BOOK BITES | Michael Bond, Cecelia Ahern, Jessie Burton

20 April 2020 - 10:56

Published in the Sunday Times (19/04/2020)

Wayfinding *****
Michael Bond, Picador

One of the most terrifying and alienating experiences is being lost, though for most of us it is a rare occurrence. Bond explores how people catalogue their surroundings, making both unconscious and deliberate decisions, to find their way, even if they have never been in that place before. This fascinating book pulls the reader in as it examines how our wayfinding skills are impacted by how we raise children, how we exist in society, and how our brains develop. Bond further addresses why wayfinding matters to both our mental health and old age. An excellent read. Tiah Beautement @ms_tiahmarie

Postscript **
Cecelia Ahern, HarperCollins

This is the sequel to the bestselling PS I Love You, but sometimes things just need to be left alone. No matter the pleas from the readers and no matter the story the writer has in her head, just say no. It waters down the poignant love story of Holly and Gerry. It takes place several years later after Gerry dies (that book was published 15 years ago!), and Holly is reluctantly drawn into the PS I Love You Club. Each dying person asks her to help them leave something behind for their loved ones, like Gerry did with the letters. It's sentimental fluff. Jennifer Platt @Jenniferdplatt

The Confession ***
Jessie Burton, Picador 

Rose Simmons is desperate to find her mother, Elise Morceau, who disappeared soon after she was born. Her only clue leads to a once-famous writer, Constance Holden, who had an affair with Elise decades ago. She now lives as a recluse. Rose cons her way into Constance's home and life, hoping for a trace of Elise among the books and furniture. Burton sketches her characters and their lives in fine detail and evokes a deep sense of longing and loneliness. The Confession is a slow, leisurely read and a powerful depiction of both motherhood and the absence of maternal influence. Sophisticated yet relatable, the characters and their stories will linger long after you've finished the book. Anna Stroud @annawriter_