The Glass Demon by Helen Grant
Lin Fox and her fractured family move to Germany so her father can research a legendary collection of stained glass. The infamous long lost Allerheiligen stained glass is priceless and rumoured to be cursed, a demon is supposed to inhabit it.
Lin doesn’t believe in curses or demons, she’s more concerned about dealing with the locals her treat her and her family with cold, irritated contempt. Also her family is falling part and soon Lin will realise that demons in all their guises are very real.
This is an excellent novel of suspense, unease and sinister human behaviour.
In Great Waters by Kit Whitfield
This is a mesmerising novel that reimagines the world. An uneasy accord holds between the people of the land and the people of the sea. England’s royal family are of deepsmen blood but the royal house is collapsing under the weight of centuries of inbreeding.
Princess Anne sees her mother fight to keep the crown stable. But not so far from court is Henry, the product of a forbidden union between a landsman and a deepswoman. He has been groomed to seize the throne. Henry cannot understand landsmen ways and comes across as an ignorant brute meanwhile Princess Anne juggles politics, religion and the fate of nations.
A conflict is coming and it will takes wit, wiles and a meeting of different mindsets to stop it. This is a wonderful novel about a different world. The culture of this world is chilling in its implications the more you think about it but it is fascinating to read about.
Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years by Sue Townsend
Adrian Mole is 39, in debt, his wife is a whining adulteress, his daughter is a brat and he has health issues. Also the bookstore he works in is facing closure, his mother is writing a fake misery-lit memoir and plans to go on ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show’ to solve the mystery of Rosie’s paternity once and for all.
Adrian is in despair as his wife Daisy is devoured by resentment and becomes a maddening nag. Little Gracie is a devious, sulky drama queen and malevolent outside forces shake his world. But it is not all doom and gloom as Adrian’s romance with Pandora Braithwaite is reignited.
This is a very good, very funny tale despite some sombre subject matter. A lot of plots are left dangling and I hope there will be a follow up.