Four Novels Read In Lockdown

Saturday, May 30, 2020

As mentioned in my recent book haul, I have been enjoying reading again, now that we are on lockdown and I have much more time. While I enjoy reading a variety of different books, from history, memoirs to classic fiction, over the past two months I have read four novels that are worth sharing with you all.

The first two of the books I read, I used the app BorrowBox, an app that connects to your local library - you need a library card for this, but that's very easy to get if you don't have one, even from the comfort of your own home. It works in the exact same way a library does, reserving, borrowing, renewing and returning books, and there is such a great selection of books; both featured in today's post are relatively new and popular. It is even more useful with libraries not currently open - the perfect way to save money and read some good books!

The Giver of Stars - Jojo Moyes

While Jojo Moyes has plenty of best-selling books, before The Giver of Stars I had never read any of her work, so wasn't sure what to expect. From my knowledge, I believe this was her first based on a true story, set in 1930s Kentucky about a group called the packhorse librarians. Her protagonist, Alice, is from England, swept away to the states after marrying an American husband. However, this exciting new life she was promised didn't live up to her expectations - until she volunteered to join the librarians who deliver books on horses to families across the area.

The strongest themes in this book are friendship, empowerment and freedom; Moyes raises brilliant points about attitudes towards gender and race in 1930s America through the diverse range of characters. I absolutely loved this one - you will find yourself rooting for the main characters through their struggles and hoping for a happy ending for them all.

City of Girls - Elizabeth Gilbert

Largely set in 1940s Manhattan, City of Girls is just as glamorous as it sounds. After dropping out of college, Vivian Morris' life changes when her parents send her to live with her theatre-loving Aunt in New York. The narrative comes from Vivian at ninety-five years old, reciting the story of her life to 'Angela', whose father Vivian had a connection to.

The first page of the novel sets out that it will explain who Angela's father was to Vivian, however I felt disappointed that they only "officially" meet 80% of the way through the book - I felt like I was waiting for something for so long and couldn't work out what direction the book was taking. For me, it was worth reading for that final twenty percent of the novel, the life of Angela's father was far more compelling than Vivian, who spent a lot of time frolicking around the city, oblivious to world war. The book explores feminism, friendship and the many different kinds of love and I did enjoy it, but it didn't stand out to me.

Expectation - Anna Hope

This novel had been sitting on my shelf for a few months and yet I hadn't picked it up, because I had high hopes and was so scared it wasn't going to live up to my expectations. However, I'm so glad I finally read it this month, because I loved it just as much as I hoped I would.

Anna Hope's story focuses on three women, Hannah, Cate and Lissa, who were the best of friends living together in their twenties, yet ten years later all three of them find their lives to be not as they expected. Through flashbacks to parts of their life as young as twelve years old, as well as their uni years, you really get to know the characters and everything they have been through. Hope manages to create three women who are such three dimensional characters - they wear their flaws on their sleeve, and yet they are so relatable and lovable. Of course, I absolutely loved the London setting - the author goes into great detail describing the area making me miss my uni city even more.

The Flat Share - Beth O'Leary

After seeing this novel all over Instagram over the past few months, I finally gave in to the hype. The Flat Share's narrative alternates between two characters, Tiffy and Leon, who share a flat and a bed but have never met. Described as the perfect rom-com novel, the book is on the whole very light-hearted and provides plenty of laughter, but also delves into some more serious topics including the effects of a gaslighting ex-boyfriend, and a wrongly imprisoned brother.

I read this in a day and a half, undoubtedly the sort of novel that I couldn't put down no matter how hard I tried. I loved the technique of the two characters writing post-it note letters between themselves as they got to know each other better. The side characters are equally as endearing; friends, family and patients, I found myself caring about them just as much as the main characters. Instagram is right - this book is brilliant and I can't wait to read more from the author (I have The Switch on my shelf, and I'm excited!).

Overall, all four of these books are worth reading, but I particularly recommend The Giver of Stars for someone interested in historical fiction, and The Flat Share for a feel-good that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Make sure to follow me on goodreads to keep up with all the books I read!

Have you read any good novels lately? I've got a few more to get through on my shelf, but welcome all recommendations!

EG x


  1. Borrowbooks sounds like such a good app! I personally love a physical copy and don't find the process as enjoyable on a piece of tech - but if I didn't mind I'd definitely be downloading it! OK I need to read The Flat Share next..!!
    Charlotte / Charlotte's Picks

    1. I definitely prefer a physical copy too, but I can't complain too much when Borrowbox means I can read the best-sellers for free! I seriously recommend the flat share, it's fab! x

  2. I definitely want to get back to reading. I have been so bad with it.

  3. The Giver of Stars sounds brilliant - will add it to my list!

    Lucy | Forever September