The Year in Books | November 2015

November 12, 2015

The Year in Books | November 2015 | These Four Walls blog

I’m a little late with this month’s post for ‘The Year in Books’ because my October choice, Altered Land by Jules Hardy, took me ages to finish – not because I didn’t enjoy it (I did), but because a very busy few weeks meant I had to snatch moments to read a few pages here and there. Still, it was worth it: it’s a beautifully written, complex novel which explores all sorts of relationships – mother and son, husband and wife, two friends – and how they change after a life-shattering event.

I was keen to read this book partly because of its Bristol setting, which came through very strongly (every page was peppered with the names of streets and pubs I know well), but also because one of the characters has synesthesia – a condition I share, which causes senses to overlap. Disappointingly, it isn’t one of the two narrators, which means the novel lacks a first-hand account and probably wouldn’t provide much insight for those who haven’t experienced synesthesia themselves. But it certainly adds an extra dimension to a book that uses the senses as a running theme (some characters lose their hearing or sight, others have hyper-active senses), and in any case I should imagine it’s of much more interest to me than most other readers!

For November, I’m stepping away from fiction and reading The Bristol Suffragette by Lucienne Boyce. It seems appropriate in a time when women are still fighting for full equality, and particularly so in a month that has already seen national Equal Pay Day and the release of the film Suffragette. I’ve of course heard about the efforts of the Pankhurst sisters and other famous suffragettes, but I’m looking forward to learning about the inspirational women from my own city whose contributions have largely been forgotten by history.

‘The Year in Books’ is a monthly blog series run by Laura of Circle of Pine Trees, with the aim of encouraging people to make more time to read; I’m taking part by reviewing books set in or connected to my home city over the course of 2015. There’s also a regular Twitter chat where everyone can share recommendations. Head over to the information page to find out more – and happy reading!

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