Whenever I go away, I relish the opportunity to really immerse myself in literature.

It’s one of the few chances I really get to get really stuck into a few books. Our Easter break is always chillout-centric and this year was no different – so I packed a good few  books in the hope that I’d be able to tick some off the ever growing book list.

I can heartily recommend all of the following books….

61 Hours by Lee Child.

The ultimate blokey guilty pleasure. Hard nut ex MP cop jack Reacher kicks ass all over the United States, usually without batting an eyelid and always with a Glock in hand, and this time in Montana (or somewhere like that). Easily read in a day and latest in a long line of predicable but hugely enjoyable airport trash. I loved every single minute and the good news is, this has a sequel attached, that arrives in September. Result!

Restless by William Boyd

Having read, and completely loved, one of Boyd’s earlier works – Any Human Heart – I was determined to have another go at his work. This is another second world war-centred drama, this time espionage focused. Unusually, Boyd writes from a woman’s perspective, which is interesting and worked very well I thought. And although it’s well written and tightly plotted, it feels a bit underpowered emotionally and the subject matter a bit too well-trodden. Disappointing.

Trespass by Rose Tremaine

This book felt like it was at a different level after Boyd. Deeply descriptive and resonant writing that draws you into a world thats strange and yet somehow familiar. Essentially a story about two completely different sibling relationships that are drawn together in a very dramatic finale. The prose is beautiful and very visual – the author definitely has an eye for the banality of violence and death. Superb.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Of course, this years Booker Prize has a pretty large reputation that precedes it. Having been warned off by a couple of readers (hard work, dull) I decided to give it a go and boy, I wasn’t disappointed. The story is a fictionalised ‘real life’ account of Thomas Cromwell – one of the leading lights in Henry VIII’s court, and his climb to fame. Surprisingly, it’s a very gripping and vivid account of his ascent to Henry’s right hand side – I’d definitely liken it to a combination of Dallas, Dynasty and Eastenders all set against a Tudor backdrop. It only tells half the tale of course and the sequel must be well under way. This book tells us a lot about the human condition now and although many things have changed in England since then, we certainly haven’t. Outstanding.

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