Sample Saturday – grief, best friends, and eavesdropping


Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye.

All three choices this week came via Susan’s round-up of paperbacks released in September.

Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

Summary: Two young boys are grieving their mother’s sudden death. They are visited by Crow, who promises to stay until he is no longer needed.

I’m thinking: No. It’s about a bird. In a house. I’ve mentioned my extreme bird phobia before, right? (The opening scene will give me nightmares…)

Paulina & Fran by Rachel B. Glaser

Summary: Paulina and Fran – art students, best friends and opposites. A man comes between them, Paulina goes bananas.

I’m thinking: Yes. I love the opening line, “Paulina was dissatisfied with her lover… He leaned on things.” I once broke up* with a boy because he didn’t eat vegetables**, so I understand Paulina already.

The Long Room by Francesca Kay

Summary: London, 1981, a spy falls for the wrong woman.

I’m thinking: No. Love the concept, didn’t love the writing.

*the relationship was never going to progress because I couldn’t get past the fact that he ate no vegetables. I’d say “What about asparagus with Hollandaise sauce?” or “What about caramelised roast pumpkin?” I was obsessed with cracking the vegetable issue. I couldn’t. Goodbye boy.

**except potatoes but I don’t think chips count as vegetables.

11 responses

    • Not sure how Paulina & Fran slipped by my notice when it was first released…

      Fussy eaters are the worst (hope I don’t alienate readers….) but when I meet one, I just want to say “Grow up!”

    • The blurb for The Long Room truly sounds excellent but the writing style didn’t grab me. If it crosses my radar at the library, I might pick it up but this week, I think Paulina & Fran wins.

    • Not sure why I hadn’t spotted Paulina & Fran before now – it’s exactly my kind of book. Like you, most of my new release info comes via ARCs but I do like Susan’s round-ups of what’s coming.

  1. I haven’t seen one bad word about ‘Grief is the Thing With Feathers’, so it’s unlucky you have a bird phobia. ‘Paulina and Fran’ sounds great – and not eating vegetables is a completely legit reason to end a relationship. That’s taking picky eating to the extreme; who needs that in their life?

    • I’m glad my blogging community agree that the ‘no vegetables’ thing was a good reason to end a relationship (albeit brief) – at the time a few friends thought I was being hasty. But seriously, if you can’t bite into a bean burrito or a Caesar salad or vibrant stir-fried greens and not think “Delicious”then I can’t have you around.

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