The Essex Serpent: A Book Review.

Good Evening fellow book worms! ¬†I hope you have had a great weekend! ¬†For tonight’s blog post, I will be reviewing The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. ¬†So, for those of you who haven’t heard of it, what’s it about? ¬†Let’s roll out the trusty blurb…

essexLondon 1893.  When Cora Seaborne’s husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one, and she never suited the role of society wife.  Accompanied by her son Francis- a curious obsessive boy- she leaves town for Essex, where she hopes fresh air and open space will provide the refuge they need.

When they take lodgings in Colchester, rumours reach them from further up the estuary that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming human lives, has returned to the coastal parish of Aldwinter.  Cora, a keen amateur  naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, is immediately enthralled, convinced that what the local people think is a magical beast may be a previously undiscovered species.  As she sets out on its trail, she is introduced to William Ransome, Aldwinter’s vicar.

Like Cora, Will is deeply suspicious of the rumours, but he thinks they are founded on moral panic, a flight from real faith.  As he tries to calm his parishioners, he and Cora strike up an intense relationship, and although they agree on absolutely nothing, they find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart, eventually changing each other’s lives in a way entirely unexpected.

First, let me start off by stating the obvious…if you aren’t a fan of classic literature, then this book isn’t for you. ¬†Sarah Perry’s beautiful use of language and the entire style and tone of the book, means it could easily have been written in the days of Bronte and Dickens. ¬†It is a Victorian novel through and through, from its emphasis on class, propriety and wealth, to the character’s attempts to subdue their passions, this is very much a book in the old style. ¬†And yet, Perry cleverly manages to deal with issues which are just as relevant today as they were a century ago- advancing medicine and the moral questions it raises, how the wealthy treat the poor, Religion and superstition and science battling for supremacy and mass hysteria. ¬†Look beyond the classic style writing and setting, and you see the world hasn’t changed all that much.

Perry has a beautiful way with words. ¬†She paints the Essex country side so vividly¬†in your mind, that you can almost smell the saltings as you read. ¬†Each character is incredibly well developed and fleshed out, and the story line, whilst not exactly action packed, keeps you returning to the pages, hungry for more. ¬†The question of the existence of the Essex serpent is the thread running throughout the book, tying the other storylines together, like the blossoming love between Cora Seaborne and Will Ransome, and the unrequited love of Dr Luke Garrett. ¬†However, this book is a slow burner. ¬†For those of you who seek something filled with intrigue and action, this book is not for you, its pace running in tandem with its small village setting of Aldwinter. ¬†Whilst the characters themselves are changed, sometimes profoundly, by the book’s end, everything seems to continue on as it had before, which some readers may find frustrating. ¬†I understand the need to have endings tied up neatly in bows, with love conquering all and people finding their happy ever afters, however life is rarely plays out so simplistically, and often, a happy ending may not be the obvious one.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, and would recommend it to anyone who favours their books with a taste of the old.

If you found this review helpful, I am now on Good reads, so find me and friend me for more of the same!  Have you read this book?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

 

 

Halloween is Coming: How to Become Your Favourite Literary Horror Characters.

It’s October guys, and that can only mean one thing…HALLOWEEN! ¬†I adore this time of year. ¬†I love horror movies and dressing up, I love carving pumpkins and scrunching my way through fallen leaves, and I love the change in the weather, as it cools down, the air filling with the sweet smell of peat fires. ¬†What’s not to love?

To celebrate all things Halloween, I will be collaborating with a very talented make up artist and dear friend of mine, Rachel Henry. ¬†Rachel has had a life long obsession with make up, and recently decided to turn that passion into a business. ¬†She completed the foundation makeup course at Ciara Daly’s school, and is currently completing a VTCT level 3 in fashion and photographic make up…in other words, she knows her stuff! ¬†You can check out more of her work on her Instagram. ¬†She plans on doing special effects makeup down the line, so she jumped at the chance to collaborate with me on this project.

Each week in October, we will be bringing you a different makeup look, in the style of your favourite literary horror characters!  And because we love you guys so much, we will include a step by step guide, so you can recreate the looks at home!  So dig those costumes out of storage, and get ready to scare your friends!

