A few words on some recent reads:
Much has been written about Kate Atkinson's Life After Life, and I found this complex and highly original book - which takes a life through a range of permutations of fate - absolutely stunning. It's clever, it's meticulous, it has foxed and flummoxed some reviewers, but this one loved it.
Elanor Dymott's Oxford crime novel Every Contact Leaves A Trace - which I spoke a bit about here - is ambitious and doesn't quite achieve what it sets out to do. I guessed the culprit correctly, but the case for why a murder was committed in the first place could have been better made, and certain characters and their actions were implausible. That said, I did find it thoroughly engrossing, but I think its reach exceeds its grasp, and a tighter edit would have served it better.
Dancing to the Flute by Manisha Jolie Amin was the subject of a post the other day. This is a charming and uplifting novel about music, life and friendship - it's warm and touching, and was a very interesting and pleasurable read, the musical theme giving it an extra, fascinating cultural dimension.