Sharlene Teo writes well and chooses her words very precisely. Her prose is at once cutting, yet atmospheric, which fit Ponti well. Teo’s very talented and the years of hard work she put into honing her craft are evident in her debut novel.
The House of Mountfathom is a difficult book to review. Personally, I didn’t enjoy reading it very much. On some fronts, it felt like things were missing — as though there was supposed to me more. The premise intrigued me but the execution failed to charm. When I looked up the author, I found out this book was published posthumously. He was in his mid-thirties when cancer took his life. Knowing this, I was tempted to rate The House of Mountfathom for its potential but decided not to. That would skew my rating scale against other books I’ve read.
Margot & Me, while set in contemporary times also grapples with the past set during World War II through a diary. What I loved about this book was how the stories of three generations knitted together. Fliss and her grandmother, Margot, were so at odds that Fliss’s mother was the only reason they put up with one another. Watching that relationship develop throughout the pages was immensely touching. Although, how Fliss came to read Margot’s diary didn’t entirely sit well with me. But you know, curiosity and what not…
For the month of February Hazel picked More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera as her book recommendation for me to read. What made this round of Epic Recs different was that we specifically chose to go with audiobooks. This also meant that for once we didn’t pick books the other already owned, and so had free rein.
If I had to sum up The Conspiracy of Us in two words, I’d say, fun mystery. That’s exactly what it is. It’s a crime mystery that takes you from Minnesota to Paris to Istanbul. It hits hard where it has to in terms of inevitable violence. I say inevitable because that’s what villains in crime novels do — they resort to violence. As much as it is a mystery book, it doesn’t stray too close to thriller territories, so if you’re the squeamish kind, you need not worry.