#BookReview OLD AND UGLY by C L MOIR

ABOUT THE BOOK

In the 1973, teenagers Ange and Elizabeth are persuaded to enter the Miss Sladport-on-Sea Beauty Pageant by local entrepreneur, Spencer. When Ange is crowned the most beautiful woman in Sladport, Spencer promises her a life of fame and fortune – which he delivers. Within months, Ange is crowned The Most Beautiful Woman in the World.


Forty years later, Ange is unexpectedly invited to a reunion of old friends: Elizabeth – now married to Spencer – and the three school friends who stormed the pageant, throwing flour bombs and insults in protest at its objectification of women.


Old and Ugly is the story of that re-union – and the story of Ange’s life.


​Hilarious and laughable, conceited and fearful,  feisty  and (some might say) a fool for the admiration of men, Ange must finally confront the truth about her fantastical life of glamour and good fortune to be freed from its secrets – and freed from the man who made her, then broke her. 
Irreverent and moving, disturbing and joyful, you’ve probably never read anything quite like it… 


PUBLISHED BY BEHIND THE HAT PRESS


PURCHASE LINK
Publisher Website


MY REVIEW


This was an unexpected pleasure to read! I knew very little of the book or author before picking this up but was intrigued by the title and striking simplicity of the cover!  There is nothing simple about the characters in this book!!  


This is a 40 year reunion with a difference. You can sense a pretty dark undercurrent from the off, especially with Ange who isn’t keen on going to the reunion when she is contacted by Elizabeth. But Elizabeth is very good at getting her own way and the stage is set for a reunion at the home of Elizabeth and Spencer.


What follows is a mix of looking back at how life has changed for these women – from the carefree days of their youth when Ange wins a beauty pageant, to the darker, more traumatic times that follow.  The reunion allows them all a chance to confront the past – the shocking goings on that have shaped the women they became.  They can settle scores, seek revenge – but will it make them feel any better?


What I appreciated most about these women was their honesty with one another, in a roundabout kind of way! While they were quick to make judgements and comments on appearances and lifestyle choices, they often found it more difficult to be more honest about the reality of life.  The traumatic events that they kept hidden, mostly from themselves, none more so than in the case of Ange who was eating her feelings and living in a kind of bubble world where everything turned out perfectly for her. ….. it didn’t!


She finds confidence though in an unexpected ally – Henry, the son of Elizabeth and Spencer – and in him, she allows herself to speak a little more openly about past experiences and make sense of it all.


The more time the women spend together, the more they find they have in common than they think – all hiding parts of themselves so they can keep up appearances.  It’s touching, dark, traumatic, funny – a real emotional rollercoaster of a read! You become quite attached to these women so find yourself willing them to bury those ghosts that have haunted them for way too long.


★★★★★



My thanks to Behind The Hat Press for sending me a copy to read in return for an honest review.

#BookReview ESCAPE TO THE ART CAFE by SUE MCDONAGH #publicationday #EscapeToTheArtCafe

ABOUT THE BOOK

Heartbreak and cake at the Art Café …


It was meant to be the perfect romantic holiday. But then Flora Bexton’s boyfriend does the unthinkable, and she responds in the only logical way: she steals his motorbike and escapes for a holiday by herself on the Welsh coast.


Far from the lonely trip she imagined, Flora soon finds comfort at the friendly local Art Café where the legendary hot chocolate and cake help to ease her troubled mind. And when Aussie-Welsh lifeguard Jake Foley steps in just when Flora needs help the most, she realises that her ‘holiday’ feels more like home with every passing day …


PUBLISHED BY 
https://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/escape-to-the-art-cafe/

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Escape-Art-Cafe-uplifting-page-turner-ebook/dp/B0872BX3WR/r

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/escape-to-the-art-cafe

Apple: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/escape-to-the-art-cafe/id1507978185?mt=11&app=itunes&at=11lNBs 

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/escape-to-the-art-cafe-sue-mcdonagh/1136855018?ean=2940162660330

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Sue_McDonagh_Escape_to_the_Art_Cafe?id=WZfqDwAAQBAJ

MY REVIEW

Book 3 in the Art Cafe series introduces us to 2 totally new characters and wow!! What an introduction!! I love this series, and it delivers once more with a wonderful setting, and fabulous storylines to escape into – and a new swoonsome hunk to drool over in the shape of Jake!! Where do I get to meet blokes like these?! I need to move myself to Wales I think!