IT

it makeup 6There are so many great Horror books, and scary literary characters to choose from, it’s hard to choose which ones to do! ¬†But our first choice was easy. ¬†Stephen King is a staple of literary Horror. ¬†His books, and the subsequent movie adaptations, are a must at Halloween and are enjoyed by people of all ages and all backgrounds. ¬†The most recent adaptation to screen was of course the smash hit ‘IT’ (which I really enjoyed by the way). The clown is an iconic image, and is one which plays on all of our childhood fears. ¬†It is also a look which can be easily recreated at home, by even the most novice make up artist! ¬†Rachel made sure to use things readily available and cheap, so anyone can create this look, so why not give it a try?

We wanted to hide my own eyebrows and also create some big arch style brows for IT, It makeup 4similar to the new movie adaptation. ¬†But how did we do that I hear you ask? ¬†Well, this is going to sound crazy, but we used cotton pads and water soluble PVA glue. ¬†I know what you’re thinking…putting glue on my face? ¬†Are you insane? ¬†But as long as you use the water soluble stuff, you will be fine. ¬†Once it’s dry it peels right off, and it didn’t hurt in any way or remove any hairs, it just came off. ¬†Remember when you were a little kid, and you were given a pot of glue to craft with, but instead you painted it all over your hand and peeled it off again…it’s the same thing! ¬†We cut a round cotton pad in half, the kind you take your makeup off with, and used the glue to attach it over my brows. ¬†Once it was wet with the glue, Rachel was able to mould it into the shape we wanted. ¬†For something so simple and cheap, we think it looks great!

 

It makeup 5Next, using the ordinary white face paints you can buy in stores, paint your face entirely.  We needed two layers of the paint to get it as white as we wanted.  Just be careful when painting around your eyes.

 

 

Once the white paint was dry, Rachel used ordinary black eyeshadow and eyeliner to paint around my eyes, and create that dead eyed stare IT you have seen glaring from the movie posters.  At this point, you resemble a B movie zombie, but trust us!

Rachel also used black eyeliner pencil to draw some ‘cracks’ along my forehead, which she then blended slightly, before using a brush to put a light dust of the same black eyeshadow on certain points on my face…think where you would normally contour, like under the cheekbones and at either side of your nose. ¬†Using the same eyeliner pencil, she drew on my new eyebrows, first tracing it lightly to get the shape she wanted, before thickening it up and blending it slightly to soften the edges.

Finally, it was time for the best part, and IT’s signature…the red paint.

Rachel just usedIt makeup 3 red lipstick and a lip brush to paint my lips and nose. ¬†IT’s lips are quite large, so she over-exagerated the size of mine, painting above and below my natural lip line. ¬†She used a red lip liner pencil to trace out the red lines from my lips, and ‘through’ my eyes, before filling them in with the same lipstick. ¬†Once you reach this stage, you can go ahead and keep adding any little touches you like. ¬†Rachel, for example, used a black eyeliner to outline my lips lightly, to really emphasise their shape, and also lightly dusted the cotton pads with black powder so it got into the cracks and really emphasised those brows.

Finally, I didn’t want to purchase an expensive costume and wig. ¬†The whole point of this was to make it cheap and easy to create, so I bought a cheap red wig from a local store. ¬†Believe it or not, the wig was a long straight one with a fringe…not very clown like, but Rachel back brushed it and pinned it into the shape you see using bobby pins. ¬†The only clown wigs I could find cheap, were those comedy, curly style ones, and let’s face it, those are not even slightly scary and would definitely have ruined the image. ¬†I bought some red ribbon from a haberdashery and we just tied it around my neck and then made bow after bow after bow, to create this ‘ruff’ look. ¬†We pinned the edges up using more bobby pins.

And voila! ¬†I think the finished look is really effective and instantly recognisable…perfect for any Halloween party, or if you just feel like terrifying your neighbours and friends!

IT makeup

 

it makeup 7

I would just like to thank Rachel for collaborating with me on this project!  You are super talented!  If you guys feel inspired by this and end up recreating any of our looks, I would love it if you tagged us so we can see the results!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: The Twelve by Stuart Neville and the next book club pick!

Last month’s book club pick was ‚ÄėThe Twelve‚Äô by Stuart Neville. ¬†So what was it about? ¬†The blurb reads:

Gerry Fegan, a former paramilitary contract killer, is haunted by the ghosts of the 12 people he has slaughtered. Every night, on the point of losing his mind, he drowns their screams in drink. His solution is to kill those who engineered their deaths.

