A workman discovers the remains of a baby while digging up a building site in Woolwich in England, and it’s reported as a two sentence piece in a newspaper more focused on the London Olympics, the Royals and potential terrorists. Most would have ignored it. Not Kate Waters. Kate, a plucky older journalist in an era of young reporters and online news, discovers the story and files it away for later use. She decides to discover the truth behind the baby, but gets more than she bargained for when she learns more about the residents of Howard Street. Combine this with Angela Irving, who lost her baby back in 1970 and is still struggling to cope, and Emma Simmonds, who’s also struggling to deal with the news as it brings back long-hidden memories, and you’ve got an intriguing, almost-400 page read.
The Child is Fiona Barton’s second novel, and I went to the library and had them order it in, as I loved Barton’s previous book, The Widow, so much. Unfortunately, I’m a massive procrastinator, and the book was a couple days late, when I realised I really should pick it up and read it, since I’ve got so many other books to read (Final Girls, Crash Override, Quiet, Day of the Triffids, the rest of Adrian Mole, etc). Lucky for me, it’s AMAZINGLY QUICK to read. I mean, I read 20 pages over a month, since the book started quite slowly. I then finished the remaining 350 or so pages in two days. Yes, two. Despite this knowledge, I almost DNF’d this second book, because the start wasn’t interesting at all. It just felt like a rehash of The Widow, except a dead baby this time instead of a missing child. I decided, since the book was late back to the library, I should quickly read more of it to see if it was worth it, and yes, the book does get better.
In a sense of irony almost too good to pass up, my blog post from March—You have pending blog posts scammer: An Introductory Guide to Spam Emails—received an absurd amount of spam comments trying to make it into the comments section.
It all started quite simply. I was mashing out words on the keyboard for my last blog post, a simple post reviewing the ridiculous number of movies I’ve watched this year. That’s when I noticed my email notifications.
I thought to myself, “Hmm, probably some people who have enjoyed my rousing reviews of…wait, who am I kidding myself?”
Then I saw the emails from WordPress:
The Adrian Mole-slash-Poopy Butthole part of my brain immediately thought:
Oo-wee! Is this what fame feels like?
Alas, it was not meant to be. That sense of irony intermingled with the ugly, rearing head of a cliche, and I realised they were simply…spammers. For a blog post about spammers. The sense of irony was almost too good to pass up, so I passed it up. Until today, where I’ve decided the best thing to do is critique these people.
Netflix: Is it Inspiration Central for writers?
My name is Jessica and I am a Netflix addict. And a Stan addict. And Amazon Prime. Unfortunately—or fortunately for me—we don’t have Hulu or any of the others in ‘Straya yet, so I can be saved from consuming more of the timesuck that is online streaming. My fiancé and I recently caved in and signed up to Netflix early this year, and I’ve roughly guesstimated the number of movies I’ve watched on there, and elsewhere, and the count got up to at least 35. There are still 46 movies (and 135 books, but let’s try and ignore that for now) on my To-Watch list, so this addiction doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. Don’t worry, I do have a life. I’ve even managed to get some writing in!
So I’ve devised a solution. Alongside the book reviews, I’m gonna do a monthly catch-up of all the great and not-so-great movies I’ve been watching, and my reviews, no matter how ridiculous, no matter how trashy.
Warning: I have a slightly terrible taste in movies. A bunch of these are beloved and popular movies that I gave 👎👎👎 reviews. *Cough cough* I’ll ignore the various movies I’ve re-watched, ’cause clearly I think they’re awesome (Shrek 1&2, Fight Club, Sorority Row, Inglourious Basterds). Let’s get going!
When I was seventeen, I saved my sister from drowning…
Danielle “Nel” Abbott is obsessed with the local area of her town of Beckford, nicknamed the Drowning Pool, where it’s said troublesome women come to die. She’s writing a book about the Drowning Pool and all the women who have mysteriously committed suicide there, but it’s making a lot of the townspeople angry. When Nel ends up being one of the Pool victims herself, her younger, estranged sister Jules (never Julia!) has to revisit all her long-repressed memories of Beckford to care for Nel’s cliched-moody daughter Lena and try and figure out whether Nel actually committed suicide—or is something more sinister at play?
Into the Water is Paula Hawkins second novel. After the success of The Girl on the Train, her first novel, which I kinda reviewed in a blog post on foreshadowing back in 2015, everyone—me especially—was waiting with bated breath for Hawkins’s second novel.
And guess what?
Into the Water was released on May 2nd, and I quickly requested it from the library, with a queue that now stretches over forty other excited folks. This week, I realised it was due back at the library—overdue now—and I hurriedly went ahead and read this 352 page behemoth (not really haha!) in just a couple of days, 100 pages at a time. It’s a quick read once you get stuck into it, and the plot promised to be interesting.