This book centres around Flora who finds herself in Wales at her parents holiday home and she’s got plenty to escape from after the ultimate betrayal. But she’s not so sweet and innocent herself as she’s stolen her boyfriends’ motorbike to escape on – that’ll teach him!! But it’s not the 30th birthday to remember as she finds herself alone and in trouble in the water – Jake to the rescue! He’s recently returned from Australia where he was a lifeguard and is staying with his grandparents in their hotel, which is in need of a bit of TLC.

The moment they meet there are sparks – who can blame Flora! – but she’s very wary, and you get the impression Jake is hiding some sadness too. A pair well matched with unresolved issues from their past plaguing their present!

As always, the community surrounding the Art Cafe are welcoming to the newbies amongst them and Flora finds herself settling in really well and even thinking of starting up her own hair dressing business. But disaster is never far away and once again the power of community is brought to the fore after a devastating storm and it helps cement certain feelings and brings unknown truths out which could scupper progress made.

What I love about this series is just how relatable the characters are. How they have to face up to dilemmas in their lives and really get to know themselves when their backs are up against the wall. This can easily be read as a stand alone but you’ll be wanting to go back to visit the others in the series once you read this! Wonderful!!

★★★★★

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 27th June 2020

Hello! Happy Saturday!! I’m just hoping it’s not as hot today as I’ve been wilting these past few days in the heat! I know I shouldn’t complain, but I’m English and I will haha!!

On the reading front this past week it’s been a quiet affair! Only 2 books finished, just 1 received in the post, and 0 from Netgalley!  This will change next week I’m sure!!

Here’s my (quick!) look back!

BOOKS FINISHED

A SUMMER OF DROWNING by JOHN BURNSIDE – 4 STARS

WALLY FUNK’S RACE FOR SPACE by SUE NELSON – 4 STARS

BOOKPOST

A STRANGE COUNTRY by MURIEL BARBERY

copy received from Gallic Press

publication date – 16th July 2020

Alejandro de Yepes and Jesús Rocamora, young officers in the Spanish regular army, are stationed alone at Castillo when a friendly redhead named Petrus appears out of nowhere. There is something magnetic and deeply mysterious about him. Alejandro and Jesús are bewitched, and, in the middle of the sixth year of the longest war humankind has ever endured, they abandon their post to follow him across a bridge that only he can see.

Petrus brings them to a world of lingering fog, strange beings, poetry, music, natural wonders, harmony and extraordinary beauty. This is where the fate of the world and all its living creatures is decided. Yet this world too is under threat. A long battle against the forces of disenchantment is drawing to a climactic close. Will poetry and beauty prevail over darkness and death? And what role will Alejandro and Jesús play?

Muriel Barbery’s richly imagined new novel, the sequel to The Life of Elves, will transport readers to a lost world exposed to the constant churn of civilisations and remind them of the power of poetry and imagination.

CURRENTLY READING

OLD & UGLY by C.L. MOIR

In the 1973, teenagers Ange and Elizabeth are persuaded to enter the Miss Sladport-on-Sea Beauty Pageant by local entrepreneur, Spencer. When Ange is crowned the most beautiful woman in Sladport, Spencer promises her a life of fame and fortune – which he delivers. Within months, Ange is crowned The Most Beautiful Woman in the World.

Forty years later, Ange is unexpectedly invited to a reunion of old friends: Elizabeth – now married to Spencer – and the three school friends who stormed the pageant, throwing flour bombs and insults in protest at its objectification of women.

