#BookReview THE TEMPLE HOUSE VANISHING by RACHEL DONOHUE #TheTempleHouseVanishing @ThePigeonHoleHQ

ABOUT THE BOOK

Twenty-five years ago, a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl and her charismatic teacher disappeared without trace…In an elite Catholic girls’ boarding-school the pupils live under the repressive, watchful gaze of the nuns. Seeking to break from the cloistered atmosphere two of the students – Louisa and Victoria – quickly become infatuated with their young, bohemian art teacher, and act out passionately as a result. That is, until he and Louisa suddenly disappear.Years later, a journalist uncovers the troubled past of the school and determines to resolve the mystery of the missing pair. The search for the truth will uncover a tragic, mercurial tale of suppressed desire and long-buried secrets. It will shatter lives and lay a lost soul to rest.The Temple House Vanishing is a stunning, intensely atmospheric novel of unrequited longing, dark obsession and uneasy consequences.


PUBLISHED BY  CORVUS


PURCHASE LINKS


Amazon  £12.99

hive.co.uk  £10.55

whsmith  £10.65

MY REVIEW


I read this via the Pigeonhole app.

This was a dark, unsettling slow burn of a read that really explores the complexities of obsessive love and teenage girls. How growing up can be so tangled and traumatic, and how the art of love can cloud the judgement of those involved.

The story centres around a school where a teacher and young student went missing 25 years ago and the scandal has never really died down. So when a journalist gets the chance to investigate the story a little deeper, even she isn’t prepared for what she’s about to find out.

The story is also told from the viewpoints of the girls from the elite Catholic boarding school – Louisa and Victoria – who were involved at the time with the art teacher Mr Lavelle and his influence on them and other girls under his ‘charge’. This was always the unsettling part of the story for me – a teacher taking advantage of his position, knowing full well that the young girls were battling with their own identities and feeling vunerable. The more you read into the story though, the more you understand just how vindictive and manipulative that teenage girls can be!!

With the mystery into the whereabouts of the teacher and student being told slowly, we get to hear how the events affected everyone then and now – how they were seduced by personalities, probably in rebellion to the strict rules imposed on their day to day life at the school. This art teacher gave them the chance to express themselves more – some may have just taken that a little too literally!

I did find the ‘to and fro’ way of story telling a little confusing at times, and that may have affected my ability to connect more with these characters. They came across as quite heartless and that made it difficult to bond with them, but maybe that was their age showing and it was all just a front to save themselves from hurt. They were quick to put up walls to protect themselves when needed and that was how they dealt with the world around them. None of them wanted to appear vunerable as others would have taken advantage of that fact.

The viewpoint of the journalist was an interesting aspect – she had a vague connection with one of the girls and the area so that helped her delve a little deeper than others had gone, and she often seemed shocked by what she found out. Looking back at life at the school between the girls just goes to show how vicious young women can be – girls are evil!!! But they thought they were in love! They were deluded and their powers of rational thought had long gone so the consequences often proved to be more brutal than they should have been.

An interesting study of characters and a brooding read!


★★★

#BookReview Daisy Belle by Caitlin Davies @ThePigeonholeHQ

About the book

Summer 1867: four-year-old Daisy Belle is about to make her debut at the Lambeth Baths in London. Her father, swimming professor Jeffery Belle, is introducing his Family of Frogs – and Daisy is the star attraction. By the end of that day, she has only one ambition in life: she will be the greatest female swimmer in the world.

She will race down the Thames, float in a whale tank, and challenge a man to a 70-foot high dive. And then she will set sail for America to swim across New York Harbour.

But Victorian women weren’t supposed to swim, and Daisy Belle will have to fight every stroke of the way if she wants her dreams to come true.

Inspired by the careers of Victorian champions Agnes Beckwith and Annie Luker, Daisy Belle is a story of courage and survival and a tribute to the swimmers of yesteryear.

Published by  Unbound

Purchase Links

Amazon UK £10.99

hive.co.uk  £8.75

Waterstones  £10.99

MY REVIEW

I got to read this via Pigeonhole, which is a free app that allows you to read along in daily segments and interact with other readers and the author – a fun and refreshing new way to enjoy a book!

And what a story this was to enjoy! In Daisy Belle there is a character who is full of spirit and shows no fear when it comes to swimming and diving from a very early age. Which was extremely rare of the time as young girls and women weren’t encouraged to swim. It was strictly for men. But her father sees the pound signs in showing off the attraction of a young female swimmer, so Daisy is trained alongside her brother and pushed into a number of shows in a variety of locations. Daisy idolises her father so sees nothing wrong in his plan, but her mother is aghast that her daughter is even swimming and doesn’t even go to watch her swim. Something that is very difficult to understand in our modern world.

The more attention that Daisy gets, the more her father pushes her to the limit and she finally sees him in a different light. As she grows up too, she is also becoming more aware of the world around her and seeing how those worlds try and compete was fascinating to read and you wondered what lay next in store for her.

I really enjoyed the settings of this story, and the attention to detail transported you back so you could really embrace all that Daisy encountered – from the sea to the pool and to the attitudes of men and women to this astonishing young swimmer and her exploits. Daisy was such an inspiring character and even when her perfect world appeared shattered, she always found a way to pick herself up and start again. A fabulously spirited story!

