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.
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.
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.
Sunday, 23 September 2018
I don't normally read metaphysical or religious fiction, but this book was a bit different. Well written and quite gritty, it dealt with heaven, reincarnation in an original way. Heartbreaking without straying into the sentimental, I was gripped from start to finish. 5 stars.
Do you ever have that feeling of déjà vue? When Daniels wife Gracie tells him with her dying breath that they knew each other before, he starts wondering if they did. Struggling with his grief, alcoholism and her strange parting words, he sets out to find the truth. Daniel is a complex character; a reformed alcoholic that falls off the wagon after his wife’s death, we find out what turned him to drink in the first place. As harrowing as his story is we do have along it a message of hope and love. I really liked this book, even though it was quite a heart breaking story it left me feeling warm and fuzzy in the end. Very uplifting message; that love will find a way. It will appeal to people who wonder about heaven and reincarnation, but even if religion is not your thing this is an excellent read.
Friday, 14 September 2018
This is the second book in the Undertaker series. That and murder in the bush by Carmel Audsley have been reviewed earlier on this blog. So back in my favorite genre. I had two quibbles with this book. It was very short and some characters and events could have been fleshed out a bit more. I also found it hard to believe that with all Kate has been through in book 1 she would still take such naive and unnecessary risks. I gave this 4 stars as it is well written and a good story.
Being a woman in the 19th century wasn’t easy, not even in enlightened Scotland. Edinburgh was known at the time for its pioneering medical research. Something our Heroine Kate Grainger would love to be part off, but being a woman she can’t apply to study medicine.
I read the first part of the undertaker and was quite taken with this plucky woman who decided to live her life her way. I’ve read a few of Carmel Audsley’s books now and like them, this one is well researched. She has based the book on a real person but has taken it in different and surprising direction. Like all good historical fiction this tickled my interest to do a bit further reading.
One thing annoyed me a bit was, as Kate Grainger went through quite a lot in the undertaker, so I found her pig-headed naivety a bit harder to take. I hope if we see another chapter I would like to see a bit more caution due to a few hard lessons learnt. But as usual this was written in an entertain style. At a 128 pages a very quick read.
Tuesday, 4 September 2018
I always like to learn new things. I think that's why historical fiction appeals to me. Next to getting a good story, you pick up some interesting facts. Often a book spurs me on to open wikipedia and do some further reading. Like this one did about the Boer war; a conflict I didn't know much about. Plus this was an engaging story. I gave it 5 stars.
Three things attracted me to this book. Firstly it is historical fiction which is my favourite genre. Secondly it is set in two parts of history I don’t know too much about; Victorian New Zealand and the Boer war in South Africa. Part romance part adventure/war story it follows two young New Zealanders from early courtship, through separation by war and reunion.
The boy’s part is written in the first person, which I liked as it gave you a look inside the head of a young man dealing with the horrors of war. The details of this book where fabulous, the writer knows a lot about 19th century guns. I’m not a lover of guns but I appreciate he made these come alive for me. I felt he might have handled these weapons rather than read up on them.
The part of Rachel was written in the third person and the kidnap plot I could have done without. It might be because I’m a female reader that I would have liked a bit more of her emotions about a fiancee that is fighting on the other side of the world; how New Zealanders viewed the Boer war etc.
What you can’t fault this book on is its immaculate research; it can’t have been easy to bring 1990’s Wanganui to life. Start to finish it was a riveting read.