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Book Bites: Sunday 30 June 2013

WaveBook buff

Sonali Deraniyagala (Little, Brown, R220)
4/5 stars

Wave is Sonali Deraniyagala’s account of life after she lost her entire family — two young sons, her husband and her parents — in the tsunami of 2004. This careful, beautifully written exploration of almost unimaginable loss summons up our own responses to the smaller losses of everyday life. “Shame remains huge in me” the author writes, trying to map her bewilderment and anguish. Guilt too is ever-present: “I let my children go when I was their mother.” The author battles to speak her tragedy aloud. Wave is a haunting, compelling read that, surprisingly, sustains rather than devastates.
— Terry Shakinovsky @terry_shak

Whiskey BeachBook fling

Whiskey Beach
Norah Roberts (Little, Brown, R220)
3/5 stars

Much better than some of her previous work over the past couple of years, Nora Roberts’s latest is a fast-paced romance-cum-thriller that delivers another great swoon-worthy hero and a new intrepid heroine to her oeuvre. Eli Landon is the prime suspect in his wife’s death but the Boston police have no concrete evidence to charge him with murder. Needing sanctuary — his reputation as a lawyer is shot — he heads to the family home, Bluff House, in Whiskey Beach, a small town in Maine. Here the nubile housekeeper Abra awaits — and someone who doesn’t want him to investigate his wife’s death any further. — Jennifer Platt @jenniferdplatt

Motoring�s Funny BoneBook bru

Motoring’s Funny Bone
Sagie Moodley (Pan Macmillan, R150)
3/5 stars

Jeremy Clarkson, meet your match in Sagie Moodley, motoring expert, TV and radio personality and mechanic in his own right. Cars, it’s fair to say, rule our lives, even breeding new species of people: hockey moms, first-time drivers, badgering and benevolent taxi drivers. Moodley spills the dirt on the motoring industry and offers practical advice on everything from spark plugs to the Consumer Protection Act. He even has a theory about why men don’t ask for directions. A guide to buying, selling, insurance — and how not to get swindled on the showroom floor — that will have you crying with laughter. — Kelly Ansara @QueenKelso

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