Howdy!! Hope you have all been busy bees this week!! And had a fabulous Star Wars Day – May the 4th be with you! – why this isn’t an international holiday yet is beyond me!!! It needs to happen!!
So, on to the books! Been quite a sedate week here of the bookish variety! Trying to get myself back on track with books that need reviewing that have been sent my way, while at the same time reading through the book mountain I’ve created of my own purchases!!
Please click the title link if you want to read my GoodReads review!
I really enjoyed the start of this one but then it all fell a little flat. Still an interesting read though – and a pretty stunning cover! Downloaded this through my library card on the BorrowBox App.
From the Booker-shortlisted author comes a sensuous, evocative novel exploring the lives of women in Victorian London, for fans of Sarah Waters, Emma Donoghue, and Kate Atkinson.
2011: When Madeleine loses her job as a lecturer, she decides to leave her riverside flat in cobbled Stew Lane, where history never feels far away, and move to Apricot Place. Yet here too, in this quiet Walworth cul-de-sac, she senses the past encroaching: a shifting in the atmosphere, a current of unseen life.
1851: and Joseph Benson has been employed by Henry Mayhew to help research his articles on the working classes. A family man with mouths to feed, Joseph is tasked with coaxing testimony from prostitutes. Roaming the Southwark streets, he is tempted by brothels’ promises of pleasure – and as he struggles with his assignment, he seeks answers in Apricot Place, where the enigmatic Mrs Dulcimer runs a boarding house.
As these entwined stories unfold, alive with the sensations of London past and present, the two eras brush against each other – a breath at Madeleine’s neck, a voice in her head – the murmurs of ghosts echoing through time. Rendered in immediate, intoxicating prose, The Walworth Beauty is a haunting tale of desire and exploitation, isolation and loss, and the faltering search for human connection; this is Michèle Roberts at her masterful best.
Really loved this absorbing story of how strong some women were through the adversity of the Second World War.
A resistance widow. A silent co-conspirator. The only one who survived.
Bavaria, Germany. June, 1945.
The Third Reich has crumbled. The Russians are coming.
Can Marianne von Lingenfels and the women in her care survive and build their ravaged world anew?
Marianne – widow of a resistor to the Nazi regime – returns to the grand, crumbling castle where she once played host to all of German high society. She assembles a makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s movement, rescuing her dearest friend’s widow, Benita, from sexual slavery to the Russian army, and Ania from a work camp for political prisoners. She is certain their shared past will bind them together.
But as Benita begins a clandestine relationship and Ania struggles to conceal her role in the Nazi regime, Marianne learns that her clear-cut, highly principled world view has no place in these new, frightening and emotionally-charged days.
All three women must grapple with the realities they now face, and the consequences of decisions each made in the darkest of times . . .
Deeply moving and compelling, THE WOMEN OF THE CASTLE is a heart-wrenching and hopeful novel of secrets and survival, a reckoning, and the astonishing power of forgiveness. Perfect for fans of THE READER, THE DARK ROOM and THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS.
This was a fascinating and really enjoyable read based on real life events!
It’s 1984, and summer is scorching the ordinary village of Heathcote.
What’s more, a mysterious figure is slipping into homes through back doors and open windows. Dubbed ‘the Fox’, he knows everything about everyone – leaving curious objects in their homes, or taking things from them.
When beloved Anna goes missing, the whole community believes the Fox is responsible.
For the worried residents, finding Anna will be difficult – but stopping the Fox from exposing their darkest secrets might just be impossible..
Really loved this book that had me shedding a tear or three as the story unfolded!
A stunning debut about a girl who has learned how to survive – but not how to live.
Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.
Eleanor Oliphant is fine. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except sometimes, everything.
No-one’s ever told Eleanor life should be better than fine. But with a simple act of kindness she’s about to realise exactly how much better than fine life can be
guess what?! I’ve done it again!! Absolute zero!! Yay! Go me!! And I have been daring to venture into bookshops and charity shops, but being a year older seems to have made me become a little more sensible and restrained… I don’t like it!!! This kind of behaviour needs to stop! And soon!!
Strange Magic by Syd Moore
Rosie Strange doesn’t believe in ghosts or witches or magic. No, not at all. It’s no surprise therefore when she inherits the ramshackle Essex Witch Museum, her first thought is to take the money and run.
Still, the museum exerts a curious pull over Rosie. There’s the eccentric academic who bustles in to demand she help in a hunt for old bones, those of the notorious Ursula Cadence, a witch long since put to death. And there’s curator Sam Stone, a man about whom Rosie can’t decide if he’s tiresomely annoying or extremely captivating. It all adds up to looking like her plans to sell the museum might need to be delayed, just for a while.
Finding herself and Sam embroiled in a most peculiar centuries-old mystery, Rosie is quickly expelled from her comfort zone, where to her horror, the secrets of the past come with their own real, and all too present, danger as a strange magic threatens to envelope them all.
Wabi Sabi by Francesc Miralles
Living apart from his girlfriend Gabriela, university lecturer Samuel is shaken from his humdrum existence when he receives an enigmatic postcard from Japan and the unexpected visit at work of a girl trying to identify the language of a strange, haunting song. This sets Samuel on a quest that will take him to Kyoto, not only to discover the meaning of the cryptic message, which may hold the key to some of his unanswered questions, but also to find enlightenment, a new equilibrium and a reappreciation of the small joys of life. Written with Miralles s trademark wit and lightness of touch, Wabi-Sabi is a delightful tale about love and bridging cultural divides.
And there we have it! Another week nicely wrapped up! And hopefully a good weekend of reading ahead – thank you TV for being so rubbish at the moment! – and maybe even some sunshine to enjoy too!