From the greedy politicians to the corrupt security forces, the street thugs to the complacent bystanders who let it happen, all are called to account. But when Fegan’s vendetta threatens to derail a hard-won truce and destabilise the government, old comrades and enemies alike want him dead. 

I love horror/crime cross overs, in fact the novel I am currently writing is of that particular literary genre, and since this was by a local, Northern Irish writer, I thought it would be the perfect choice!

This book is certainly not for the faint hearted. ¬†The violence is plentiful, and incredibly brutal. ¬†I often think that action scenes are difficult to convey in the written form, but Stuart Neville paints an incredibly vivid picture. ¬†I could easily imagine every bullet fired and drop of blood shed, in full, technicolour glory. ¬†The story line is entertaining, a good old fashioned, gritty tale of redemption, and revenge with a dose of the paranormal mixed in for good measure. ¬†It deals with Northern Irelands past, without being biased towards one side or the other, which with the main character being an ex-paramilitary terrorist, is a feat in of itself. ¬†What I would say, if you are unfamiliar with ‘The Troubles’ as my country’s tumultuous history has been coined, many references within the book would mean very little to you you, so I suggest a quick google search before picking it up. ¬†The main character is believable, and fully fleshed out…he is likeable, despite the terrible things he has done in the past, because he knows what he is, and accepts he deserves to suffer for those sins, and most importantly, because he is trying to redeem himself.

Overall, I found it entertaining and would recommend it to anyone looking for an action packed read!

essex serpant

Next up for book club, is ‘The Essex Serpent’ by Sarah Perry. ¬†What’s it about? ¬†Let’s check the trusty blurb:

London 1893. ¬†When Cora Seaborne’s husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one, and she never suited the role of society wife. ¬†Accompanied by her son Francis- a curious obsessive boy- she leaves town for Essex, where she hopes fresh air and open space will provide the refuge they need.

 

When they take lodgings in Colchester, rumours reach them from further up the estuary that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming human lives, has returned¬†to the coastal parish of Aldwinter. ¬†Cora, a keen¬†amateur ¬†naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, is immediately enthralled, convinced that what the local people think is a magical beast may be a previously undiscovered species. ¬†As she sets out on its trail, she is introduced to William Ransome, Aldwinter’s vicar.

Like Cora, Will is deeply suspicious of the rumours, but he thinks they are founded on moral panic, a flight from real faith. ¬†As he tries to calm his parishioners, he and Cora strike up an intense relationship, and although they agree on absolutely nothing, they find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart, eventually changing each other’s lives in a way entirely unexpected.

It’s easy to join my book club- just read along with me and let me know your thoughts on the book!

 

The 9th Life of Louis Drax: Book Review

Hello everyone! ¬†It’s Sunday again, which means most of us will be getting ready for another working week, which I won’t lie to you, generally sucks. ¬†Why can’t us bookworms be allowed to read, create and eat snacks all day? ¬†Is that too much to ask? ¬†Anyway, to cheer you all up, I have a book review for you, as well as the announcement of the next book club pick. ¬†Happy Reading…

louis drax

So let’s remind ourselves of the story:

Nine-year-old Louis Drax is a problem child: bright, precocious, deceitful- and dangerously, disturbingly, disaster prone.  When he falls off a cliff into a ravine, the accident seems almost predestined.  Louis miraculously survives- but the family has been shattered.  Louis’ father has vanished, his mother is paralysed by shock, and Louis lies in a deep coma from which he may never emerge.  In a clinic in Provence, Dr Pascal Dannachet tries to coax Louis back to consciousness.  But the boy defies medical logic, startling Dannachet out of his safe preconceptions, and drawing him inexorably into the dark heart of Louis’ buried world.  Only Louis holds the key to the mystery surrounding his fall- and he can’t communicate.  Or can he?

