#onthebookshelf FallOut, Marriage Material & The Dead Wife’s Handbook

Ok, so this week my resolve to read a ‘book I should have read’ didn’t quite pan out.  What with moving to the publicity department, baking a cake with four layers, joining the gym and time having a habit of trickling away before you’ve realised it- this week I’ve only read three books.

Here are my reviews.

Fallout- Sadie Jones

This was my first Sadie Jones novel and it wasn’t something I’d traditionally go for.  Fallout tells the tales of three aspiring four aspiring twenty-somethings in the world of theatre. There’s love triangles, mini skirts, secreted homosexuality, an overbearing and callous mother and another mother locked in a mental asylum.  The story follows the trials and tribulations, loves and losses of this unlikely group of people whose paths continue to coincidentally cross every so often.

But when Luke, no stranger to girls, falls in love with the troubled Nina, who’s finally made it, does this threaten the stability of the group he’s come to see as his family- and will it make Leigh realise the full extent of her feelings towards the introverted playwright.

I really enjoyed this book. It seemed to capture the mood of London’s bohemian theatre scene in the 1970’s really well.  The clothes, the music- even the food seemed tangible via Jones’ descriptions.  Not a massive theatre fan myself- perhaps through lack of exposure- I wasn’t overwhelmed by the story, but the love triangle and following their hopes was enough intrigue to keep me firmly interested.

4* – something out of my comfort zone but certainly enjoyable.


Marriage Material- Sathnam Sanghera

Looking Asian myself, (parents are from Mauritius- look it up) and being brought up across two cultures, I have a bit of a thing for picking up novels about exactly that. This is a book I’ve been meaning to read for a while and when I found myself most aptly travelling to the Midlands for work- the book is set in Wolverhampton- this seemed like the perfect time to indulge in some cross cultural literature.

The book a few stories across three generations: one of a graphic designer British Sikh man who is in love with a white woman and dealing with identity issues as well as the death if his father, and the other story is of another young Sikh, this  time a girl, in the seventies in Wolverhampton who elopes  and abandons her traditional Sikh upbringing.

The stories begin worlds apart but seamlessly blend into one by then end with a shocking twist from a seemingly blithering body building idiot.

Some genuine laugh out loud moments and learned a lot about Sikhism, a cultural you don’t hear as much about as say, Hinduism or Islam  in the media.

4* – the porn magazine business debacle shows how Asians really are entrepenerial from a very young age. A good read if you lament the death of the independent corner shops too. Do we really need that many tescos on one street? Or Pret’s for that matter…

3. The Dead Wife’s Handbook- Hannah Beckerman

I’ve read a lot of books to do with death of late-Season to Taste, Love Letters to the Dead and now this.

This is a book you’ll enjoy if you liked ‘The Lonely Bones’ apart from this time it’s from the adult’s point of view.

We all like to think, don’t we, that if when we marry, and God forbid, die prematurely, you’s want your loved on to move on and find someone new and be happy- but when just that happens, can you honestly say you’re happy that the love of your life is with someone else?

Well, when Rachel suddenly dies of a heart condition she never knew she had- she has to deal with just that.

3* Enjoyable easy read but plays on clichés a little too much in a way that ‘The Lonely Bones’ manages to avoid.


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