What was the best book you read in 2014? I read a lot of books, sometimes one a week, so it’s difficult to choose. One of my favourite books this year was Paris Syndrome by Tahir Shah (see review), then right at the end of December Susie Kelly made it easy for me with her outstanding I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry.
Modestly described as ‘a memoir of life in post-war London, colonial and post-colonial Kenya, and a dysfunctional family’, I must admit I was interested because I was also living in Kenya at the same time as Susie, during the difficult and dangerous transition to independence.
I was delighted with the evocative details on almost every page that took me right back to my childhood. What I didn’t expect was to be put through every emotion from laugh-out-loud humour to heart-wrenching sadness. This is a wonderful recollection of a fascinating life – yet also a story which Susie admits was very difficult for her to write.
One of the unusual benefits of reading on a Kindle is the option to see what other readers have highlighted – and one of the most frequent was the poignant line ‘when people suffer terrible losses they need to have an opportunity to talk about them.’
This book had me gripped from the first page and left me feeling quite emotional at the end. Susie wins my ‘best book of the year’ without hesitation for the quality of her writing and the honesty and truth which makes it such a great read. I highly recommend I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry and happily award a rare five out of five stars.
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About the Author
Susie Kelly was born in post-war London and spent much of her childhood and young adulthood in the beautiful country of Kenya. She now lives in south-west France with a menagerie of assorted animals and is passionate about animal welfare. Her first book Best Foot Forward was published by Transworld Publishers in 2003, followed by Two Steps Backward in 2004, and A Perfect Circle in 2006. Since 2011 Susie's books have been published by Blackbird Digital Books, whose theme is strong, adventurous women living life to the full. To find out more visit Susie’s blog and find her on Facebook and Twitter @SusieEnFrance.