On Jacqui's Bookshelf ...

Just started listening to (on Audio CD) ... Liar by Justine Larbalestier
Synopsis: Michah will freely admit that she's a compulsive liar, but that may be the one honest thing she'll ever tell you.  Over the years she's fooled everyone: her classmates, her teachers, even her parents.  And she's always managed to stay one step ahead of her lies.  That is, until her boyfriend dies under brutal circumstances and her dishonesty begins to catch up with her.  But is it possible to tell the truth when lying comes as easliy as breathing?

Taking readers deep into the psyche of a young woman who will say just about anything to convince them - and herself - that she's finally come clean, Liar is a bone-chilling thriller that will have readers see-sawing between truths and lies right up to the end.  Honestly.

Just started reading ... Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert
Synopsis: At the end of her bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe - a Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship.  Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other, but also (both survivors of difficult divorces.  Enough said) swore never, ever, to get married.  But providence intervened one day in the form of the US government, which gave the couple a choice: either they get married, or Felipe would never be allowed to enter the country again.

Having been effectively senteced to wed, Gilbert tackled her fears of marriage by delving completely into this topic, trying with all her might to discover what this stubbornly enduring old institution actually is.  The result is Committed - a witty and intelligent contemplation of marriage that debunks myths, unthreads fears and suggests that sometimes even the most romantic of souls must trade in her amorous fantasies for the humbling responsibility of adulthood.  Committed is ultimately a clear-eyed celebration of love, with all the complexity and consequence that real love, in the real world, actually entails.

Just finished listening to (on Audio CD) ... Maralinga by Judy Nunn
Synopsis: During the darkest days of the Cold War, in the remote wilderness of a South Australian desert, the future of an infant nation is being decided . . . without its people's knowledge.

A British airbase in the middle of nowhere; an atomic weapons testing ground; an army of raw youth led by powerful, ambitious men - a cocktail for disaster. Such is Maralinga in the spring of 1956.

Maralinga . . . a desolate place where history demands an emerging nation choose between hell and reason.

Jacqui's Review: Really enjoyed the historical aspects of this novel which was expertly woven around a love story riddled with strong characters, conspiracy,  tradgedy and mystery.  It has a touch of James Bond, a pinch of Atonement and a drizzle of the movie 'Ghost'.  A good all rounder. 3 out of 5.

Just finished reading ... The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Synopsis: This is the extraordinary love story of Clare and Henry, who met when Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty.  Impossible but true, because Henry suffers from a rare condition where his genetic clock periodically resets and he finds himself pulled suddenly into his past or future.  In the face of this force they can neither prevent nor control, Henry and Claire's struggle to lead normal lives is both intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

Jacqui's Review: I am puzzled.  So many people love this book and I really wanted to be one of them, but unfortunately, it just didn't happen.  I kept waiting for it to improve, and to be fair, I was a little drawn at around the three quarter mark (which was a little too long to wait) but overall this book really let me down.  The time travelling aspects of this book had me completely baffled to the point that it totally distracted me from the core of the book which should have been the love story between Clare and Henry.  Perhaps it was the hype surrounding the movie that raised my expectations too high.  I am hoping that the fantasy aspects tranlate better to the big screen and that I will enjoy it more as a movie.  2 out of 5.

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