Hello all! Happy Saturday!! It’s been a week of remarkably amazing weather here -yay for sunshine!! And that has meant more time for reading – my energy levels always dip in the heat, so what better way to conserve energy than sitting down and reading!
So this week I’ve managed to read 8 – yes eight!! – books! I think the bank holiday weekend helped too on that score!! Plus I wasn’t tempted to visit Netgalley, and have been lucky to receive a book in the post for review, along with 4 books that I won from Allison & Busby!
Here’s my look back!
STRANGE SIGHT by SYD MOORE – 4 STARS
STRANGE TOMBS by SYD MOORE – 4 STARS
STRANGE TRICKS by SYD MOORE – 5 STARS
CHERRY INGRAM by NAOKO ABE – 5 STARS
STRANGE FASCINATION by SYD MOORE – 5 STARS
VOYEUR by FRANCESCA REECE – 4 STARS
BITTER ORANGE by CLAIRE FULLER – 5 STARS
Received this ahead of July Blog Tour…
ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR by CAROLINE HULSE
The Fair is the only good thing that happens every year. And Fiona Larson is the only person in town who’s never been.
She’s pretended to go – but she’s never been allowed. Because, before Fiona was even born, her sister died there.
This year, everything will be different.
Fiona is about to turn twelve – older than her sister was. This summer, Fiona will save some money, make new friends, and finally have some fun at The Fair.
But what she’ll actually do is:
– Find a mysterious bag in a bush
– Spy on everyone
– Lose her only friend
– Make a lot of lists
– Learn the truth about what happened at The Fair…
Fresh and hilarious, All the Fun of the Fair is a deeply poignant coming-of-age novel from sensational talent Caroline Hulse.
And last year I was lucky to win a book voucher from Allison & Busby… and I finally made my choice as to the books I wanted!
1925. Fifteen-year-old Catherine Quick longs to strike out into the warm waters of her Australian home just as she’s done since she was a tiny child. But now living in London with her aunt Louisa, Catherine feels that everything she values has been stripped away.
Louisa, a busy surgeon who fought boldly for women’s equality, wants Catherine to pursue an education to ensure her future freedom. Since Catherine arrived, however, Louisa can’t put a foot right and she is finding it harder to block painful memories from her past.
A chance encounter leads both women to New York where Catherine can test her mettle against the first women in the world to swim the English Channel, and where Louisa can come to an understanding with her niece and with herself.
STEALING ROSES by HEATHER COOPER
1862. Growing up in the small seaside town of Cowes on the Isle of Wight, free-spirited Eveline Stanhope feels trapped by the weight of expectation from her well-to-do family. Her mother and two elder sisters would rather she focus her attention on marrying well, preferably to the wealthy Charles Sandham, but Eveline wants more for herself, and the arrival of the railway provides just the cause she’s been searching for.
Driven by the cherished memories of her late father, Eveline is keen to preserve the landscape he loved so much and becomes closely involved with the project. She forms a growing attachment to engineer Thomas Armitage. But when the railway is complete and Thomas moves on, will Eveline wish to return to the way things were?
THE EXILES by CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE
The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant novel that captures the hardship, oppression, opportunity and hope of a trio of women’s lives in nineteenth-century Australia.
Seduced by her employer’s son, Evangeline, a naïve young governess in early nineteenth-century London, is discharged when her pregnancy is discovered and sent to the notorious Newgate Prison. After months in the fetid, overcrowded jail, she learns she is sentenced to “the land beyond the seas,” Van Diemen’s Land, a penal colony in Australia. Though uncertain of what awaits, Evangeline knows one thing: the child she carries will be born on the months-long voyage to this distant land.
During the journey on a repurposed slave ship, the Medea, Evangeline strikes up a friendship with Hazel, a girl little older than her former pupils who was sentenced to seven years transport for stealing a silver spoon. Canny where Evangeline is guileless, Hazel — a skilled midwife and herbalist – is soon offering home remedies to both prisoners and sailors in return for a variety of favors.
Though Australia has been home to Aboriginal people for more than 50,000 years, the British government in the 1840s considers its fledgling colony uninhabited and unsettled, and views the natives as an unpleasant nuisance. By the time the Medea arrives, many of them have been forcibly relocated, their land seized by white colonists. One of these relocated people is Mathinna, the orphaned daughter of the Chief of the Lowreenne tribe, who has been adopted by the new governor of Van Diemen’s Land.
In this gorgeous novel, Christina Baker Kline brilliantly recreates the beginnings of a new society in a beautiful and challenging land, telling the story of Australia from a fresh perspective, through the experiences of Evangeline, Hazel, and Mathinna. While life in Australia is punishing and often brutally unfair, it is also, for some, an opportunity: for redemption, for a new way of life, for unimagined freedom. Told in exquisite detail and incisive prose, The Exiles is a story of grace born from hardship, the unbreakable bonds of female friendships, and the unfettering of legacy.
IMPERFECT ALCHEMIST by NAOMI MILLER
A Novel of Mary Sidney Herbert,
One of the earliest women authors in Renaissance England to publish under her own name, Mary Sidney Herbert successfully forged a place for herself in a man’s world. IMPERFECT ALCHEMIST imagines a collaboration with Shakespeare, a spurious charge of witchcraft, and a plucky maidservant, Rose – a country girl with a surprising talent.
The two women’s stories unfold in alternating chapters as their very different worlds connect and collide. Both Mary and Rose challenge the rules of their time, shattering stereotypes and defying patriarchal codes. The narrative sweep takes readers to castles and cottages, from the teeming streets of London and Paris to the ageless sentinels of Stonehenge.