Old and Ugly is the story of that re-union – and the story of Ange’s life.

Hilarious and laughable, conceited and fearful,  feisty  and (some might say) a fool for the admiration of men, Ange must finally confront the truth about her fantastical life of glamour and good fortune to be freed from its secrets – and freed from the man who made her, then broke her.

Irreverent and moving, disturbing and joyful, you’ve probably never read anything quite like it…

HAPPY READING!!

#BookReview THE LITTLE TEASHOP IN TOKYO by JULIE CAPLIN

ABOUT THE BOOK

Grab your passport and escape to the land of dazzling skycrapers, steaming bowls of comforting noodles, and a page-turning love story that will make you swoon!


For travel blogger Fiona, Japan has always been top of her bucket list so when she wins an all-expenses paid trip, it looks like her dreams of the Far East are coming true.


Until she arrives in vibrant, neon-drenched Tokyo and comes face-to-face with the man who broke her heart ten years ago, gorgeous photographer Gabe.


Fiona can’t help but remember the heartache of their last meeting but it’s not long before the Japanese art of contentment and a special, traditional tea ceremony work their magic…


Amidst the temples and clouds of soft pink cherry blossoms, Fiona and Gabe start to see life – and each other – differently.

PUBLISHED BY ONE MORE CHAPTER

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

MY REVIEW

The gorgeous cover drew me in and I’m so glad it did! I loved the story, the characters, the setting and am very glad to have discovered a new author to me! Time now to devour her other books!!


Fiona is the centre of this story as she wins a trip to Tokyo to learn from a top photographer, ahead of her exhibition in London. She’s is totally out of her comfort zone so this is a big step for her, but she knows how important this could be for her photography so she sets off and stays with a lovely family who run a teashop in Tokyo, which gives her the perfect opportunity to learn more about the Japanese culture and indulge her love of tea!!
There is a switch in her mentor though, and it’s someone from her past so that brings new pressures to her trip. Will he remember her? Luckily for her, Gabe seems a little pre-occupied with his own personal issues – not so good for her being mentored to the best of his ability though!


What I loved about Fiona and Gabe, is how they work so well off one another, especially when they’re out and about taking photos. They seem to inspire one another to look at things from a different perspective! This starts to rub off into their own lives as well and allows them to change old routines and take control of their own lives, instead of being dictated to by others. There’s also a little edge to their ‘banter’


This is a book that teaches you about ‘being you’ and the setting of Tokyo was just perfect to help explore the ways of the Japanese and how they find beauty in the simplest of things. It is the perfect escapism read and I loved it!


★★★★★

#BlogTour CALL ME JOE by MARTIN VAN ES & ANDREW CROFTS @RandomTTours @The_JoeProject @RedDoorBooks @AndrewCrofts @LiterallyPR #CallMeJoeBook #TheJoeProject

Delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for CALL ME JOE by MARTIN VAN ES & ANDREW CROFTS. My thanks to the authors, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for putting this all together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The world is on the brink of disaster.
The environment, society and mankind itself are facing extreme challenges in a world that is both more connected, and yet more divided than ever before. Fear and confusion seep into all parts of everyday life now, more than ever, the world needs one voice, one guide…

One day the Earth is plunged into darkness and when light appears again so does a man – call him Joe – claiming to be the son of God.

Can Joe bring the world’s most creative thinkers and leaders together to tackle the ills of mankind?

Can he convince us all to follow him before it’s too late?

In this compelling and prescient novel, Martin van Es and Andrew Crofts highlight the key concerns of our time and imagines a future where we, at last, all work together to ensure the future of our world and all the life that calls it home.

PUBLISHED BY RED DOOR PRESS

PURCHASE LINKS

publisher website

blackwell’s

MY REVIEW

Here’s an apt book for the times!!  So much of this struck true with me of the world we currently find ourselves living in, that it made it so much easier to connect with and understand! If only we had a Joe…..

