Red winter is the Russian revolution seen through the eyes of a young woman; Sophie. Privileged and of Russian and English descent her life is to be changed forever. We see her growing from a naive teenager, head over heels in love with Tolya, an idealistic and serious man, into a rather formidable woman. She is not afraid to make difficult choices and rather heroic when it comes to her husband and family. The historical details are well researched and form an excellent setting to this story, but it never becomes a history lesson; it’s all about how the events of the time impact on Sophie and her family. Very well captured is the changing relationship between Sophie and her former servants. I enjoyed this well written epic of love, war, revolution and above all survival.
Monday, 29 July 2019
I rather like this author as she just shown me that she can write about a range of topics, but easily captivates the reader with her very readable style. The first book I read by this author was about a heist set in seventies Britain, this one is set in Russia during the revolution. I gave this 5 stars. Click on the picture to take you to Amazon.
Sunday, 14 October 2018
I wanted to like this book as it was set in the North of Scotland and it was historical fiction, but ultimately I was left a bit frustrated by the pace of the book and some of the characters decisions. But if you like a slow paced coming of age story, this one will be for you. I gave it 3 stars as it does have a lot of good points too. Here is the review and click on the pick to take you to Amazon.
This was a nice story set in the north of Scotland, England and France. Three young people: Mary, Johnny and Liesl find their lives irrevocably changed by war. We mostly follow Mary and her growth from a 17 year old Caithness country girl into a serious woman shaped by World War two. My problem with the book was mostly with pace. Mary to me wasn’t the most interesting person in the book. I found her mother far more intriguing. Her past was never fully developed and her budding romance with Sinclair again not quite fully explored. The relationship between Mary and Johnny was described at great length and its conclusion rather unsatisfying. (I don’t want to give the plot away, but the end left me a bit puzzled as to Mary’s decision.) Liesls time in Germany was dealt with in a chapter and Johnny’s time in France was equally quickly dealt with. For me they were exiting story lines with I would have liked to have seen much further explored. Gentle read for lovers of clean romance with just a little adventure.
Wednesday, 26 September 2018
I really wanted to read this book as it is in my favourite genre of historical fiction, but also it set in the aftermath of World War two; a period which is much less written about than WWII itself. The author was very kind in providing me with a copy as it was slightly above my usual reading budget. However I can recommend it and it more than worth its purchase price. 5 stars.
Plenty of books have been written about the Second World War, quite refreshing to find a book that deals with its aftermath. We meet Eve a young widowed mother of three. We read of her struggle to raise her kids in 1948 Britain. Not only does she have to deal with that, her grief but also the nursery business she built with her late husband. We can relate to Eve as she is a real woman dealing with very real problems and we can easily imagine ourselves in her shoes. The action moves between 1948 and 1975, but is mostly about those crucial after war years. The 1975 bit is interesting as her daughter Faith drops a bomb shell that has Eve questioning everything she knew about the man she came to love. I don’t want to give anything away about the plot as there are many different twists and turns, which had me eagerly turning my kindle pages. An interesting part of history and a book with a good substantial plot. Recommended. I received a free copy for a fair and honest review.
Monday, 11 December 2017
I've read a book by this author a few months back and thought it was excellent. So no hesitation to pick up this historical fiction novel. The history plays a bit of a supporting role as it is more about the two main characters in this story. But it was a surprising and good story. 5 stars.
This book is set in the 1830’s and inspired by a true story. An escaped convict hides out in the Van Diemen’s land bush (now Tasmania) after 11 years of hiding he has forgotten how to speak. Then into his silent world stumbles a young woman with a little girl in tow.
This was a great book that would also work as a stage play as most of the action is between the two main characters Grace Ashwell and Alexander Dalton. It feels quite claustrophobic as the two are enclosed by the unforgiving forest. She is not sure if she can trust him but needs him to survive. He is bewildered by having suddenly another human being around and isn’t sure what to do. He is also haunted by the ghosts of his dead comrades that escaped with him. Bit by bit it is revealed what happened to them both.
I was very surprised by this book as it didn’t go in the direction I thought it would and the second part was a real treat as the plot turned and twisted. Recommended if you like historical fiction or thrillers and ghost stories, there is plenty of story here to please a broad readership.