Tuesday, 28 July 2009

It's the Little Things- Erica James

Dan and Sally Oliver and their friend Chloe Hennessey are lucky to be alive. Three years on, after surviving one of the world's biggest natural disasters - the Boxing Day tsunami - their lives have changed dramatically. Dan and Sally are now parents. Dan is enjoying being a stay-at-home father taking care of their young son, and Sally is the bread winner and loves her job as a partner in a Manchester law firm. The arrangement has so far worked well, but when Dan starts to question whether Sally has got her priorities right, the cracks in their marriage begin to appear. Dan and Sally have everything Chloe wishes for in life - a happy marriage and a beautiful child. Dumped by her long term boyfriend just weeks after the tsunami, she's been on a mission ever since to find the perfect father for the child she craves. When she meets Seth Hawthorne, she thinks she may have hit the jackpot. But is Seth the man she thinks he is? A life can change in a heartbeat but IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS is not simply about the moments when everything changes, but also a moving, compelling and inspiring story of how we lead our lives in the days and years that follow.

I really enjoyed this book, it's a good, easy summer read, likeable characters who I felt were quite believable. I have another 5 books on my shelf by this author so hopefully they will be as good as this one

Saturday, 25 July 2009

The Interpretation of Murder - Jed Rubenfeld

You can see Julie's synopsis here.

It took a little while to get used to the style the book is written in: occasionally first person (as if from the view of Stratham Younger) and then to a general narrative style. Other than that it was an interesting storyline with several unexpected twists that kept my interest right to the end: it often left me wondering what on earth was happening and not once did I manage to guess what had really happened.

If you like book that makes you think, not just about how the story will unfold, but about the motivations and reasonings of the characters, and about your own thought processes and reasonings, then this is well worth a read. :0)

Thanks again for sending me this Julie........ so good I didn't even make it last the whole fortnight! LOL

This has been registered with Book Crossing and has now been wild released in Cumbria. :0)

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson

The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson
Story Over view
Two brothers, Arthur and Jake Dunn, are the sons of a farmer in the mid-1930s, when life is tough and another world war is looming. Arthur is reticent, solid, dutiful and set to inherit the farm and his father’s character; Jake is younger, attractive, mercurial and dangerous to know – the family misfit. When a beautiful young woman comes into the community, the fragile balance of sibling rivalry tips over the edge.

Then there is Ian, the family’s next generation, and far too sure he knows the difference between right and wrong. By now it is the fifties, and the world has changed – a little, but not enough.

These two generations in the small town of Struan, Ontario, are tragically interlocked, linked by fate and community but separated by a war which devours its young men – its unimaginable horror reaching right into the heart of this remote corner of an empire. With her astonishing ability to turn the ratchet of tension slowly and delicately, Lawson builds their story to a shocking climax. Taut with apprehension, surprising us with moments of tenderness and humour, The Other Side of the Bridge is a compelling, humane and vividly evoked novel with an irresistible emotional undertow.
This is one of the best novels I have ever read, I absolutely loved it and am in awe of the writing, the storytelling.
I couldn’t wait to read each night The characterisation was wonderful and such believable relationships, the hardship and romance, pain of life and love is told in superb and stunning prose. I love how the story is told, how the setting in rural Northern Canada is evoked so strongly that the reader can close their eyes and see Arthur farming his land and Ian helping him. I wanted to be there.
I have read her first novel Crow Lake which was wonderful too, why is it the authors I like only write two or three books and once you've read them that's it!!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

A desperate childhood. An uncertain past. One chance at happiness ...Born into poverty and living under the roof of her violent and abusive brother-in-law, young Kitty Cox dreams of working in a women's dress shop in the West End - a million miles away from the reality of her life as a mud-lark, scavenging on the banks of the Thames. Fate soon intervenes and Kitty finds herself working as a skivvy for Sir Desmond and Lady Arabella Mableton in Mayfair. Bullied by the kitchen maids, Kitty is soon taken under Lady Arabella's wing and for the first time in her life Kitty dares to hope. But Lady 'Bella' has a secret and unable to live with her domineering husband she decides to leave, fighting for custody of their daughter, Leonie. Kitty will do anything for her mistress but her loyalty is severely tested as all their lives are thrown into turmoil and Kitty faces a life of poverty and hardship in the slums of the East End once more ...

