My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 3rd August 2019 #bookblogger

Hello! Happy Weekend!!  I’ve had plants on my mind this week as we paid a visit to the local big flower show and may have left with 12 new plants – which I’m still trying to find gaps for in the garden!! I fear the lawn may have to shrink again so I can fit them all in!!

So I’ve not been full on bookish this week! Shock horror!  I seem to have been fidgety and not been spending my time reading which hasn’t helped the TBR mountain of doom that seems  to tower over me – both physically and digitally! BUT the good news is that I avoided NetGalley all week so at least I’ve not added anymore to that shelf! Did manage to finish 2 books and 4 new books (2 for blog tour reviews/2 I treated myself to!) have made their way into my life!

Here’s my look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

A Chain Across the Dawn by Drew Williams  – 4 stars

Really enjoyed this! I need to read book one in the series! Full review to follow on Blog Tour!

Tinderbox by Megan Dunn – 4 stars

Really enjoyable non -fiction that has me itching to read Fahrenheit 451!

BOOKHAUL

Treated myself over at Dead Ink to these two.

PLEASE READ THIS LEAFLET CAREFULLY by KAREN HAVELIN

Written in first person and following a reverse chronology which subverts the typical illness story, Please Read This Leaflet Carefully follows Laura Fjellstad in her struggles to live a normal life. Having been diagnosed with severe endometriosis in her twenties, she believes that the only way to survive her painful and debilitating illness is to be completely self reliant. In between doctors’ appointments and in and out of hospitals, Laura confronts single parenting after her divorce, leading a life her own teenage self would be in awe of.

To be devoured intensely in one sitting, Please Read This Leaflet Carefully is a heart warming debut novel with bracing emotional insights and piercing descriptions of pain that linger in one’s mind long after the last page. It is also a beguiling meditation on relationships, motherhood, menopause, sexuality, pain and a woman’s life journey to come to terms with her own body.

WATER SHALL REFUSE THEM by LUCIE McKNIGHT HARDY

The heatwave of 1976. Following the accidental drowning of her sister, sixteen-year-old Nif and her family move to a small village on the Welsh borders to escape their grief. But rural seclusion doesn’t bring any relief. As her family unravels, Nif begins to put together her own form of witchcraft – collecting talismans from the sun-starved land. That is, until she meets Mally, a teen boy who takes a keen interest in her, and has his own secret rites to divulge. Reminiscent of the suspense of Shirley Jackson and soaked in the folk horror of the British landscape, Water Shall Refuse Them is an atmospheric coming-of-age novel and a thrilling debut.

A TAPESTRY OF TREASON by ANNE O’BRIEN copy for review ahead of blog tour

publication date – 22nd August 2019

Her actions could make history – but at what price? 
1399: Constance of York, Lady Despenser, proves herself more than a mere observer in the devious intrigues of her magnificently dysfunctional family, The House of York.

Surrounded by power-hungry men, including her aggressively self-centred husband Thomas and ruthless siblings Edward and Richard, Constance places herself at the heart of two treasonous plots against King Henry IV.  Will it be possible for this Plantagenet family to safeguard its own political power by restoring either King Richard II to the throne, or the precarious Mortimer claimant?
Although the execution of these conspiracies will place them all in jeopardy, Constance is not deterred, even when the cost of her ambition threatens to overwhelm her.  Even when it endangers her new-found happiness.

With treason, tragedy, heartbreak and betrayal, this is the story of a woman ahead of her time, fighting for herself and what she believes to be right in a world of men.

FLORA AIR by JANICE CAIRNS copy for review ahead of Blog Tour

Flora Air is passionate about writing and she dreams of becoming an author, but she’s in a fog with her mundane day job. She meets a charismatic professor who nurtures her writing and suddenly her dreams seem possible. A touch of magic at the professor’s home adds old-fashioned charm and enchantment to Flora’s writing journey. When she realises she loves the married professor, her journey takes a wild turn. Can Flora actually succeed in becoming an author? What happens to the love Flora Air feels for the professor?

