Rosenduft, Murmelspiele, Bombengedonner

“Mama sagt, dass selbst die Vögel nicht mehr singen” von Myriam Rawick

Für den Leser sind es eher Kleinigkeiten, die der sechsjährigen Myriam aus Aleppo wichtig sind: schöne Kleider, Düfte aus der Bäckerei, Spiele mit ihren Schulkameraden. Ob sie wie sie Christen sind oder Muslime ist ihr egal. Und die Begriffe der Erwachsenen – Demonstration, Revolution, Blockade usw. – versteht sie sowieso nicht. Read more

Still Waters by Viveca Sten

I usually look for historical fiction when I visit a new place. But during a recent sailing trip among the spectacular Swedish skerries, the only novel I found with a local setting in the bookshop of the picturesque island of Sandhamn was a contemporary murder mystery. It took me only a few days to devour it.

Detective Inspector Thomas Andreasson has become a bit of a workaholic with not much of a social life Read more

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

A frolicking and rather preposterous classic tale of romance, gallantry, bravery and vengeance set in 17th century France (and England). D’Artagnan and his three friends Aramis, Athos and Porthos are never shy of a duel or some undercover mission and, although their own morals are questionable, they always fight for justice and always emerge (almost) unscathed from whatever scrape they fall into.

This book contains vivid descriptions, clever character studies and rich prose. It is extremely well Read more

Isa’s Daughter by Catherine Byrne

This moving book can be read as a series of interlocking romances, but it’s much more than that. Life on the Orkney island of Raumsey is tough after the Great War and the widow Isa, who has returned from Canada with her daughter Annie, is poor and hardly able to maintain the family croft without a man in the home. So she marries the local Presbyterian minister.

Annie wants to study and persuades the attractive young teacher Alexander to give her lessons in the evenings. The complications start as we follow her and several other characters’ troubled relationships. Read more

Mercy by Jodi Picoult

Another brilliantly researched and well-told story of desperately strained relationships.

Two overlapping plots lead us on, as we explore the ethics of mercy killing as well as the torment a respected public figure goes through when he falls in love with another woman and his wife disposes of all his possessions.

Manumission by E. R. Harding

Immortality! In the age of unlimited stellar computing power and virtual reality, it at last seems possible. When your body wears out, you can be uploaded into the Metaform and then downloaded into a new bio-frame (i.e. a biologically enhanced human body). But the incorporeal personalities within the mainframe also have a life of their own within the mainframe. Read more

The girl I used to know, by Faith Hogan


The story revolves around forty-eight year old Amanda and sixty-six year old Tess, whom we come to know intimately. They are very different from each other in many ways, but each struggling with who they really are, or would like to be.

We are transported back and forth between the days of their respective youth with the blossoming of their first loves, and present-day life in Dublin’s fair city, where they happen to live – separately and at loggerheads – in the same old Georgian house. Amanda’s career-obsessed husband is found to be unfaithful, her teenage children provide an occasional alternative perspective on their expensive but child family life. Meanwhile Tess has given up on life after her younger sister ran off with the man she loved. Each of them resolves to turn over a new leaf, make peace, and start living again. New romances develop and things seem to work out.

The time-hopping is somewhat irritating and confusing, as we tend to forget their ages in any particular scene.