Sunday, 23 June 2013

Trust In Me

Trust In Me by Suzanna Ross

Bought for my Kindle, was it on free promotion that day? Possibly, not sure! Anyway, I'd read some of Suzanna's short stories from her collection The Baby of the Family, and found I really enjoyed her style, so I wanted to read something longer from the same author. Plus she's a blogging and facebook friend anyway.

Rosie Farnham has been struggling to keep her father's old estate going since his death, while also looking after her much younger sister, and trying to keep her brother's hands off the finances. Then she finds her brother has sold the estate out from under her, to pay off gambling debts. The new owner, dishy Theo, turns up wanting her to move out. But she won't go, so he moves in, finding her not unattractive when it comes down to it...

This is a lovely, easy to read, sweet romance. It ends predictably but satisfyingly, and there are enough twists and turns along the way to keep you turning the pages. Lovely little book.

And Did Those Feet

And Did Those Feet by Charlie Connollly

The sub-title is, Walking through 2000 years of British and Irish history, but you'd guess what it's about from the title and the automatic next line that jumps into your head, 'in ancient times'.

I bought this because a friend recommended another of Connolly's books, and when I went searching for it there was an offer where you could get three of his books at a discount, and they all sounded marvellous. I love a bit of narrative non-fiction, especially if it's history based. And I love walking too, so this one was first off the pile when it arrived.

The author has retraced the footsteps of some of the great historical journeys made in Britain and Ireland. Boudicca's walk from Norfolk to London to try to chase out the Romans. King Harold's march from the battle of Stamford Bridge where he'd seen off the Vikings, down to Hastings where he was defeated by the Normans. Bonnie Prince Charlie's flight across the western isles, dressed as a maid. The book is informative, amusing and extremely well written. I lapped up every word of it and am very glad I have two more by this author still to savour.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Lydia Bennet's Blog

Lydia Bennet's Blog - the real story of Pride and Prejudice by Valerie Laws

A FB friend posted that she'd just bought this, and intrigued, I went off to Amazon to have a look at it. It's a self published Kindle book. I loved the idea so bought it, and read it immediately.

If ever a self-pubbed book deserved wider recognition it's this one. Brilliantly laugh-out-loud funny, very clever, and such a great idea you wonder why no one thought of it before. Basically it tells the story of P&P from Lydia's viewpoint - remember her, she's the youngest sister who runs off with the tasty Captain Wickham - but using modern-day teenspeak. ('Blog' is short for Buddies Log, where buddies is a corruption of rosebuds - Lydia's friends. We're to imagine she's writing these blog updates and posting them to her mates.)

The writer had to jump through a few hoops to make sure Lydia was there, or overhearing, or was informed of, all the main events of P&P because of course, the Lizzie/Darcy (or Arsey as Lydia calls him, snigger) and Jane/Bingley stories have to be told. So Lydia spends a fair amount of time listening at keyholes or hiding in the shrubbery, or mobilising her network of spies. But it works - it works all the way through, and because you know what all the outcomes are it's even better.

Lydia is such a great character, and the author of this novel has really brought her out. Thoroughly recommended, especially if you're an Austen fan!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

A Half Forgotten Song

A Half Forgotten Song by Katherine Webb

This is the author's third book, and like her others, involves a historical mystery being unravelled in the present. I love that kind of book, and although this one took me a little while to get into, I did thoroughly enjoy it in the end.

Zach is trying to write a book about his hero - an artist from the 1930s who just might possibly be his grandad, if the tales his grandmother tells of being seduced while on holiday in a Dorset coastal village are true. Zach goes to the village of Blacknowle, where the artist and his family spent several summers, in an attempt to find out more about them. He meets Mitzy Hatcher, an old woman who as a teen had been the artist's muse back in those pre-war summers. She clearly has secrets she's keeping. Also in the village is Hannah, a feisty young widowed farmer, who Zach falls in love with.

We alternate between Zach's tale, and Mitzy's story of the halcyon days when she had glimpses of how the other half live - welcomed into the artist's family.

This is a very enjoyable story - great sense of place in this fictitious village. Some memorable characters. There were a few twists near the end which didn't seem very believable but by that point I was hooked so couldn't stop reading anyway.