty Family, Brooklyn and The Heather Blazing. All about family relationships, or the difficulty with such relationships. The first one contains short stories of different kind of family relationships. Often we might think of family as mom, dad and children, but Tóibín finds so many more kinds, and they are not always happy ones. The other two books also deals with family. In Brooklyn, Eilis Lancey, moves to New York when she cannot find work in 1950s Ireland. All alone in a new country, totally different from her old world, we see how she changes in trying to find a happy life for herself. It is very sensitively written and shows clearly how people change/develop coming to a new place, and how it also changes the relationship with the people left behind. The Heather Blazing is about a judge who is dedicated to his work, and does not shy away from making verdicts that are not popular, but according to the law which is guiding his life. Maybe because he cannot give away personal feelings in his work, he has difficulties doing it in his private life. The story jumps between present day and past days when he looks back on his life. In the end there is someone who is making him open up and share enjoyable moments of the day. Tóibín is as always a master in putting the point on the difficulty in relationships. Sometimes they end happy, sometimes not.
King Arthur's Bones by the Medieval Murderers is a historical mystery written by five different writers. The story starts in 1191 when someone is finding King Arthur's bones. However, such famous bones are wanted by different groups for different purposes. Each part takes us further towards modern times and we follow the strange journey of holy bones and how they affect the people coming in contact with them. And then of course, the big question. How can we know that it is Arthur's bones. I have read The First Murder by the same authors. I always think that the first stories are the best and that they become less interesting. The first and last story in The First Murder really connected the stories, but I did not find the same here. It could not keep my interest up all the way through.
I downloaded two books in one of my favourite series, Winston Graham's Poldark. The Angry Tide and The Stranger from the Sea are books 7 and 8 in the series. I wanted to read them before seeing the new season from BBC. Although we are some years in the future, Graham manages to keep up his good writing and interesting characters, set against the political background of the time.