This is a book told through the eyes of a few characters, all part of the world but all living very different lives.  Except they all soon share a common experience when the world goes black for 12 minutes… there was no warning, there are no contingency plans in place for such an occurrence  – and how people react around the world is a fascinating insight into humanity!

Sophie is a school teacher when this event happens so has to try and keep her pupils calm while this madness is going on.  When light returns she sees a man walking across the school fields who says he’s just arrived.  She finds herself talking to him and feeling that she needs to help – the pupils in her class are even more fascinated by him and I loved the innocence of children and their questions to him.  If only adults had such an open mind!  For Joe he is openly questioning why humans do so much harm to their planet and one another.  It makes no sense to him – he’s not the only one who wonders why!!

Meanwhile, Governments all around the world are showing their true colours. Suspecting one another of having a hand in what has happened, trying to work out how to deal with what has happened.  And the more they hear about ‘Joe’ and the effect he has on people that he meets in person or via videos, the more they soon pull together to try and discredit him as he baffles them. Is he for real?

This book does a brilliant job of showing up the role of ‘fake news’, the word of the media vs the experiences of people, and how those in favour of the status quo are rattled by this new prescence spouting new ideals and reaching people in a different way to the norm.    It shows up the inequality, the greed, the overpopulation, the climate issues. the intolerance that humanity faces day in, day out and how trying to change people and their ways leads to resistance and underhanded tactics by those not in favour.  

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, especially with its’ relevance to the present time!  The battle between those who don’t want change against those who would prefer a kinder, more fair world was fascinating and this book gives you a lot to think about!

★★★★

#CoverReveal NOT THE DEATHS IMAGINED by ANNE PETTIGREW #NotTheDeathsImagined @pettigrew_anne @RingwoodPublish @damppebbles @DamppebblesBTs

EXCITED!!!! Time to be help reveal a fabulous cover!! Thanks to Emma at Damp Pebbles Blog Tours for letting me be part of it all!!

Here’s a little more about the book to get you in the mood…….

In a leafy Glasgow suburb, Dr Beth Semple is busy juggling motherhood and full-time GP work in the 90s NHS. But her life becomes even more problematic when she notices some odd deaths in her neighbourhood. Though Beth believes the stories don’t add up, the authorities remain stubbornly unconvinced.

Soon, Beth’s professional reputation is challenged. There follows a chilling campaign of harassment and she finds her professional reputation – and family – are put at risk.

Is a charming local GP actually a serial killer? Can Beth piece together the jigsaw of perplexing fatalities and perhaps save lives? And as events accelerate towards a dramatic conclusion, will the police intervene in time?

From the author of Not the Life Imagined, this slow-burning tartan noir novel from a Bloody Scotland Crime Spotlight author follows Beth on another quest for justice. Reflecting Pettigrew’s own medical expertise, Not The Deaths Imagined re-affirms the benefits of growing up in a loving family and the need for friends in hard times, while offering insight into the twisted development of a psychopathic mind.

About Anne Pettigrew

Glasgow-born, 31 years a Greenock GP, graduate of University of Glasgow (Medicine 1974) and Oxford (MSc Medical Anthropology 2004). Worked also in psychiatry, women’s health, and  journalism (Herald, Pulse, Doctor, Channel 4). In retirement took Creative Writing tuition at Glasgow University aiming to pen novels about women doctors (rare in literature except as pathologists or in Mills & Boon). Runner-up in SAW Constable Award 2018, chosen as a 2019 Bloody Scotland Crime Spotlight Author – ‘one to watch.’ Member of several writers’ groups and a short story competition winner, she lives in Ayrshire and enjoys good books, good wine, and good company.

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pettigrew_anne @pettigrew_anne

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annepettigrewauthor/

Website: http://www.annepettigrew.co.uk

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anne.pettigrew.author/

Blog: https://annepettigrew.literaryglobe.com/ & http://www.annepettigrew.co.uk

Not The Deaths Imagined

Paperback ISBN:                               978-1-901514-77-3

e-book:                                                978-1-901514-78-0

Ringwood Publishing                    

362pp                                                                   

Publication date Aug 1st 2020

Pre-order Links

Ringwood Publishing: https://bit.ly/2B0I0C2

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/31eOqIC

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2B4gMuk

SO HERE IT IS!! SAVING THE BEST TIL LAST!! Ready??!! 