This is an incredibly original read, and genuinely like nothing I have ever read before. ¬†The chapters alternate between Dr Pascal’s perspective and Louis’, creating a constant shift in the focus of the novel. ¬†The author has an amazing way of capturing a character’s voice. ¬†When you read Louis’ chapters, you can hear a child speak and you really get his personality. ¬†Same with Dr Pascal’s chapters, when it’s obvious we have shifted to the thoughts of an adult, a confused and lonely adult, dedicated to his job, to an unhealthy level perhaps. ¬†The chapters which take place inside Louis’ mind are imaginative and fantastical without being cliched or overdone, and the fictional character that dwells there, Gustav, the man with no face, is beautifully creepy and reassuring at the same time. ¬†By creating a sound board for Louis, we have his story told to us in his words, at his pace, revealing the events which lead to his coma in a dramatic and interesting way.

All positive so far, however, whilst the voices and characters are clearly defined and easily imagined, they are also slightly unlikeable. ¬†Louis is precocious and intelligent and a little odd, normally things I would love in a child, but honestly he just comes across as bratty. ¬†Dr Pascal, the protagonist of this piece, is frankly pathetic. ¬†He is clearly so dedicated to his job, and through it does wonderful things, but he appears so willing to risk all of that over a pretty face. ¬†Same with his marriage…ok, it’s not perfect, and due to choosing his job more often over his wife, they appear to live almost separate lives, but after so many years, two children, a home together and a woman he still clearly loves and respects, he appears quite happy to chuck it all in for a younger, prettier model. ¬†Add to that the fact that, despite him supposedly being this genius medical practitioner, he is so easily duped by this woman. ¬†Apparently, if you pout your lips at him, he’ll believe anything. ¬†The movie adaptation addresses this by making the consequences of his decisions less physical, and more specific to his job and marriage, the very things he put at risk.

The pace of the novel seems off as well. ¬†Dr Pascal seems to fall almost instantly in love with Mrs Drax, with no real development to their relationship, or natural pace for attraction. ¬†I understand that there is lightening bolt, love at first sight in this world, but this doesn’t appear to be that either. ¬†Frankly, it’s as if Dr Pascal simply resigns to his fate with regards Mrs Drax. ¬†It’s the same with the pace at which the telepathic connection between Dr Pascall and Louis is revealed. ¬†It seems like Dr Pascall jumps to this incredibly far fetched conclusion a little too quickly, ‘I sleep walked a couple of times, as I did many times in my past, and I wrote some weird stuff down. ¬†It must be the boy in a coma taking over my body through a psychic link.’ ¬†Similarly, Dr Pascall, Louis’ therapist, seems perfectly contented to jump straight to this (frankly insane sounding) conclusion. ¬†Are these men genuinely medical professionals? ¬†Again, this is addressed in the movie version, where Dr Pascall represents the cynical voice of reason.

Perhaps, I’m too cynical, but whilst I am perfectly willing to suspend reality when entering the universe created by a book, and accept all of the alternative realities and terms of that universe, I think it needs to make sense within the confines of the universe created. ¬†Yes, there is a psychic link between the comatose boy and his Doctor, I accept that, but from my perspective, there should have been more instances and examples of this connection, or a more gradual realisation for the characters of it’s existence. ¬†An opinion clearly shared by the writers who adapted the book for screen.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel. ¬†It wasn’t the best thing I have ever read, but it was unique and entertaining. ¬†It’s not particularly long or taxing, so I definitely think it’s worth a go! I would give it three stars.

The next book club book is ‘The Twelve’ by Stuart Neville, a fellow Norther Irish writer. ¬†The blurb reads:

Gerry Fegan, a former paramilitary contract killer, is haunted by the ghosts of the 12 people he has slaughtered. Every night, on the point of losing his mind, he drowns their screams in drink. His solution is to kill those who engineered their deaths.

From the greedy politicians to the corrupt security forces, the street thugs to the complacent bystanders who let it happen, all are called to account. But when Fegan’s vendetta threatens to derail a hard-won truce and destabilise the government, old comrades and enemies alike want him dead.

This sounds like a genuinely gritty, dark and original read and I can’t wait to read it. ¬†Why don’t you join my book club and read along with me?

 

Book Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden and our next Book Club pick.

Hello everyone, I hope you have had a wonderful weekend and have been out enjoying the summer sun! ¬†For the UK, this is a bank holiday weekend, so you guys should kick your feet up and enjoy the long weekend! ¬†For everyone else, commiserations on work tomorrow, but the good news is, I am here to cheer you up with a book review and our next book club pick! ¬†If you haven’t joined my book club already, then you should definitely give it a go! ¬†Just buy this months book, read along and let me know your thoughts! ¬†It’s that easy.

