Taking The Plunge by J.B. Reynolds

A mad confusion of rival affairs

At about the same time that Kate discovers her husband is unfaithful, she gets a crush on her snowboard instructor, Evan. And the flirtings and double-crossings start. And never seem to end.

The setting is a winter sports region in New Zealand. The players are mostly party-lovers who live rather loose relationships. While the tone is light-hearted and lively, some more serious issues are addressed, such as the emotional struggles caused by broken relationships, the care of a child whose parents are separated, the clash of values between old-school parents and their modern offspring, and even Christian forgiveness in the face of blatant betrayal.

This book is well written and fast-paced, drawing the reader in from page to page. We are left with unanswered questions as to how exactly the conflicts will be resolved and who will end up in bed with whom. Maybe that’s just life.

Shadow Doctor: The Past Awaits by Adrian Plass

The Shadow Doctor – or is it Adrian Plass himself, in his inimitable way? – tantalises his characters – especially Jack, his young trainee partner. He also frequently leaves us readers in suspense as he delves off onto some unlikely sidetrack, which later turns out to be somehow relevant. The trick works. And, as a result, it’s hard to put this book down at the end of a chapter.

Jack has his list of questions and so do we. By the end, a few of them get answered.

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Judas von Amos Oz

Winter 1959 in Jerusalem. Dem jungen Schmuel Asch gehts nicht gut. Seine Freundin hat ihn verlassen und sein Vater kann sein Studium nicht weiter finanzieren. Und doch wäre seine Diplomarbeit über Jesus aus Sicht der Juden von grosser Bedeutung. Seine These, Judas Ischariot sei keineswegs ein Verräter gewesen sondern im Gegenteil der treueste Verehrer von Jesus – eigentlich der erste und letzte echter Christ – wäre ja revolutionär. Aber Schmuel ist verzweifelt. Er verliert sein Ziel aus den Augen und hat keine Kraft, weiter zu kämpfen. Somit wirkt er vor allem als Antiheld.

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The Shadow Doctor by Adrian Plass

If you’re after the sort of flippant humour you might have come to expect from Adrian Plass, then The Shadow Doctor might disappoint you. But I doubt it. You’ll be surprised – and a little confused – by the Doctor’s mysterious encounters and baffling remarks, but you’ll gradually come to realise he has an unusual and uncanny depth of perception, and a disquieting way of exposing shaky beliefs and practices.

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