❤❤❤

#GuestPost #PublicationDay LITTLE VILLAGE OF SECOND CHANCES by GINA HOLLANDS @ChocLituk

A huge delight today to be hosting the wonderful Gina Hollands for a guest post on publication day for the fabulous LITTLE VILLAGE OF SECOND CHANCES!

So without further ado, I’m handing the reigns over to Gina so she can share her thoughts on what inspired her to write this book!

🌷🌷🌷

Little Village of Second Chances is my first book with Choc Lit and it’s wonderful to see it come to life. It’s set in the picturesque fictional village of Wetherstone-on-Ouse, which lies just outside of York. The story starts when city-girl Sarah Pickering arrives in the village with the aim of persuading the locals to sell up so that the company she works for can build a new road. Her neighbour, the surly yet ruggedly attractive Shay McGillen, whose property is number one on Sarah’s target list, has no intentions of moving from the place that’s given him a much-needed new start after a tumultuous few years. The pair has every reason to despise one another, but a dramatic event forces them together, making them face their fears and futures, and the possibility that the road to happiness may actually involve each other.

I was inspired to write a village-based romance as I live in a village myself and love the community spirit, the cosiness of the local pub, the friendliness of the village shop and the eccentric and colourful nature of some of the characters who make it the place it is. I brought all these elements into Little Village of Second Chances. Although Shay and Sarah are the main characters, I really enjoyed writing the scenes where they interacted with some of the sub-characters, as it was fun bringing these comedic aspects into the story and bringing in some local dialect.

I chose a Yorkshire setting as, although I now live in Sussex, I am originally from a small town near York. My previous books have all been set in locations which might be considered traditionally more glamorous, including Tuscany, Iceland, London and Montenegro, but a country setting in the middle of a harsh winter can be just as romantic, albeit with wellies and mittens!

In Little Village of Second Chances, both Sarah and Shay have turbulent pasts they’re escaping from and while it was important for me to show that they’d never forget certain things that happened to them, that didn’t mean they wouldn’t get another shot at love – quite the opposite! I hope it gives readers hope that whatever has happened to them in the past, and however despondent they may feel as a result – there’s always a second chance at happiness.

Like most writers, I’m an avid reader, and gobble up books of all genres from thriller to fantasy, romance to cosy mystery, but there’s one reason alone that I read and that’s for pure escapism and to feel good. I hope that readers will experience the whole spectrum of emotions when they read Little Village of Second Chances but ultimately that it will leave them with an overriding sense of wellbeing. I love finishing a book that makes me feel warm and fuzzy (okay, maybe not so much with a thriller – that’s where the romance comes in) and my intention with Little Village of Second Chances is to do just that. And I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say it has a happy end!

🌷🌷🌷

About the book

Surely everyone deserves a second chance?

Ex-fireman and edible flower farmer Shay McGillen has plenty of reasons not to give Sarah Pickering even one chance when she turns up in his small Yorkshire village. After all, she is only there to try and convince him and his fellow villagers to sell up so her company can build a bypass. If Sarah thinks she can make Shay give up his farmhouse and his business, she has another thing coming!

But when an unexpected blizzard leaves Sarah stranded in Shay’s home, he soon realises that they are far more alike than he could have ever imagined – and perhaps both of them deserve a second chance …

published by https://www.choc-lit.com/

Buying Links:

 Kindle: https://amzn.to/3eindsi

 Kobo: https://bit.ly/2AQUSL7 

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2Yj8dox

About the Author:

 Gina Hollands was born and bred in Yorkshire, England. She has worked in public relations for 15 years, since graduating from Oxford University with a degree in modern languages. Gina now lives on the West Sussex coast with her husband and young son. When she’s not writing Gina is likely to be participating in her other hobby – dancing, be it salsa, jive or lindy hop.

