As the year comes to an end one thing I enjoy is looking over the books I’ve read during the year and highlighting some favourites. In past years, I’ve done a Top Ten Books post, but this year I’ve decided to split it in two. This post will cover some of my favourite fiction reads from the year and I will do another post with some non-fiction favourites.
I hope this will give you some ideas for some holiday reading or even for some last minute Christmas gifts! Two of the books won’t be released until early 2020, but they are definitely worth looking out for!
The Giver Of Stars by Jojo Moyes
I was keen to read this book as I had enjoyed Jojo Moyes’ books Me Before You and After You. This book is quite different but just as enjoyable. It tells the story of five women who worked as horseback librarians in Kentucky during the 1930s and 40s, riding to deliver books to remote areas of the Appalachian Mountains, enabling many to have the chance to read. It was interesting to learn more about this unfamiliar (to me) history, and Jojo Moyes has created a compelling story based on these real-life events.
The book has something for everyone – action, mystery, romance -and some wonderful, memorable characters. Once I got into the book I just wanted to keep reading!
Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
Ask Again, Yes tells the story of two families – the Gleesons and the Stanhopes – over several years, focusing particularly on the friendship between the youngest Gleeson daughter, Kate, and Peter, the only child of the Stanhopes.
The book centres around a tragedy which has a lasting impact on both families, and explores both the circumstances leading up to that event, and the journeys of the families as they try to move forward and find peace.
It is beautifully written – I was completely drawn in and wanted to read more. The characters are vivid and realistic, each with their own flaws and issues but very relatable.
The book touches on themes such as love, family ties, friendship, mental illness, addiction, and forgiveness, which means that while it’s an easy and enjoyable read it is also thought-provoking, and it is definitely one that will stick with me.
Red Cabbage Blue by Annie Try
Red Cabbage Blue tells the story of Adelle Merchant, a young woman who only wears and surrounds herself with blue, even refusing to eat any food that is not blue in colour. The book explores Adelle’s journey of healing as she begins therapy with Dr Mike Lewis. As she probes deeper into her past, a secret is revealed and she becomes determined to discover the truth.
It is an original and fascinating story. As the author is a clinical psychologist, the therapeutic relationship is captured well, and it is an enjoyable and thought-provoking read with some likeable and memorable characters.
Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton
Three hours seems like a short time, but in it a lot can happen. This book tells the story of a school under siege. It is told from the perspectives of several different people: the wounded head master and some students with him in the library, the drama teacher locked in the school theatre with some students continuing their dress rehearsal of Macbeth, a 16 year-old Syrian refugee searching for his little brother, a parent waiting anxiously for news of her son, and a police psychologist who is desperately trying to solve the mystery of who is behind the attack and why before it is too late.
It is a tense and gripping book which kept me reading, keen to see how events would play out. I thought presenting the story from the perspectives of different characters worked well and it is very well plotted to gradually reveal the truth about what is happening.
There were a couple of the twists in the later part of the book that I guessed very early on, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book as I was still wondering how everything would be resolved, and I thought the way the different strands of the plot were woven together was excellent.
Big Lies In A Small Town by Diane Chamberlain
Diane Chamberlain is one of my favourite storytellers – I haven’t read a book of hers that I’ve not enjoyed, and this was no exception!
It tells the intertwining stories of two young women who lived decades apart in Edenton, North Carolina. Morgan Christopher is serving time in prison when she receives a mysterious offer that she will be released immediately on the condition that she restores the mural created for Edenton post office in 1940. Despite having no experience in mural restoration, Morgan accepts. As she begins to discover more about the mural, she also becomes intrigued by the story of Anna Dale, the original artist, who seemed to disappear without trace. What happened to her, and what secrets is the small town of Edenton hiding?
This is a wonderful book, full of mystery and suspense, with relatable and realistic characters. Definitely one to look out for!
What about you? What fiction reads have you enjoyed this year? I always like getting new recommendations!
I’m grateful to Michael Joseph, Instant Apostle, Penguin Books, St Martin’s Press, and Netgalley for access to complementary digital copies of these books. I only share books here that I genuinely believe will be beneficial to my readers.
Amazon links are not affiliate links, but simply provided for your convenience.