Books of the Year 2016 – Part 1

Happy Holidays!

Today is the first of two posts (with the second out on the 29th Dec) that highlight our favourite books out of those we reviewed in the past year. We’ve eight contributors, so this first post has the first four.

Lucy’s pick:
My book of the year is “Dissolution” by C. J. Sansom because it seamlessly combines meticulous research with a gripping murder and wonderful writing.  It was my introduction to a series of books which I have enjoyed immensely.
[Lucy’s original review is here]

Eleanor’s pick:
My favourite book this year was “Unbreak My Heart” by Nicole Jacquelyn. I think the reason why it was my favourite was because even now 7 months after reading it I can feel it. It was such a heart wrenching book that had me crying most of the way through. When a book can bring that emotion out of you, then you know its well written. Aside from the emotional hook, Unbreak My Heart, also has two very flawed main characters. But you do get to a place where you can’t help but root for them to get it right. Nicole Jacquelyn nailed it with Unbreak My Heart. In my opinion she wrote a book that will go down as a book to remember. A story that you’ll recommend to everyone and not stop until all your friends have read it!
[Eleanor’s original review is here]

Helen’s pick:
My book of the year is “Eleven Hours” By Pamela Erens ,because of the breath taking quality of the writing, the emotional power of the subject matter and the totally absorbing nature of the narrative. This novel certainly had the “wow” factor for me, it stood out from the crowd, by a mile.
[Helen’s original review is here]

Emma’s pick(s!):

I picked two!
“One” by Sarah Crossan is a favourite as it is such an original idea and also I love that the book is in verse. It’s emotional, compelling and different. I’ve been recommending it to everyone.

“The Wordsmith” by Patricia Forde was a story I loved but it was also very thought provoking.The ideas in it have stayed with me long after I read it and it really stands out to me as something I enjoyed. I particularly like dystopian fiction so this really appealed to me.
[Emma’s review for One is here and her review for The Wordsmith is here]

Don’t forget to tune in on the 29th for our remaning four Books of the Year.



Eleven Hours by Pamela Erens

eleven hours.jpg

Pamela Erens packs a huge emotional punch into this short novel covering the labour of a young women in a busy New York hospital, the eleven hours of the title.

The evolving relationship between Lore, the single, unaccompanied woman and her midwife, Franckline is beautifully drawn. Erens has an astonishing talent for description and the passages on the physical progress of the labour are totally absorbing. She moves effortlessly between Lore’s story and that of Franckline, the immigrant midwife, and makes us care about them and their life journeys.

The author is skilled, in the things she suggests, as well as those things she describes and there is a sparseness and economy in the writing that is refreshing. I could say that there is not a superfluous word used and this conveys the urgency and intensity of the birth process.

I would have to say that this is one novel that would definitely appeal more to women readers, as it deals with the momentous and profound act of giving birth. I particularly like the way the novel ended, with all possibilities left open and nothing defined. The best recommendation, I can give this novel is that I am now rushing out to read Erens’ other two previous titles.Verdict- a tour de force.


You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.