CURRENTLY READING

Ducks, NewburyPort by Lucy Ellmann

Only 1,000 pages short! No wonder I can’t seem to focus on anything else at the moment! Reading this for my #20BooksOfSummer challenge and think this maybe should count for 4 or 5 books and not just 1 haha!

🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻

How has your bookish week been?! Been good and avoided buying anything?! Or gone nuts and bought ALL THE BOOKS!? Would love to hear!

HAPPY READING!

#BlogTour The Photographer of the Lost by Caroline Scott #BookReview @SimonschusterUK @CScottBooks #RandomThingsTours #PhotographerOfTheLost

Truly delighted to be the latest stop on this Pre-Publication Blog Tour for this astonishing book and to give you a little taste of what you have to look forward to come publication day in October! 

My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for the early copy of the book and putting this tour together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Until she knows her husband’s fate, she cannot decide her own… An epic novel of forbidden love, loss, and the shattered hearts left behind in the wake of World War I 1921. Families are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many survivors of the Great War have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis has not come home. He is considered ‘missing in action’, but when Edie receives a mysterious photograph taken by Francis in the post, hope flares. And so she beings to search. Harry, Francis’s brother, fought alongside him. He too longs for Francis to be alive, so they can forgive each other for the last things they ever said. Both brothers shared a love of photography and it is that which brings Harry back to the Western Front. 

Hired by grieving families to photograph gravesites, as he travels through battle-scarred France gathering news for British wives and mothers, Harry also searches for evidence of his brother. And as Harry and Edie’s paths converge, they get closer to a startling truth. An incredibly moving account of an often-forgotten moment in history, The Photographer of the Lost tells the story of the thousands of soldiers who were lost amid the chaos and ruins, and the even greater number of men and women desperate to find them again.

Published by  Simon & Schuster

Publication Date – 31st October 2019

PRE-ORDER LINKS

Amazon UK  £12.99

hive.co.uk  £10.69

WHSMITH  £9.35

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

photo thanks to Johnny Ring

Caroline Scott is a freelance writer and historian specializing in WWI and women’s history. The Photographer of the Lost is partially inspired by her family history.

Twitter @CScottBooks

MY REVIEW

I don’t even know where to begin with my thoughts on this book – other than that I adored every single blooming page!! I found it to be such a stunning read that really captured the atmosphere of the time, the grief shared by so many and the limbo that many families were left feeling after the First World War when their loved ones were missing in action.  At a time when many were celebrating the War being over, many were left with so many unanswered questions with no word on the missing soldiers and they were left clutching to the faint hope that these men were in a French hospital, unable to get in contact with those back home.

It’s the story of brotherhood and the bonds between loved ones with 3 brothers going off to fight in the Great War – Francis, Harry and Will – and the desperate search for Francis after the war by his brother Harry and Francis’s wife Edie who was desperate to know what happened to him – even more so when she receives an envelope containing a photograph of him, 4 years after he’d gone missing. When was it taken? Where was it taken? Who was it from? Was he still alive?

 Harry becomes a ‘photographer of the lost’ on his return, which means he goes back to France often to take photos of gravestones for those back home who want a picture of the final resting place for their loved ones and  the surrounding areas – while there he devotes much of his time to trying to track down the likely places his brother may have gone, and also meets others doing similar searches for their family members.

The story changes effortlessly from the time in France after the War, to the past when the brothers were setting off to war together – their experiences on the front line, their fears, the banter they used to lighten the mood – they were just young boys and you just can’t even begin to imagine the sights they were witness to.  

Edie too sets off to France to try her best to get some answers for herself, and her storyline also looks back on how she and Francis met and how close they all were – she can’t move on until she knows the truth about her husband.

This was often a very sombre and haunting read, but so beautifully descriptive and made you totally understand just how lost people were when they didn’t know what had happened to those who didn’t come back home – they felt restless until they knew and would cling on to the hope that they’d turn up on the doorstep one day.  It brilliantly showed the human aspect of war – on those who went to fight and on those who were left behind waiting for letters and contact.

An outstanding and memorable book. Easily one of my favourite reads of 2019!

★★★★★