                                               🏊🏊🏊🏊🏊

#BookReview The Possible World by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz

About the book

An astonishing, deeply moving novel about the converging lives of a young boy who witnesses a brutal murder, the doctor who tends to him, and an elderly woman guarding her long buried past.

It seems like just another night shift for Lucy, an overworked ER physician in Providence, Rhode Island, until six-year-old Ben is brought in as the sole survivor from a horrifying crime scene. He’s traumatized and wordless; everything he knows has been taken from him in an afternoon. It’s not clear what he saw, or what he remembers.

Lucy, who’s grappling with a personal upheaval of her own, feels a profound, unexpected connection to the little boy. She wants to help him…but will recovering his memory heal him, or damage him further?

Across town, Clare will soon be turning one hundred years old. She has long believed that the lifetime of secrets she’s been keeping don’t matter to anyone anymore, but a surprising encounter makes her realize that the time has come to tell her story.

As Ben, Lucy, and Clare struggle to confront the events that shattered their lives, something stronger than fate is working to bring them together.

An expertly stitched story that spans nearly a century—from the Great Depression through the Vietnam War era and into the present—The Possible World is a captivating novel about the complicated ways our pasts shape our identities, the power of maternal love, the loneliness born out of loss, and how timeless bonds can help us triumph over grief.

Published by Hutchinson

Out now

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk

Book Depository

MY REVIEW

I was lucky to read this via The Pigeonhole app, which sends a small chunk of a new/soon to be published book via your phone/tablet on a daily basis, and you have 24 hours in which to read each new stave.  And what a book this was to read that way!! Wow!

This is the story of Ben, Lucy and Clare. Three amazing characters all living very different lives until a shocking incident connects them all and brings their worlds much closer together. It was an absolutely stunning book to read and am very grateful to The Pigeonhole app – and the author! – for allowing me to welcome these characters in to my life!

Ben is just 6 years old and is witness to a most brutal tragedy that takes away his mother. How he deals with that is to shut down and becomes ‘Leo’. This is who Lucy meets as she works at the trauma unit at the local hospital. His story really breaks her heart, and allows her a little distance from her life and work which is beating her down. She wants to help this little boy but that is proving more and more difficult with his reluctance to open up.

And Clare is a seemingly forgotten woman in a care home. She has all her marbles but is reluctant herself to join in and open up to the other residents so is seen as distant and grumpy. When she does begin to tell her story it is one that shocks and touches your heart. Especially how it links in to the story of Ben and Lucy.

I just adored this book from start to finish! It is written so beautifully and each character stole my heart away! Wonderfully compelling and a must read!!

                                                                   🐦🐦🐦🐦🐦

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – Week 24 2018

Hello!! Greeted by this beauty in the garden this morning – it’s a Lily I’m helping to trial for the Richard Jackson Garden team and if you are looking for the easiest to look after plant then I’d highly recommend this Lily ‘Bright Joy’! We do like a plant that needs very little care!!

The sun continues to shine here in Essex and it seems to have helped no end with my reading and book acquiring habits!! Is that a good thing?! Yes to the first, No to the second! July definitely needs to be a more restrained month on the book buying front…… famous last words!

So this past week I’ve managed  to finish another 5 books and have acquired 8 books for the shelves! Oops! Here’s a little look at all the bookish action! Please click on the book titles for a link to their GoodReads page for more info!

BOOKS FINISHED

                  

My Mourning Year by Andrew Marshall – 4 stars

The Power of Dog by Andrew Marshall – 4 stars

Ahead of the Blog Tour for The Power of Dog I will be on in July, I read these two memoirs from Andrew Marshall and found them to be a really interesting look at grief and how to recover.

Summer at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green  –  4 stars

I loved revisiting this Little Duck Pond Cafe series and this is number 2 in the series! Really good read!

Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks  – 5 stars

I loved this dark, menacing read!! Watch out for a full review in July on the Blog Tour!

The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale  – 4 stars

A magical but often quite dark story! Very enjoyable and that cover is just gorgeous!!

BOOKHAUL

The Rules of Seeing by Joe Heap

Publication Date – 9th August 2018

received from publisher

The Rules of Seeing follows the lives of two women whose paths cross at a time when they need each other most. Nova, an interpreter for the Metropolitan police, has been blind from birth. When she undergoes surgery to restore her sight her journey is just beginning – she now has to face a world in full colour for the first time. Kate, a successful architect and wife to Tony, is in hospital after a blow to the head. There, she meets Nova and what starts as a beautiful friendship soon turns into something more.

Ordered these from Goldsboro Books as part of the Book of the Month club so have received these signed first editions

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

The Puppet Show by M.W.Craven

The Baltimore Boys by Joel Dicker

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

This is the latest addition to my Alma Classics collection courtesy of their Year of Reading Classics club

The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers

Recent winner of the 2018 Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction and it has been on my radar for a while so I treated myself!

The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter

I couldn’t resist the gorgeous cover this was reissued with for the Virago Modern Classics collection!

Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile by Alice Jolly

An Unbound release that has caught my eye as it just sounds so fascinating!

CURRENTLY READING

3 on the go at the mo!

The Cafe at Seashell Cove by Karen Clarke

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

The Death of Mrs Westaway via The Pigeonhole app

🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻

Hope your week has been as good?! Any recommendations or thoughts on this batch of books?! Would love to hear from you!