I didn't finish the entire 24 hours because I did have to photograph an event and my sister-in-law was visiting, but I did complete 9 hours, one book, and a little over three quarters of another. I should note that I finished the second about 30 minutes after my 48 was up, so maybe I can count it? Anyway..
I mentioned that I loved Jane Harris's Gillespie and I (like top 10 books in my life love) and had tried reading this one before without success. Nope, not this time around. Summary: Poor Bessy is wandering the countryside of Edinburgh looking for work when's she suddenly hired on as a house maid to a Mrs. Arabella Reid, an English lady, she takes to be rather eccentric and out of place. Arabella, however, is quite brilliant, but suffers from secrets she keeps closely guarded. In an attempt to understand her mistress, Bessy begins snooping and ultimately uncovers information that leads her to play tricks that don't quite go to plan.
First, I should note that the rough dialogue is a little hard to get past in the beginning, but the authentic voice of a mostly uneducated woman working in the world of service in the 1860s is pretty incredible. Also, Bessy, the lead, is hilarious! I laughed out loud more times than I can count. A lot of reviewers expressed disappointment with the ending, and while it does lack the bang the reader expects, I still gave it five stars on Goodreads because I just really enjoyed being apart of the story. The rural atmosphere and townspeople came alive in the pages, and Bessy entertained me to no end. I recommend this to anyone, but especially those who love historical fiction or Jane Harris. Do it!!
Ranjit Singh is an ex-military Captain trying to make it in his new home in Martha's Vineyard after leaving India disgraced. Working multiple jobs to keep his wife and young daughter fed and housed, Ranjit is offered a position as caretaker to a well-loved senator's summer home on the island. When the Singh family loses heat during the winter, they decide to set up temporary camp in the Senator's home, a decision that will ultimately change their lives forever. Uncovering secrets about the Senator's shady international dealings and his tumultuous relationship with his wife, Ranjit is on a race around the city to save his family and the world.
Let me first say that I read this because NPR said the second in this series was a must-read this summer. I thought that I'd need to read the first in order to read the second and here we are. It was a fast one. Typical thriller material. Would I call it a literary thriller like every review I read before? Absolutely not. It's basically cheesy romance-part- thriller. And then there's the fact that Ranjit's whole family winds up in a detention center with the risk of being deported and all the while he's having sexy time with the Senator's wife. He blabs on and on and on about how he misses his daughter and his wife, but then as the date for deportation looms, he's literally banging this other lady while mentioning his guilt. And when the book concludes... he's flabbergasted that his wife doesn't want to return to America and doesn't want him back (btw, she doesn't even know about the banging activities). So yeah. It just didn't fit the character. At all. It was like forced, uncomfortable sex scenes to mix it up a bit. These issues aside, I did think it was awesome to see a cast of non-white leads in a new thriller. Ranjit is a Punjabi Sikh, the senator and his wife African Americans, with a Caucasian rounding out the cast as a corrupt secretary to the Senator. All and all, I'd say that if you've read other reviews and think you might like it, go for it. It's a quick read and won't break the bank. I gave this a 2.5 on Goodreads.
So.. what are you reading??