Bear nightingale pic

Last months book was ‘The Bear and the Nightingale’ by Katherine Arden. ¬†For those of you unfamiliar with this book, the blurb reads:¬†In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift- a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. ¬†Uncertain of its meaning, the father hides the gift away and his daughter, Vasya, grows up a wild, wilful girl, to the chagrin of her family. ¬†But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.

As blurbs go, this promised a lot, and the book itself did not fail to disappoint.  On the surface, this is a good old fashioned adventure story.  A young girl facing unimaginable odds and unsurmountable danger, must face her fears and fight to save her family.  The tale has been told dozens of times, in various forms, but with the addition of mythical creatures, Russian folklore and classic fantasy, this book rises head and shoulders above the rest, to produce an exciting and entertaining read.  It takes those traditional tales, and turns them on their head, spins them around, and pushes them over.  In a word, it is magical.

Peel back a layer, and the story is about so much more. ¬†The main character’s struggle for independence and power over her own life in a Patriarchal society, provides a classic tale of feminism and female strength. ¬†Indeed, Vasya is told repeatedly throughout the book that a woman’s ‘place’ and ‘lot in life’ is marriage and children, or the convent. ¬†Those are her only two options. ¬†Both, to Vasya, are worse than death, and so she fights her family, her village, even society itself, for the ownership over her body and her future. ¬†Her refusal to submit to such overwhelming pressure from all directions, makes her all the more heroic to me as a female reader. ¬†Too many fairy tales present the concept of a princess who needs to be rescued, or who gives up everything she is to marry her beloved prince. ¬†Indeed, most of the stories I grew up with as a child, seem to give the distinct impression that finding your ‘Prince Charming’ is the be all and end all. ¬†This story certainly does not read like that, and Vasya is a strong and independent female character. I will definitely be reading this book to my daughter.

On another level, it is about a girl who does not fit in.  She is strange and odd, and as a result, she is ostracised and bullied.  But again, in the face of name calling and isolation, she remains determined to be herself.  She is happy knowing that the people who are most important to her, like her family and nanny, love her just as she is.  Again, this presents such a positive role model for younger readers, and makes Vasya all the more loveable as a main character.

Finally, and more controversially, the book is a damning indictment of organised religion and indeed modern politics. ¬†Vasya’s village once believed in the old ways, leaving food and offerings to the many spirits which occupy their home and the neighbouring woods, and who watch over them and their animals. ¬†When a new priest comes to town, Father Konstantin, an arrogant man who yearns to be loved, he brings with him his charming way with words and his striking good looks, both weapons in his arsenal, which he uses to sway the people towards the ‘New God’ with surprising effectiveness. ¬†He wants to be loved, and to have power, so he terrifies the ignorant villagers, with his warnings of the fiery inferno and eternal damnation awaiting them all in the afterlife, if they do not repent and submit to him. ¬†The villagers change, blindly following him, whatever he says, out of pure fear. ¬†In a society where politicians also wield fear as a weapon, this makes for incredibly relevant reading. ¬†Even as the villagers die, the crops fail and the dead walk, Father Konstantin is unwavering in his faith, simply telling the villagers to pray. ¬†Again, I am struck by similarities to our modern day politics, where people in positions of power, positions where they can make real change, merely offer prayers and empty promises.

In short, this book is simply wonderful, and I found myself, on several occasions, unable and unwilling to put it down. ¬†I can’t find any fault with it and I thoroughly recommend it to all of you! ¬†Have you read ‘The Bear and the Nightingale’? ¬†Let me know your thoughts.

Junes Book Club pick is ‘The 9th life of Louis Drax’ by Liz Jensen. ¬†This isn’t a long one, so we may have two book club picks for this month, I will let you know! ¬†So what is this book about? ¬†Nine-year-old Louis Drax is a problem child: bright, precocious, deceitful- and dangerously, disturbingly, disaster prone. ¬†When he falls off a cliff into a ravine, the accident seems almost predestined. ¬†Louis miraculously survives- but the family has been shattered. ¬†Louis’ father has vanished, his mother is paralysed by shock, and Louis lies in a deep coma from which he may never emerge. ¬†In a clinic in Provence, Dr Pascal Dannachet tries to coax Louis back to consciousness. ¬†But the boy defies medical logic, startling Dannachet out of his safe preconceptions, and drawing him inexorably into the¬†dark heart of Louis’ buried world. ¬†Only Louis holds the key to the mystery surrounding his fall- and he can’t communicate. ¬†Or can he?

