Publisher: Picador

#BookReview Catch the Rabbit by Lana Bastašić @PGCBooks @picadorbooks #CatchtheRabbit #LanaBastasic

#BookReview Catch the Rabbit by Lana Bastašić @PGCBooks @picadorbooks #CatchtheRabbit #LanaBastasic Title: Catch the Rabbit

Author: Lana Bastašić

Published by: Picador on May 27, 2021

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

A moving story about loss, forgetting and female friendship: two women on a road trip across Bosnia head towards a lost brother and a collision with the lies they’ve told themselves about where they’re from.

Sara hasn’t seen or heard from Lejla in years. She’s comfortable with her life in Dublin, with her partner, their avocado plant, and their naturist neighbour. But when Lejla calls and demands she come home to Bosnia, Sara finds that she can’t say no.

What begins as a road trip becomes a journey through the past, as the two women set off to find Armin, Lejla’s brother who disappeared towards the end of the Bosnian War. Presumed dead by everyone else, only Lejla and Sara believed Armin was still alive.

Confronted with the limits of memory, Sara is forced to reconsider the things she thought she understood as a girl: the best friend she loved, the first experiences they shared, but also the social and religious lines that separated them, that brought them such different lives.

In Catch the Rabbit, Lana Bastašic tells the story of how we place the ones we love on pedestals, and then wait for them to fall off, how loss marks us indelibly, and how the traumas of war echo down the years.


Review:

Frank, pensive, and melancholic!

Catch the Rabbit is a dark, gritty, nostalgic novel that takes us into the life of Sara, a young woman who is more than content with her current life in Dublin and how she’s managed to reinvent herself after growing up in Bosnia during the 1990s, until her childhood best friend, Lejla contacts her out of the blue after more than a decade to ask her to drive from Mostar to Vienna in order to find her brother who has been missing for more than twenty years, and whose disappearance has had a lasting impact on both of their lives.

The prose is perceptive and expressive. The characters are scarred, multilayered, and self-absorbed. And the plot, using a past-present style, is a reflective tale about life, loss, tragedy, family, friendship, coming-of-age, shared experiences, differing perspectives, and elusive memories, all interwoven with an undercurrent of the ongoing dread and tension experienced by those who must live and grow up in war zones.

Overall, Catch the Rabbit is a poignant, weighty, toxic tale by Bastašić that delves into all the messiness of life and highlights all the enduring psychological and emotional ties that exist between friends.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

           

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lana Bastašić

Lana Bastašic is a Yugoslavborn writer. She has published two collections of short stories and one of poetry. Catch the Rabbit, her debut novel, was published in 2018 in Belgrade and was shortlisted for the NIN Award. Her short stories have been included in major regional anthologies and have won numerous awards throughout former Yugoslavia. She lives and works in Barcelona.

#BookReview Jack & Bet by Sarah Butler @PGCBooks @picadorbooks #Jack&Bet #SarahButler

#BookReview Jack & Bet by Sarah Butler @PGCBooks @picadorbooks #Jack&Bet #SarahButler Title: Jack & Bet

Author: Sarah Butler

Published by: Picador on Apr. 13, 2021

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Even the longest marriages have their secrets . . .

Jack Chalmers is a man of few words, married to a woman of many. He and Bet have been together for seventy years – almost a lifetime – and happily so, for the most part.

All Jack and Bet want is to enjoy the time they have left together, in the flat they have tried to make their home. Their son Tommy has other ideas: he wants them to live somewhere with round-the-clock care, hot meals, activities. Bet thinks they can manage just fine.

When they strike up an unlikely friendship with Marinela, a young Romanian woman, Bet thinks she has found the perfect solution – one that could change Marinela’s life as well as theirs. But this means revisiting an old love affair, and confronting a long-buried secret she has kept hidden from everyone, even Jack, for many years.

Tender, moving and beautifully told, Sarah Butler’s Jack & Bet is an unforgettable novel about love and loss, the joys and regrets of a long marriage, and the struggle to find a place to call home.


Review:

Touching, sentimental, and bittersweet!

Jack & Bet is a heartwarming, affecting story that sweeps you away to London, England, and into a tale where long lives lived are pondered, a 70-year marriage is celebrated, friendships are developed and savoured, memories are cherished, secrets are unearthed, tears are shed, lives are remembered, and love is forged and shared.

The writing is smooth and heartfelt. The characters are sincere, genuine, and lovable. And the plot is a delightful blend of heart, hope, humour, nostalgia, drama, and emotion.

Jack & Bet is, ultimately, a story about life, love, loss, dreams, heartbreak, friendship, family, ageing, and finding happiness, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and in the end, it left me smiling.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

               

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarah Butler

Sarah Butler is the acclaimed author of Ten Things I've Learnt About Love, Before the Fire and Jack & Bet. Her writing has been translated into fourteen languages. She is also the author of a novella, Not Home, written in conversation with people living in unsupported temporary accommodation. Sarah is a part-time lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and lives in Manchester with her family.

Photo courtesy of Pan MacMillan website.

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