This Is Going To Hurt – Adam Kay
Favourite Quote: “Asked to review a patient in labour ward triage and repeat a PV as the midwife is uncertain of her findings. Her findings were of cephalic presentation with cervix 1cm dilated. My findings are of breech presentation, cervix 6cm dilated. I explain to mum that baby is bottom-down and the safest thing to do is deliver by caesarian section. I don’t explain to mum which part of the baby the midwife just stuck her finger into 1cm dilation.”
Book length: 277 pages
Synopsis: Ever wanted to know what its like being on the other side of that in-patient experience? Being the one to perform that emergency C-section, order that blood transfusion, progress reports for investigation of Cancer? Well nows your chance to learn, through the documented journals of a real-life junior doctor. Through humour and wit, the highs and the very low lows are laid bare in this captivating read by Adam Kay, before he reveals why his time in the NHS came to an end. This exciting and gripping read is actually completely heartbreaking.
Ease of read: Easy, allows the ability to pick up and down at whatever stage. Detailed accounts of real events with pure relevance and dark humour. Kay completely explores the exhausting life of a junior doctor with its debilitating outcomes but dedicated nature as well as providing a detailed insight into the structure of our NHS.
Overall comment: Laugh out loud moments that immediately fill you with guilt after. It shouldn’t be funny but it is. Kay’s wit is applied to his insider knowledge and practice that makes the read not only enjoyable, but heartbreakingly honest.
Enjoyment rating: 4/5
Buy On Amazon Here.
Only Child – Rhiannon Navin
Favourite quote: “More than one feeling at the same time, right next to each other or on top of each other and all mixed up inside you? I never knew that could happen. But now it happened to me, and it was hard because when your happy, you know you want to laugh or smile at least, and when you’re mad or sad, you want to yell, but when you feel all of those together, you don’t know what to do.”
Book length: 367 pages
Synopsis: Six year old Zach is a witness of a mass shooting at his school whereby one of the victims is his own older brother Andy. Confused and emotional, Zach tries to navigate life after trauma and helps indirectly teach his parents about the patterns of grief that follow their loss by listening to their hearts.
Ease of read: Medium. During a discussion with fellow members of Beth’s book club, it quickly became obvious that 50% of readers found the style of this 6 year old child’s narrative tricker to settle into whilst the other 50% were immediately hooked because of this. Personally, it did take me a while to adapt, but upon finishing the book, I found the narrative had a huge impact on how deeply affecting this story had on us as adults.
Overall comment: I would be very quick to recommend this book to others and have already done so. It provides you with a completely different perspective of grief through the eyes of a child and how simple it actually can be but how complex our brains confuse it to be.
Enjoyment rating: 4/5
Buy On Amazon Here.
The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah
Favourite quote: “In love we find out who we want to be, in war we find out who we are” – Possibly my favourite quote of all time.
Book length: 440 pages.
Synopsis: A story of heroism and loss, sisters Vianne and Isabelle are two very different people when it comes to all walks of life; education, relationships and love, but most of all war. During the second world war, French sisters experienced the intimate invasion of Nazi soldiers as one’s husband had to leave for battle and the other fought against them, risking her life in many ways for protection and resistance. Both sisters harrowing experiences are uncovered and outline wartime life for women.
Ease of Read: Medium – depending on preference of writing style. Longer read with smaller words therefore more by page. Very descriptive and scene setting narrative style with 90% set during the second world war and the other 10% in the current day. The novel was exceptionally well written and perfect use of language to help envisage each scenario that unfolded. I would recommend anyone from the age of around 15 – 90 reads this book.
Overall Comment: New York Times Best Selling Novel – Completely understand why this is the case. I loved this book, plain and simple enjoyment. The plot kept me hooked at every turn of story, I felt emotion, anger, frustration and deep connections to all characters within this book despite the primary narrative being from the eldest of the two sisters Vianne. It is the type of book that hooks you from the first two chapters and you immediately want to uncover the story. Specifically liked how the author put much emphasis on all characters involved to provide a well-rounded story of all those affected by the war, including very harrowing scenes but ones of great importance and significance. Enjoyable in any kind of setting, a well rounded but intense story of love, loss, bravery and perseverance.
Enjoyment Rating: 5/5
Buy on Amazon here.
An American Marriage – Tayari Jones
Favourite quote: “Home isn’t where you land, it’s where you launch. You can’t pick your home any more than you can choose your family. In poker, you get 5 cards. Three of them you can swap out, but two are yours to keep: Family and native land.”
Book length: 306 pages.
Synopsis: Celestial and Roy grew up in different lives, she was an Atlanta girl and he, from Louisiana. Shortly after getting married Roy gets convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sentenced to 12 years in Prison. Celestial has to lead a life she never imagined and together, the pair face challenges of their own. Can their love conquer a scenario that would test even the strongest of couples?
Ease of Read: Very easy. Relatable, personal and emotive. I found the writing style of this book incredibly easy to get into and found I enjoyed the way the author had portrayed communication between the characters as well as letting us into the mindset and emotions of each person. This book is written from the perspective of all main characters, not just one view.
Overall Comment: I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I was unsure of what to expect from the plot and ultimately I came to the conclusion that the story would take on a romantic heartfelt approach. This was not the case, so the fact that so many other honest and realistic points unfolded meant that it was easier to believe this fiction being someones true story. Saddening, heartbreaking, loving and confusion were all main points of this story, but overall a heartwarming and strong story to read. I would recommend this book to anyone that is open to an honest approach to marriage troubles, but still an easy book to read that you can pick up and put down at leisure.
Enjoyment Rating: 4/5
No Exit – Taylor Adams