The extraordinary new novel everyone is talking about from the Sunday Times best-selling author of Sister.
Three hours is 180 minutes or 10,800 seconds.
It is a morning’s lessons, a dress rehearsal of Macbeth, a snowy trek through the woods.
It is an eternity waiting for news. Or a countdown to something terrible.
It is 180 minutes to discover who you will die for and what men will kill for.
In rural Somerset in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens: a school is under siege. Told from the point of view of the people at the heart of it, from the wounded headmaster in the library, unable to help his trapped pupils and staff, to teenage Hannah in love for the first time, to the parents gathering desperate for news, to the 16-year-old Syrian refugee trying to rescue his little brother, to the police psychologist who must identify the gunmen, to the students taking refuge in the school theatre, all experience the most intense hours of their lives, where evil and terror are met by courage, love and redemption.
Meet Jackson – a very unusual boy in a world that prefers ‘normal’…
Julia Curtis is a busy mother of three, with a husband often away for work, an ever-present mother-in-law, a career, and a house that needs doing up. Her fourteen-year-old daughter, Milla, has fallen in love for the first time, and her youngest, Ruby, is a nine-year-old fashionista who can out-negotiate anyone.
But Julia’s eleven-year-old son, Jackson, is different. Different to his sisters. Different to his classmates. In fact, Jackson is different from everyone. And bringing up a child who is different isn’t always easy.
Then, one Monday morning, Jackson follows his new friend Digby into the school toilets. What happens inside changes everything; not only for Jackson, but for every member of his family. Julia faces the fight of her life to save her unusual boy from a world set up for ‘normal’.
An extraordinary boy. The mother who loves him. The fight of their lives.
Told from the alternating perspectives of Hương and her grandmother, The Mountains Sing charts the journey of generations of Trần family as they face severe adversities for more than two decades during the Việt Nam War and the infamous Land Reform of North Vietnam.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
Born in 1920, Trần Diệu Lan and her family lost everything when the Communist government came to power in North Việt Nam. Forced to flee with her six children, she knows she must do whatever it takes to keep her family alive.
Fifty years later, her country is again at war, and her young granddaughter Hương grieves the loss of her parents, who have disappeared to the South along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
I am by no means a critical reader. All I want is a good story to make me forget the world. However, as a reader and a book reviewer, I do look for certain elements in a fiction book, which compel me to rate it 5 stars. I have listed the four most important ones below –
Welcome to my stop on the Write Reads Ultimate Blog Tour for KnightmareArcanist by Shami Stovall.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
Gravedigger Volke Savan wants to be like his hero, the legendary magical swashbuckler, Gregory Ruma. First, he needs to become an arcanist, someone capable of wielding magic, which requires bonding with a mythical creature. And he will take anything—a pegasus, a griffin, a ravenous hydra—maybe even a leviathan, like Ruma.
So when Volke stumbles across a knightmare, a creature made of shadow and terror, he has no reservations. But the knightmare knows a terrible secret: Ruma is a murderer out to spread corrupted magic throughout their island nation. He’s already killed a population of phoenixes and he intends to kill even more.
To protect his home, his adopted sister, and the girl he admires from afar, Volke will need to confront his hero, the Master Arcanist Gregory Ruma.