Friday, December 11, 2015

Lady Audley's Secret - Mary Elizabeth Braddon


I first read this book back in my undergraduate days. I went through a big Wilkie Collins phase after studying The Woman in White for first year English, and so I took to loitering around the 823.8 section of the university library to see what else I could dig up of a similar ilk. Obviously, Braddon and Collins weren't far apart on the shelves. Plus, one of the Wilkie Collins books I read included an "if you like this, try _____" section at the back. This was one of the books listed.

I remember at the time thinking that it didn't really compare to Collins' writing, and I was probably right. Mary Elizabeth Braddon isn't QUITE in the same class as Wilkie Collins. But despite being the lesser writer of the two, she still manages to spin one HELL of a story.

Lady Audley's Secret revolves around Robert Audley, a young barrister. Accompanied by his friend George, he pays a visit to his uncle, who's recently married a much younger woman. When George disappears mysteriously shortly thereafter - with a trail of clues leading to suggest that he may have returned to the Australian goldfields - Robert gets it into his head that his new aunt is involved.

So he takes it upon himself to start investigating Lady Audley's past. He rapidly discovers that things don't entirely add up, especially when he takes into consideration the circumstances of George's disappearance and the fact that George left without leaving any plans in place for his young son. As the story progresses, Robert finds himself in an increasingly dangerous quest for the truth.

I really enjoyed this book. It was definitely a page turner as far as I was concerned, full of great characters and exciting adventures. Sure, Lady Audley's secret turns out to be a little bit of an anticlimax. But Lady Audley herself is a fabulous and incredibly conniving character, who'd probably be classified as a sociopath in the modern world. And I honestly can't work out if I think her fate was well deserved or not.

On the whole, it was a very enjoyable and occasionally creepy mystery, and I'd definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you like Wilkie Collins' writing.

Have you read it? What did you think??

K xx

Saturday, December 5, 2015

November reading wrap up

Another month in which I continue to be terrible at blogging. I'll remember how it works one of these days, you guys. Hopefully...

In the meantime, let's wrap up my reading month!

Books read: 35. It's beyond ridiculous.
New vs rereads: 18 vs 17. HURRAH. Although this was mostly the product of a decision to spend the last 6ish weeks of the year rereading my favourite books rather than rereading things I'm only half interested in because I feel like I have to.
Most read genre: This one was the product of much work, but it's not contemporary!! It is, in fact, a tie between sci-fi and fantasy.

Favourite book: As far as rereads are concerned? Persuasion by Jane Austen, because it's my favourite book of ever. If we're talking new books? I suspect The Martian by Andy Weir has taken out my favourite pick.
Least favourite book: Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich. Totally unnecessary Christmas special-y novella that suddenly added a bunch of paranormal elements to an existing world with zero explanation.
Favourite cover: OH GOD SO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM. I'm going to make it a three way tie between the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling, Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray, and Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas.

Diverse Books Project: It's...going. I've been making a concerned effort to pick books from outside the western world, especially the US, UK and Australia. But it's proving difficult to find (read: physically get hold of, not discover) books that are set in Africa, Asia, and South America that AREN'T literary fiction. And where time limits are involved, literary fiction isn't usually my friend...

In November, I ended up reading 2 graphic novels, 2 non-fiction books and 31 novels. There are links to all of my Goodreads reviews below.

5 stars

Persuasion | Soulless | Every Breath | Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone | Gone Girl |

4.5 stars
Cress (Lunar Chronicles, #3)Manners & Mutiny (Finishing School Series Book 4)
Cress | Manners & Mutiny | Ten Thousand Skies Above You | Winter | Attachments | Sabriel | The Martian |

4 stars
NimonaBrave New World Career of EvilBecause You'll Never Meet Me
Nimona | Brave New World | Career of Evil | Because You'll Never Meet Me | Trafalgar | The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf | Lady Audley's Secret | A Breath of Frost | I Kill Giants | Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets |

3.5 stars
Pyramids (Discworld, #7)
Pyramids | Monument 14 | Uprooted | The Flywheel |

3 stars
Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse, #9)21 PromsPreloved
Dead and Gone | 21 Proms | Preloved | Shadow of the War Machine | Swahili for the Broken Hearted | Sky on Fire |

2 stars
Visions of Sugar Plums (Stephanie Plum, #8.5)
Visions of Sugar Plums | The Ice Limit | End of Days |

What did you read in November?

K xx
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