Focusing on three main characters, A Flash of Red details the chaos that ensues when mental illness invades our most intimate relationships. Professor Anna Klein and her husband, Sean, are a young couple each struggling with their own misperceptions of reality. While Anna’s daily anxieties turn on the axis of her mother’s path into psychosis, Sean escapes to the alternate reality of love and sex offered online. When Bard, a student of Anna’s, develops his own obsession with the couple, their already unsteady world collapses with irrevocable consequences. As focused on providing a driving plot as it is in presenting multi-faceted characters, A Flash of Red ultimately asks the question: What happens when we can no longer tell the difference between what we want and what is real?
The socially turbulent summer of 1964 triggers a cyclone of upheaval. For both the nation and Davey Dodd, a sheltered 17-year-old from Kentucky. At the onset, he remains blissfully unaware of the radical changes about to come. He takes a job across the river at a large Cincinnati hotel, which at first intensifies his feelings of unworthiness and self-doubt. His rigid Catholic upbringing has fostered a sort of emotional paralysis. The coarse masculinity of most of his peers intimidates him, yet at the same time he wishes he could be more like those freewheeling guys who boast of sexual escapades and other easy sins. As the weeks unfold, however, the diverse people and situations he encounters open his eyes to a colorful new world: one that emboldens him to explore this disconcerting passion he feels for co-worker, Tony DeStefano. Set against the backdrop of the Freedom Summer’s burgeoning civil rights movement, Davey embarks on a journey toward his own acceptance and personal integrity.
A poignant, tender tale of a woman struggling with dementia. I found it really touching and – of course – a little scary: it could happen to any one of us.
Small town cults linger around our communities. They’re hidden among us, picking up believers and working to grow strong, though most remain invisible to us. What would happen if a heavily religious cult took over one of our towns? How much damage would it cause us? Casper is an exile from his home, but when he finds out his brother has died, he returns to save his family from the ravenous followers who have taken over. Returning for his sister and mother, the young man must fight against the brainwashed folks he used to call neighbors. Can he save them? Or will his return cause the demise of the rest of his family? Welcome to the cold walls of Brinwood.
You are invited on a ride you’ll surely not forget. R.K. Gold brings us Just Under the Sky, a novella commenting on harsh political turmoil. Jasper and McMichaels work as journalists trying to cover up the looming food shortage happening in their village secluded in the mountains. One day, Jasper wakes up in the uncertain forest lingering by his home and from there has to find his way back through the ever changing landscape. Two friends trudge through this mystical place as they are forced to confront of the importance of their village.
It is 19th century London and transportation to Australia for petty crimes remains the easy option for the English judiciary. So when young Matt Tobin becomes embroiled in the crimes of his older brother, he is forced to leave London aboard a transport ship and start a new life in the Antipodes.
Unlike his older brother, Matt is ambitious and strives to make a success of his life. Working hard to acquire a range of skills and cast off the shame of his convict background, the boy grows into an industrious employee and settles into life on one of the new colony’s sprawling sheep stations.
Things go well for Matt until he meets Sarah, the spoilt and determined daughter of his employer. Despite his single-minded focus, Matt is unable to ignore her amorous advances and the heat of their desire soon results in the announcement of an unplanned pregnancy, and the wrath of Sarah’s self-righteous father.
The couple marry, and after their attempts to turn virgin bush into a profitable sheep property fail, they set off for a new life in a burgeoning gold mining town. But soon Matt’s past revisits him, with a force so powerful that everything he values, including his marriage, will be tested to the limit.
Little Big Boy tells the often harrowing tale of a small boy, struggling to cope in an environment of violence and fear, in 1970’s Dublin.
All he wants is to be a big boy, but that comes with a price. At home, he faces an increasingly violent father and at school, he encounters new threats from other boys and more menacingly, from one Christian Brother in particular. In the midst of his turmoil, the one person that stands up for him and keeps him safe is his mother. But a series of seemingly unconnected events, conjure up a storm of epic proportions, with this little boy in its path
A middle aged man sets off to post a letter and ends up walking without money, proper shoes, map, or food, for nearly 90 days, towards a destination over 600 miles away whose exact location he doesn’t even know. His mission: to save a life.
After several of the early pages wondering where on earth this story was going, I found myself drawn towards Harold, his wife, and the terminally ill woman he has decided to visit. Curiosity got the better of me and before long I was turning pages avidly, needing to know the outcome. Would he make it in time? What damage had he done to his marriage? What was the mystery surrounding his estranged son?
And it gradually dawned on me that this story is about living an extraordinary life, about having the courage to live in the unknown, to commit, and to take action, no matter how ‘dull and ordinary’ one’s circumstances are.
Harold is joined and subsequently deserted by a motley crew of well-wishers and fame seekers. Even Dog, who had, as Harold said, ‘chosen to walk with Harold for a while, and then it had chosen to stop, and walk instead with the young girl. Life was like that.’
To quote Alfred Hickling in The Guardian, Rachel Joyce successfully conveys ‘profound emotions in simple, unaffected language’.
And for me, therein lies both its charm and its success.
Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.
Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.
Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…
When Freddy Stein escapes the net cast by the police forces of Guernsey and Munich, he becomes embroiled in a plan to preserve the lucrative drugs’ dealings of a sinister crime lord. But miles away from his familiar city surroundings, on a remote Channel Island, Freddy’s life is changed forever. His fate, and that of his victims, take a turn nobody, least of all Freddy, could have predicted. This gripping conclusion to Peter Lihou’s debut novel skilfully fuses together another tale of action, suspense and romance set in the spectacular Channel Islands.