My Top Ten Books for 2018.

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

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9) Only Child by Rhiannon Navin

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8) And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott

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7) We Were The Salt Of The Sea by Roxanne Bouchard

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6) Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic .

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5) Perfect Silence by Helen Fields

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4) The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stu Turton

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3) Attend by West Camel

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2) The After Wife by Cass Hunter

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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

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Attend by West Camel – Blog Tour Review.

 

About The Book

Under their feet lies magic…

When Sam falls in love with South London thug Derek, and Anne’s best friend Kathleen takes her own life, they discover they are linked not just by a world of drugs and revenge; they also share the friendship of the uncanny and enigmatic Deborah.
Seamstress, sailor, story-teller and self-proclaimed centenarian immortal, Deborah slowly reveals to Anne and Sam her improbable, fantastical life, the mysterious world that lies beneath their feet and, ultimately, the solution to their crises.
With echoes of Armistead Maupin and a hint of magic realism, Attend is a beautifully written, darkly funny, mesmerisingly emotive and deliciously told debut novel, rich in finely wrought characters that you will never forget.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I have never read anything like this book before. I had expected it to be a crime novel with mention of gang related crime in the synopsis. But, while there is violence it is more about the emotion that the acts cause. The reasons why the violence has to occur and the loyalty portrayed by the friends and family of the people responsible. And bizarrely the lack of sympathy to the victim. 

The three main characters are ones that will stay with me for quite a while. Two of them, Sam and Anne are trying to rebuild their lives. Anne finds it very difficult, the daily struggle to stay off drugs, having to rebuild her family’s trust and the sense of loss over missing so much. Sam, who realises that he can only be really happy if he is honest about his feelings. Deborah is different, older but adamant that she will get what she wants by helping Sam and Anne come to terms with their situation. 

It’s a great feeling when you realise very early in a book that you are in for a treat. West Camel’s writing is stunning, his characters who all give me the impression of being very lonely, are ones that I was thinking about constantly. Deborah especially, with her life story and the thing that she was desperate for.  The accounts of her childhood and her experiences in the blitz are very moving,  and had me thinking of stories passed down in my own family.

It’s not only the characters in the novel that I am still thinking about it is also the setting in Deptford. When I was reading the acknowledgments I realised that the areas mentioned exist. I then spent a fascinating hour looking at local history websites and photos on the internet. And I had a strangely emotional feeling when I think I found the ‘real’ Deborah.

A wonderful book with a  fascinating setting.