TLC Book Tour: Into the Darkest Corner

Into the Darkest Corner

Elizabeth Haynes

Harper

416 pages

Cathy Bailey is a recluse.  She has a good job and she is a single woman in her mid twenties living in London.  She should be in the prime of her life, but instead Cathy is haunted by her past.

Cathy’s story is revealed thread by thread, but it becomes clear pretty early on that she has been the victim of an abusive relationship at the hands of her ex boyfriend who is currently incarcerated for almost killing her.  The story flips back and forth between the present and five years earlier, as Cathy was trapped in her relationship with Lee.  The present story deals with Cathy’s struggle with OCD, which has become her coping mechanism to deal with her intense fear.

Cathy is lucky to befriend her upstairs neighbor, Stuart, right around the time she discovers that Lee is being released from prison.  Because of his background in psychology, Stuart attempts to help Cathy overcome her fears as she deals with Lee’s release.

Into the Darkest Corner was originally published in the UK and it was named Amazon UK’s best book of 2011. I certainly believe that it deserves those accolades.  It was the type of book that I would pick up before bed and an hour or two would pass with the snap of a finger.  I couldn’t put it down.  It is the epitome of a psychological thriller.  Haynes encapsulated the severity of Cathy’s mental illness while still tying in Lee’s abuse and release from prison.

Cathy was such a genuine character but as the book went on, it became harder and harder for me to determine whether or not the danger she perceived was real or just in her head, which only added to the suspense.  It reminded me of SJ Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep and I am now yearning for other books in the same vein.

This is a great thriller that will keep you rapt during the sweltering summer days.

About Elizabeth Haynes

ELIZABETH HAYNES is a police intelligence analyst. She started writing fiction in 2006 with the annual challenge of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and the encouragement of the creative writing courses at West Dean College. She lives in a village near Maidstone, Kent, with her husband and son.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Elizabeth’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, May 22nd: Jenn’s Bookshelves

Wednesday, May 23rd: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World

Thursday, May 24th: StephTheBookworm

Monday, May 28th: Jen’s Book Thoughts

Tuesday, May 29th: Kahakai Kitchen

Wednesday, May 30th: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Friday, June 1st: A Worn Path

Monday, June 4th: A Bookish Way of Life

Tuesday, June 5th: Book Reviews by Molly

Wednesday, June 6th: Book Addict Katie

Thursday, June 7th: Paperback Princess

Monday, June 11th: Mary’s Cup of Tea

Thursday, June 14th: Twisting the Lens

Saturday, June 16th: “That’s Swell!”

Monday, June 18th: Book Hooked Blog

Tuesday, June 19th: Kritters Ramblings

Monday, June 25th: Reviews By Lola

Tuesday, June 26th: Life In Review

Wednesday, June 27th: A Bookworm’s World

Friday, June 29th: Proud Book Nerd

Wednesday, July 4th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf

Thursday, July 5th: Veronica M.D.

Monday, July 9th: Booksie’s Blog

Thursday, July 12th: MariReads

Friday, July 13th: My Life in Not So Many Words

TLC Book Tour: The Age of Miracles

The Age of Miracles

Karen Thompson Walker

Random House

288 pages

Julia awakes on a summer day to what seems like a normal Saturday.  It only takes a few minutes for everything to change dramatically.  The news stations suddenly have breaking news to report: the days are getting longer.  It’s only by a few minutes, but scientists are reporting that it’s indicative of the earth’s rotation slowing down.

As The Age of Miracles goes on, the situation quickly becomes more dire.  As the days go on, the idea of a 24 hour day becomes a distant memory.  The daylight hours stretch on for days, to be followed by long bouts of darkness.  The government decides to go ahead and stick with “clock time”, meaning that people are expected to live by the 24 hour clock regardless of whether 3am falls in the middle of the day or noon is smack dab in the middle of the night.  Conflict arises when some citizens decide to go by “real time”, meaning they sleep when the it is dark and stay awake during daytime hours.

There is a LOT of YA dystopian fiction out there.  I think we can all agree on that.  So it can be difficult for a debut author to step onto the scene and be successful. For that reason, I was kind of skeptical when I picked this one up.  I was interested in the premise, so it was a matter of whether or not Walker could deliver.  And guys, I am happy to say she did! The Age of Miracles was wonderful. I could not put it down!

There seemed to be a little something special about this book.  It kept me rapt, which is typical for YA dystopian but there also seemed to be an additional weightiness to the text that I don’t always find with the genre.  It almost seemed a little more realistic than what the genre typically offers.

I urge others to read this one ASAP.  It’s a great beach read because it will keep your attention from page one! I will definitely keep an eye out in the future for more from this author.