If you fancy joining my book club, buy a copy as well, and read along! ¬†Don’t forget to follow my blog for updates on this series of posts, along with many others and happy reading!

Fancy joining my Book Club?

It’s the 1st of the month, and you know what that means! ¬†It’s time to review last month’s book club book, and announce this months. ¬†If you are new to my blog, the premise for these posts are simple…I want you to join my book club, and read along with me. ¬†Are you in?

April’s book was ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood. ¬†So, first of all, what was it about? ¬†Time to read the blurb:

The Republic of Gilead allows Offred only one function: to breed. ¬†If she deviates, she will, like all dissenters, be hanged on the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. ¬†But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire- neither¬†Offered’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs. ¬†

handmaid's tale

This book offers a terrifying glimpse at a not so unlikely future, of oppressive regimes and corporal punishment.  I found it horrifying, mostly because I can in fact, see it happening, perhaps not exactly like this, but another form of  it.  It describes the drip drip drip effect of a government, slowly closing in, and eroding your rights, until you are surprised to find yourself no longer considered a full person, and sadly I can see such erosions all around.

Atwood’s chaotic form of writing, perfectly captures the confusion and confliction of the main character Offred. ¬†It is told from her perspective, and you truly grow to connect and feel for her. ¬†As a new Mother, I found in particularly difficult to read about her child being taken. ¬†I could genuinely feel her heart break, and admire her determination to continue on, to survive. ¬†Despite the situation being hopeless, Offred never seems to completely surrender hope. ¬†Despite her desire, whether drug induced or indoctrinated, to conform, you still sense her determination to be true to herself. ¬†In short, she is a beautifully formed character, with an emotive and interesting story to tell.

I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I will say that the way in which the story ends is as brutal and mysterious as the regime in which it is set, and it’s perfect.

I honestly cannot recommend this book enough.  It has instantly become one of my all time favourites, and I plan on buying a lot more work by Atwood, and I will be binge watching the TV series this week.  Buy it, read it, and let me know your thoughts!

book club pic

For May, the book club will be reading ‘The Bear and the Nightingale’ by Katherine Arden. ¬†With a tagline like, “Beware the evil in the woods…” How could I resist?

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow¬†falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift- a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. ¬†Uncertain of it’s meaning, the father hides the gift away and his daughter, Vasya, grows up a wild, wilful girl, to the chagrin of her family. ¬†

But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.  

Sounds amazing right?  Join my club and read along with me.  If you have already read it, let me know your thoughts!  Happy reading!

April’s Book club pick!

handmaid's tale

In my March 22nd post, I invited you to join my book club and reviewed last month’s book (if you haven’t read it already, check it out via the blog calendar). ¬†Each month, I will select a book for us to read together and review it when we are done. ¬†Just subscribe to my blog to keep updated, and don’t forget to let me know your thoughts on each month’s pick in the comments section below! ¬†Already read it? ¬†Let me know what you thought.

Given the upcoming TV adaptation, and the relevance today, I have picked the novel, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood. ¬†So, for those of you who have never heard of it, what is it about?:

The Republic of Gilead allows Offred only one function: to breed. ¬†If she deviates, she will, like all dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. ¬†But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire- neither Offred’s nor that of the¬†two men on¬†which her future hangs…”

Given the unpredictability of today’s political climate, the rise in terrorism, and the constant threat of everything from war to global warming, novel’s like these, set in dystopian futures, are more relevant than ever. ¬†George Orwell’s classic ‘1984’ has had a sudden boost in sales, for example, and the movie adaptations of ‘The Hunger Games’ series made millions at the box office. ¬†Now it’s this book’s turn to be adapted for the screen, and I for one am excited to view it. ¬†But, if you’re a purist like me, you will insist on having read the book before watching a single episode. ¬†So pick up a copy and join me in Gilead!