Every Friday Scot Lit Fest shares what they’ve been reading in the past week.
Riverkeep – Martin Stewart (Viking)
“The Danék is a wild, treacherous river, and the Fobisher family has tended it for generations—clearing it of ice and weed, making sure boats can get through, and fishing corpses from its bleak depths. Wulliam’s father, the current Riverkeep, is proud of this work. Wull dreads it. And in one week, when he comes of age, he will have to take over.”
Not too keen to take over as it is, Wull’s father is pulled under and emerges possessed, no longer himself, and the role of Riverkeep is thrust upon him. He meets a few people along the way to find the cure, and learns a lot about himself, including finding a courage he didn’t know he had. Stewart’s world is vivid, magical, and full of creatures that make his creation that little bit weirder and unique, and Riverkeep is at times engrossing and at others heartbreaking.
The Trouble With Women – Jacky Fleming (Square Peg)
“The Trouble With Women does for girls what 1066 and All That did for boys: it reminds us of what we were taught about women in history lessons at school, which is to say, not a lot.”
Jacky Fleming’s comic takes you through the history (or lack thereof) of women, from Marie Curie being the only women in science, to how women do not have smart hair, which is why they cannot be geniuses like Albert Einstein, who had smart hair.
On top of learning about great women who, unsurprisingly, were missed off the school curriculum, and the many ways in which men genuinely (in some cases) justified their thoughts on women, it’s loaded with spoonfuls upon spoonfuls of wit and sarcasm.
The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins (Doubleday)
Rachel catches the same train every morning, and every night. It stops at the same signal every day and every night, and she keeps an eye on Jess and Jason, a couple whose life she likes to peek in on. Until one day she sees something that changes everything, and a fantasy relationship she watches from a train becomes startlingly real.
On one hand, the premise of this book is magnificent. As someone who’s done their share of commuting and watching the same places, you just get it. The mystery, the snapshots, the slow unraveling of multiple threads, you’re there for it. You want to know. Premise-wise fantastic, and you may start paying more attention on your commutes, just in case.