Friday, October 13, 2017


We know things are never quite what they seem but more often than not, we are afraid to rock  the 'place' we are in and look closely and openly at where we are. 

Good writers have the innate ability to describe so aptly the psychic of the ordinary people and their relationships that you find their fictionalized characters real and the circumstances that they have landed themselves in are completely plausible.

Trust written by Mike Bullen explores suburbia, friendships and contemporary relationships. It is about two couples. Greg and Amanda have been together for thirteen years and have two young daughters while Dan and Sarah have been married for sixteen years and have one teenage son, Russell. 

Greg and Dan work in sales for the British division of the same multinational computer company and they both spend half their time on the road and go on sales conference every year. 

Greg tells Dan," What happens on tour, stays on tour, right? Our little secret.

The story is essentially about how one bad decision can turn a couple's seemingly happy life in disarray and help turn an unhappy couple around and back in love again. Mike Bullen's debut novel is fast moving and it feels like watching one of those feel good movies when I read it.  It is a fast and light read interjected with good humour and a touch of realism.

Saving Grace by Jane Green  is a women’s fiction about trust and relationships. It is more intense and definitely a page turner.  

Grace Chapman is married to bestselling author Ted and lives in a picture perfect farmhouse on the Hudson River in New York state. It was whirlwind romance, passion and  excitement. Then  life gets hard when she jumps as she sees the barn door open, Ted emerging, she wonders the kind of mood he is in.

When Ellen, their old assistant leaves, Beth becomes their new assistant. As Beth is not only organised, she is  also eager to learn and smart,is Beth too good to be true?

When Grace loses her interest in cooking and finds her life coming apart, she fears she is going crazy just like her mother. 

   ‘ There is nothing Grace loves more than being alone in her kitchen, surrounded by food, inspirational recipes scattered on the counter in front of her as she tries out new dishes. When she is working on a book, she will use assistants, but it is these moments , when it is just Grace, alone in her kitchen experimenting, that makes her happiest of all. ‘

In the beginning, when she first met Ted, it felt as if she had fallen into the kind of life that only happened to other people, and usually only in movies. It was a life she determined to enjoy while it lasted, convinced it wouldn’t last long, for Ted could have his pick. There were always women more exciting, more glamorous, more beautiful than she.’

She loved the house before Ted’s moods had the ability to discombobulate her in the way they do now.  In the early days of marriage,  she could  laugh it off but the years have taken their toll and she is no longer finding it easy to deal with his rage and mood swings.

'She used to fight back. She doesn't anymore. She withdraws into a well of pain and resentment, removing herself .....'

' This life had made her so happy, for so many years, she had never wanted anything or anyone else. She had never thought to question her role, to question her happiness. Most of the time she truly felt that  somewhere up high, perhaps to make up for the hell of her childhood, the gods, the angels, were smiling upon her.
      She had been charmed. She led a charmed life. At least if she didn't look too closely; at least if you pretended, as she did so well for so long, that if you put on a good enough act, it would make it so. But then the gods and angels had deserted her and she fell to the ground with a crash. And now? This is a decision of necessity ..........'

Jane Green writes proficiently. She has included some mouth watering recipes in  Saving Grace. 

In both Trust and Saving Grace, the women are compelled to confront demons that have been haunting them for years. Amanda in Trust and Grace in Saving Grace are afraid to become like their mothers. In Trust, Amanda’s mother repeatedly condoned her husband’s infidelity whereas Grace’s mother is manic depressive and bipolar. Her mother had mood swings so bad that Grace had lived in fear throughout her childhood. 

In a book of fiction or a film , there must always be a resolution and that is what we expect when we read fictions or watch a film. If only life were so straightforward.
San Sebastian

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