The time has come again to pick my top books of the year. I have read 144 books this year and after much consideration I have managed to get it down to 10. All of the books have been published. Apart from my top book of the year they are in no particular order.
10) Old Baggage by Lissa Evans
9) Only Child by Rhiannon Navin
8) And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott
7) We Were The Salt Of The Sea by Roxanne Bouchard
6) Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic .
5) Perfect Silence by Helen Fields
4) The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stu Turton
3) Attend by West Camel
2) The After Wife by Cass Hunter
It was very hard to pick my favourite book of the year but I finally decided that it was the first book in a new series.
1) No Time To Cry by James Oswald
About the Book
When Rachel and Aidan fell in love, they thought it was forever.
She was a brilliant, high-flying scientist. He was her loving and supportive husband.
Now she’s gone, and Aidan must carry on and raise their daughter alone.
But Rachel has left behind her life’s work, a gift of love to see them through the dark days after her death.
A gift called iRachel.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I picked up this novel. I was little dubious that it might be too scientific but despite one of the main characters being a robot it wasn’t. This robot was called iRachel and she ended up breaking my heart.
Rachel, wife of Aiden, mother of Chloe and one of the creators of iRachel dies suddenly and Aiden and Chloe are left trying to pick up the pieces of their lives. But their new life takes an unusual turn when they have to accept iRachel into their lives and keep this fact secret. They do so, with trepidation and despite the outrage that Rachel’s colleague Luke feels. Luke is a bit of an outcast, very heavy-handed but he has met his match with iRachel who is determined not to let him bully anybody. Especially her.
As they all start to adapt to their new situation you get to know each of them very well. You see their outward image to friends and colleagues but you also see their inner thoughts. iRachel has been left with her creator’s memories and regrets and helps both Aiden and Chloe cope with their emotions.
Parts of the novel made me laugh, I’m still smiling now at a scene concerning an apron. But much of the novel, especially the last few chapters had me in tears. At one point I couldn’t see the words on the page and had to stop reading.
It is extremely sad but it also shows acceptance. Chloe, especially, has to put her friends at ease when they use everyday phrases that wouldn’t usually mean a thing but could cause hurt in the wrong circumstances.
I liked all three of the main characters but it is iRachel who I liked the most. Her description of feeling her wanting something and the basic human life that she could not experience is one that will stay with me for some time.
I read the epilogue twice. Mainly to see how to made me feel after a break. On the second read I could see the hope come through, that life could be rebuilt but the memories from the old life will always be there.