Gillian Slovo – Ten days

Early in the morning at Lovelace estate. Cathy sees her lover go away. Only a couple of hours later, the place will not be what it was before: with a teenager killed, riots breaking out and the police under pressure, the city can hardly be recognized anymore. But not only the fight between the inhabitants and the forces are on the press’ agenda, also the Prime Minister’s and Home Secretary’s political fight gets into another phase. 10 days later, the country will have changed completely.

Gillian Slovo’s narrates her story at a high pace, the situation shifts within minutes, everything happens at the same time, people come under pressure, private and public affairs are mixed. However, it is not only the speed at which the story unfolds and demands action, it is also the characters which can captivate the reader. None of the is perfect, non is only evil or only good. They all have their flaws which makes them appear lively and credible. Although the end can be guessed and is not too astonishing, there is suspense throughout the novel since every single day of the narration, new factors and new developments are added which complicate the characters’ lives and need adaptation to the new situation. Seeing how the react and try to keep their integrity is one of  he strongest aspects of the thriller. What I also liked was the weather motive and how it was incorporated in the plot: the heat making also the characters heat up, the cleansing thunderstorm which also costs the lives of some innocent people –  a successful parallelism.

Marina Lewycka – We are all made of glue

When Georgie Sinclair meets her elderly neighbour Mrs Shapiro, this is the last thing she needed to make her life a complete mess. Her husband has just left her for another woman. Her son flees into a world of Armageddon and her job for a company which produces glue also is not really satisfying. But old Mrs Shapiro need her help. After an accident she is in hospital and due to her age, the vultures are on the watch for her house in a financially interesting area.

What Marina Lewycka can do like hardly any other is creating characters which are so unique that they cannot compare to any other in the most positive way. Mrs Shapiro’s way of speaking, her one the one hand hard-boiled but on the other hand loving way of treating people, compared with her witty and clever mind make her a rather strange but hard not to love person. She definitely has known how to cope with life’s adversities. Georgie also gains character and profile through the novel, she grows with the responsibilities. What I found most interesting is the way her work on text related to all types of glue is mixed with the plot. Albeit a bit strange in the beginning, they make more and more sense. All in all, a novel full of extraordinary humour and great fun to read.