I love books that make me happy and books that make me angry; The Secret Paris Cinema Club does the former and The Invention of Wings the latter. Juliet Naked does neither.
I nearly gave up on Juliet Naked but because the author, Nick Hornby, does tend to take a while to get going I carried on and eventually finished it because I didn't care enough to give up. If that makes any sense.
On the other hand I didn't want the first two to end.
The Secret Paris Cinema Club is a tale of love and celebrity in a small old-fashioned cinema in - unsurprisingly - Paris. Wonderful characters, an intriguing story and the sights and smells of Paris: what more could you want?
I've not read anything by Barreau before but will look out for his earlier success, The Ingredients of Love.
I loved The Secret Life of Bees so was pleased when I discovered another of Kidd's novels in the library. And The Invention of Wings is just as wonderful but in a painful way. Set in Charleston in the early nineteenth century it's told from the differing viewpoints of two young women, the daughter of the white land-owner and the slave girl she is given on her eleventh birthday.
The horrors of slavery and, in a different way, inequality are described vividly, and it makes me so glad I'm living in these days where we are at least closer to true equality of the sexes. Slavery sadly appears to be on the rise again and is a terrible indictment of our society.