The most haunting book in years

There are not many books that haunt you to the extent where you struggle to sleep and, at rare quiet times in the day, you experience flashbacks at a particularly harrowing part of the book’s plot.

The Other Hand by Chris Cleave haunts you in this way. I am less eloquent than book critics, so here’s what they have to say…..

I felt the same excitement discovering this as I did Marina Lewycka’s A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian and Paul Torday’s Salmon Fishin in The Yemen. There is an urgency here, an inability to put it down and a deep sense of loss once finished. It is a very special book indeed. Profound, deeply moving and yet light in touch, it explores the nature of loss, hope, love and identity with atrocity its backdrop. Read it and think deeply. Sarah Broadhurst, Bookseller.

A better book than Chris Cleave’s The Other Hand may be published this year, but I wouldn’t bet on it…….exquisitely written…..the most powerful novel I’ve read in a long time….I finished The Other Hand in tears, and I still can’t get it out of my head. Just read it. The Gloss, Ireland.

The book hinges on the plight of a vulnerable child in a war torn country – children UNICEF work hard to protect.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 


Tulips and Gerberas

I have just finished an excellent book on my kindle called The Language of Flowers , I will never look at a yellow rose or a basil leaf or a sunflower or a clematis in the same way again.

The book uses flowers to describe the emotional journey the lead character goes through as she battles her nemesis – attachment disorder. The horticultural vocabulary is based on the translations of the victorian era, some of the descriptions are very victoriana in their composition.

I was relieved to see at the end of the book there was a flower dictionary and I hastily looked up my Dad and Stepmum’s main flower for their forthcoming wedding and breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the words next to Tulip read ‘declaration of love’. Phew!

I then looked up the main flower at our wedding 10 years ago, the gerbera, which simply said ‘cheerfulness’. I need a truck load of gerberas at the moment in our relationship because it is anything but…..

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.