Your heart will really go out to Kitty, as if life in the slums of London is not bad enough, she is also raped by her brother in law. Kitty is a determined, hard working young woman who has a dream. With a little bit of luck and plenty of determination, she too finds some happiness in her life. The book is filled with vivid descriptions of Victorian London, you can feel how hard it must have been for the people living there at the time.
Another great book from Dilly Court, if anyone fancies a read please let me know and I'll pass it on

Monday, 20 July 2009

A Mother's Courage - Dilly Court

When Eloise Cribb receives the news that her husband's ship has been lost at sea she wonders how she is ever going to manage. With two young children, the rent overdue and left with almost nothing to live on, she has no alternative but to turn to his estranged family for help.
She sets off on the long and arduous journey to Yorkshire, but is met with hostility and soon realises she has little choice but to return to London. Virtually destitute and desperate, Eloise is faced with her worst nightmare: she must either go to the workhouse, or abandon her children at the Foundling Hospital. But she is determined to keep them under her protective wing at all costs...

this was the 1st book I've read of Dilly Court's, and I really enjoyed it. It's a heart warming story showing the courage of a young widowed mother, who will go to any lengths to protect her children, even though it breaks her heart. She falls on some really hard times, but keeps on fighting for the sake of her babies. A beautiful story, with believable characters.

House of Echose ~ Barbara Erskine

A woman unexpectedly inherits a beautiful English manor from the mother she never knew--a place where her two young brothers died many years ago. The locals whisper of a dire curse on both the house and her family, as eerie, inexplicable occurrences begin to threaten her own two sons. Now she is completely on her own with her young family to face a centuries-old malevolence with the lives of those she holds dear hanging in the balance!

Thanks Rachael for sending me this one.

Another Barbara Erskine thriller, a really spooky read, sometimes it made me want to hide behind the sofa, especially on the days that we had thunderstorms!!!

If anyone would like it let me know otherwise i'll give it into the community centre library when they re-open 29th July

Monday, 6 July 2009

The Interpretation of Murder ~ Jed Rubenfeld

In this ingenious, suspenseful historical thriller, Sigmund Freud is drawn into the mind of a sadistic killer who is savagely attacking Manhattan's wealthiest heiresses
Inspired by Sigmund Freud's only visit to America, The Interpretation of Murder is an intricate tale of murder and the mind's most dangerous mysteries. It unfurls on a sweltering August evening in 1909 as Freud disembarks from the steamship George Washington, accompanied by Carl Jung, his rival and protege. Across town, in an opulent apartment high above the city, a stunning young woman is found dangling from a chandelier—whipped, mutilated, and strangled. The next day, a second beauty—a rebellious heiress who scorns both high society and her less adventurous parents—barely escapes the killer. Yet Nora Acton, suffering from hysteria, can recall nothing of her attack. Asked to help her, Dr. Stratham Younger, America's most committed Freudian analyst, calls in his idol, the Master himself, to guide him through the challenges of analyzing this high-spirited young woman whose family past has been as complicated as his own. The Interpretation of Murder leads readers from the salons of Gramercy Park, through secret passages, to Chinatown—even far below the currents of the East River where laborers are building the Manhattan Bridge. As Freud fends off a mysterious conspiracy to destroy him, Younger is drawn into an equally thrilling adventure that takes him deep into the subterfuges of the human mind.

A novel based on fact, a really interesting read

Friday, 3 July 2009

Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

This is a rare and utterly engaging story. It tells the extraordinary tale of a geisha - summoning up a quarter century, from 1929 to the post-war years of Japan's dramatic history, and opening a window onto a half-hidden world of eroticism and enchantment, exploitation and degradation.

After hearing a lot of hype about this book, and now the film, I finally got nosey enough to want to find out what it was all about....... and I'm so glad I did.

The book is written as if the central character is an old woman, telling the tale of her life to a biographer - from childhood to present day. That tale is fascinating enough but the insights it gives into certain aspects of Japanese culture and the mentality of the time, plus the strong characters and wonderful way words are used to evoke just the right kind of mental imagery, gives the book several levels of interest and added depths of enjoyment.

It was a definite page-turner that kept me reading through the day and into the wee small hours, desperate to know what happened next, and it's certainly one that has left a lasting impression on me. Now I would like to see the film, in the hopes that it has managed to capture some of this at least.

Registering this with Book Crossing and adding it to my Swap List - let me know if you'd like it. :0)