About Karen Thompson Walker

KAREN THOMPSON WALKER holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University and is an editor of fiction and non-fiction at Simon & Schuster. The Age of Miracles is her first book.

For more information about Karen and The Age of Miracles, please visit the book’s website, www.TheAgeofMiracles.com, and Facebook page.

Karen Thompson Walker’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, June 4th:  Layers of Thought

Wednesday, June 6th:  Rhapsody in Books

Thursday, June 7th:  A Chick Who Reads

Monday, June 11th:  Reviews by Lola

Tuesday, June 12th:  Book Chatter

Wednesday, June 13th:  Alison’s Bookmarks

Thursday, June 14th:  Jenn’s Bookshelves

Monday, June 18th:  Inklings Read

Tuesday, June 19th:  Life in the Thumb

Wednesday, June 20th:  Under My Apple Tree

Thursday, June 21st:  Twisting the Lens

Monday, June 25th:  Taming the Bookshelf

Tuesday, June 26th:  Stephanie’s Written Word

Wednesday, June 27th:  Jen’s Book Den & Literary Review

Thursday, June 28th:  Conceptual Reception

Monday, July 2nd:  Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile

Tuesday, July 3rd:  It’s a Crazy, Beautiful Life

Thursday, July 5th:  The Brain Lair

Monday, July 9th:  Great Imaginations

Tuesday, July 10th:  Sweet Southern Home

Wednesday, July 11th:  The Scarlet Letter

Thursday, July 12th:  In the Next Room

Monday, July 16th:  Regular Rumination

Tuesday, July 17th:  She Treads Softly

Wednesday, July 18th:  Book Addict Katie

Thursday, July 19th:  Fiction State of Mind

Monday, July 23rd:  Unabridged Chick

Tuesday, July 24th:  Peeking Between the Pages

Wednesday, July 25th:  Ashley Loves Books

Thursday, July 26th:  Becky’s Book Reviews

Date TBD: Tuesday, June 5th:  Book Drunkard

TBD: Chick Lit Reviews and News

TLC Book Tours: My New American Life

My New American Life

 Francine Prose

Harper Perennial

336 pages

Lula, a twenty-six-year-old Albanian woman living surreptitiously in New York City on an expiring tourist visa, hopes to make a better life for herself in America. When she lands a job caring for a rebellious high schooler in wealthy, suburban New Jersey, it seems that the American dream may finally be within reach. But things take a sinister turn when Lula’s Albanian “brothers” show up in a black SUV to remind her that all Albanians are family—and that Lula’s family has a very serious favor to ask.

Set in the aftermath of 9/11, My New American Life offers a biting and darkly humorous portrait of an era when dreams and ideals began to give way to cynicism, fear, and still-resonating questions about what it means to be an American.

From the TLC website

I have heard such great things about Francine Prose and I loved her book Goldengrove, so I agreed to host a tour stop for My New American Life for that reason alone. The premise sounded interesting enough.  I love a good immigrant story, so I didn’t have any hesitations picking this book up.  I realized that after one week of reading this, I was absolutely dreading picking it up. I finally admitted defeat at page 111.

The writing style was part of the problem.  I felt no connection with the story and characters.  Everything and everyone felt two dimensional and disjointed. The narrative was no linear enough for me either.  All of a sudden, Lula had these three Armenian guys in the house asking her to hide their gun.  What the hell?  I couldn’t understand what was going on or why she agreed to go along with it when she knew nothing about the situation.

I hate giving up on tour books, but I couldn’t torture myself any longer.  Prose is a well known author, but this one fell short.

About Francine Prose

Francine Prose is the author of many bestselling books of fiction, including A Changed Man and Blue Angel, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and the nonfiction New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer. Her novel, Household Saints, was adapted for a movie by Nancy Savoca. Another novel, The Glorious Ones, has been adapted into a musical of the same name by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, which ran at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre at Lincoln Center in New York City in the Fall of 2007. Her latest novel, Goldengrove, was published in September 2008. She is the president of PEN American Center. She lives in New York City.

Francine’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, May 15th: Book Club Classics!

Thursday, May 17th: Bookstack

Monday, May 21st: A Bookish Way of Life

Monday, May 28th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books

Tuesday, May 29th: Books and Movies

Wednesday, May 30th: Veronica M.D.

Tuesday, June 5th: Iwriteinbooks’s blog

Wednesday, June 6th: Reviews By Lola

Thursday, June 7th: I Read. Do you?

Monday, June 11th: My Bookshelf

Tuesday, June 12th: Chocolate & Croissants

Thursday, June 14th: Literate Housewife

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