Lauren Molyneux curls up with a good book and reviews some of the recent bestsellers
We Don’t Know What We’re Doing
TIP: This is invaluable for those who feel they can’t get a foothold in life.
Thomas Morris captures perfectly the essence of not knowing, of indecision and the feelings of injustice felt when life deals a hand you weren’t prepared for. His collection of 10 short stories, each depicting a different life being lived in the same sleepy town in South Wales, features characters lost and lonely, living with a conflict between the ambitions locked in the life they planned and the actuality of the life they have come to inhabit.
A wonderful piece of escapism that does a great job at reflecting the fears of many. This story collection is invaluable for those who feel they can’t get a foothold in life – whether that be at the age of 15 or 50. Morris’s clean-cut, no-nonsense writing style, deftly adapting to the voice of each character, offers stark and vivid insights into the lives of real characters. The honesty behind the portrayals of both the young and the old leaves us with a moving reassurance that it’s okay to not know what you’re doing.
The Seed Collectors
TIP: This makes for an exciting read which succeeds in altering the reader’s perspective.
The Gardener family are dealing with a bereavement – the death of elderly botanist/yoga enthusiast Aunt Oleander has left its mark on everyone. Leaving Namaste House in the capable hands of her niece, Fleur, and a mysterious seed pod to each member of the family, questions are raised about her intentions. Could these seed pods be the same that acted as a catalyst for the disappearance of four family members all those years ago?
As the story of the lives, lies and grievances of the Gardener family weaves between characters, uncovering plot twists and carrying a potential to re-write the established history of the Gardener ancestry, each member becomes more relatable, developing substance and depth as the story progresses.
In typical Scarlett Thomas fashion, the narrative flourishes from a bed of philosophical ideology, and discussions between characters encourage the reader to question what they believe, and what they can know. With big topics and themes tackled (such as bereavement, love, lust, deceit and even enlightenment), The Seed Collectors invokes a fresh approach to all and makes for an exciting read which attempts to (and succeeds in, I think) alter the reader’s perspective of life.