 Twitter: https://twitter.com/ginaholls 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ginahollands/

🌷🌷🌷

#BookReview LITTLE VILLAGE OF SECOND CHANCES by GINA HOLLANDS

ABOUT THE BOOK

Surely everyone deserves a second chance?


Ex-fireman and edible flower farmer Shay McGillen has plenty of reasons not to give Sarah Pickering even one chance when she turns up in his small Yorkshire village. After all, she is only there to try and convince him and his fellow villagers to sell up so her company can build a bypass. If Sarah thinks she can make Shay give up his farmhouse and his business, she has another thing coming!

But when an unexpected blizzard leaves Sarah stranded in Shay’s home, he soon realises that they are far more alike than he could have ever imagined – and perhaps both of them deserve a second chance …

PUBLISHED BY CHOC LIT

PURCHASE LINKS

MY REVIEW

This was one of those books that seems to be perfect to read on a sunny or rainy afternoon! I loved the characters of Sarah and Shay, and the village community feeling was what we all hope to find wherever we live!

Sarah has just moved to the village with seemingly double intentions! She’s escaping something sad from her past, but also hopeful of helping the locals see fit to accept the plan of her company who want to build a massive bypass. She knows they are being offered very good money to move away so can’t understand why they are all so reluctant to comply and move away!

Shay is a flower farmer who has lived in the village for sometime, and does all he can to keep himself to himself.  He has also suffered tragedy in his past and you get the sense he feels guilty and is happy to punish himself by staying lonely.  His first encounter with Sarah isn’t the start they both wanted, but when the weather gets in the way they are forced to spend more time together and they soon find a common connection as they open up to one another, and it was really touching to see how their past shaped how they see the world now, and that by talking to one another about things helped them find a little happiness in the world.

But things never run smoothly, and when the bypass company start to play hard ball we get to see how the truth comes out about Sarah and her role and Shay finds himself feeling betrayed by how he opened up to her.

There is a great balance between the light and dark subjects in this book, and I loved how you could relate to both characters and the way they have faced up to tragedies in their lives, and how we need to go easy on ourselves at some point!

★★★★

Happy Monday!! Time for some choons!! This tag is hosted weekly by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek and gives you a chance to share a favourite song/video! Join in!!

My choice this week is I Want To Break Free by Queen!! I can still remember seeing this video for the first time way back when!!

I want to break free
I want to break free
I want to break free from your lies
You’re so self satisfied I don’t need you
I’ve got to break free
God knows, God knows I want to break free

I’ve fallen in love
I’ve fallen in love for the first time
And this time I know it’s for real
I’ve fallen in love, yeah
God knows, God knows I’ve fallen in love

It’s strange but it’s true, yeah
I can’t get over the way you love me like you do
But I have to be sure
When I walk out that door
Oh, how I want to be free, baby
Oh, how I want to be free
Oh, how I want to break free

But life still goes on
I can’t get used to living without, living without
Living without you by my side
I don’t want to live alone, hey
God knows, got to make it on my own

So baby can’t you see
I’ve got to break free
I’ve got to break free
I want to break free, yeah
I want, I want, I want, I want to break free

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: John Deacon

I Want to Break Free lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – 20th June 2020

Hello and Happy Saturday! Had a fox watching me today which sums up a pretty weird week! Still haven’t made it to an actual bookshop now that some are opening up and think I’ll be sticking to online bookshopping for a while yet – but it will feel good to be back surrounded by books sometime soon!

On the bookish front for me this week it’s been a good one! 4 books finished, a couple of book purchases, and 2 newbies from Netgalley!

Here’s my look back…

BOOKS FINISHED

The Secret Life of Books by Tom Mole – 5 stars

Paris Savages by Katherine Johnson – 5 stars

Slade House by David Mitchell – 3 stars

The Little Teashop in Tokyo by Julie Caplin – 4 stars

BOOKHAUL

Starting over at Netgalley…

A DEADLY EDUCATION by NAOMI NOVIK

publication date – September 2020

Lesson One of the Scholomance

Learning has never been this deadly

A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets. There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere. El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.

THE BIRD IN THE BAMBOO CAGE by HAZEL GAYNOR

publication date – September 2020

When war imprisons them, only kindness will free them…

China, 1941. Elspeth Kent has fled an unhappy life in England for a teaching post at a missionary school in northern China. But when Japan declares war on the Allies and occupies the school, security and home comforts are replaced by privation, uncertainty and fear.
For ten-year-old Nancy Plummer and her school friends, now separated from their parents indefinitely, Miss Kent’s new Girl Guide patrol provides a precious reminder of home in a land where they are now the enemy.

Elspeth and her fellow teachers, and Nancy and her friends, need courage, friendship and fortitude as they pray for liberation. But worse is to come. Removed from the school, they face even greater uncertainty and danger at a Japanese internment camp, where cruelty and punishment reign. 

Inspired by true events, this is an unforgettable read about a remarkable community faced with unimaginable hardship, and the life-changing bonds formed in a distant corner of a terrible war.

And I’ve treated myself online to these……from the publisher EYE/LIGHTNING BOOKS

ON TURPENTINE LANE  by Elinor Lipman

At thirty-two, Faith Frankel has returned to her suburban hometown where she works in the fundraising department of her old school, writing thank-you notes to benefactors. Keen to get her life back on track she buys a sweet but dilapidated bungalow on Turpentine Lane.

Never mind that her fiancé is currently ‘finding himself’ while walking across America and too busy to return her texts, that her witless boss has accused her of fraud, or that her father is going through a mid-life crisis that involves painting fake old masters and hooking up with a much younger woman — Faith is looking forward to a peaceful life in her new home.

But when a policeman knocks on her door asking to look in the basement she discovers that the history of 10 Turpentine Lane is anything but peaceful.

On Turpentine Lane is a madcap comedy from one of America’s most acclaimed novelists..

GOOD RIDDANCE by ELINOR LIPMAN

Daphne Maritch doesn’t quite know what to make of the heavily annotated high school yearbook she inherits from her mother, who held this relic dear. Too dear. The late June Winter Maritch was the teacher to whom the class of ’68 had dedicated its yearbook, and in turn she went on to attend every reunion, scribbling notes and observations after each one—not always charitably—and noting who overstepped boundaries of many kinds.

In a fit of decluttering (the yearbook did not, Daphne concluded, “spark joy”), she discards it when she moves to a small New York City apartment. But when it’s found in the recycling bin by a busybody neighbor/documentary filmmaker, the yearbook’s mysteries—not to mention her own family’s—take on a whole new urgency, and Daphne finds herself entangled in a series of events both poignant and absurd.

And I’ve also received some lovely book post from Behind The Hat Press – with a G&T too!!

OLD & UGLY by C L MOIR

In the 1973, teenagers Ange and Elizabeth are persuaded to enter the Miss Sladport-on-Sea Beauty Pageant by local entrepreneur, Spencer. When Ange is crowned the most beautiful woman in Sladport, Spencer promises her a life of fame and fortune – which he delivers. Within months, Ange is crowned The Most Beautiful Woman in the World.

Forty years later, Ange is unexpectedly invited to a reunion of old friends: Elizabeth – now married to Spencer – and the three school friends who stormed the pageant, throwing flour bombs and insults in protest at its objectification of women.

Old and Ugly is the story of that re-union – and the story of Ange’s life.​

Hilarious and laughable, conceited and fearful,  feisty  and (some might say) a fool for the admiration of men, Ange must finally confront the truth about her fantastical life of glamour and good fortune to be freed from its secrets – and freed from the man who made her, then broke her.

Irreverent and moving, disturbing and joyful, you’ve probably never read anything quite like it…

CURRENTLY READING

A Summer of Drowning by John Burnside

HAPPY READING!!