Over the past six weeks or so, as well as reading review books, I’ve been catching up on some of my own books which have been languishing too long on the pile at the side of my bed! A couple I wasn’t so keen on and since I only blog about books I’ve enjoyed, I won’t be reviewing them here. But below are a few mini-reviews of books I do recommend. If you click the titles, you will go to the Amazon page where you can read the official blurb and can order them if you fancy the sound of the book. Or, of course, you should be able to buy any of them at your usual book retailer.
I really enjoyed this story of three young women working as landgirls in Penhallow Hall in Cornwall during WW2. The story starts with death of Diana, sent to be Land Girl by her mother who wants her far from London. The story then goes back six weeks and works towards her death where and we hear her thoughts through her diary. Rose is married but still longs for Sam, her childhood sweetheart. Jane is really too young to be Land Girl and is actually a member of the family who own the hall but this is her first time at Penhallow Hall in years.
Eleanor is one of the owners of the hall but hasn’t left grounds in years. The house are clearly holds some bad memories for her. Her mother was a very unpleasant character who is not afraid to speak her mind but obviously has issues with the house and past secrets too.
I was very intrigued throughout and although I guessed one of the central secrets it certainly didn’t spoil the book for me. This is a very mysterious, very atmospheric read and put me in mind of a Daphne du Maurier novel. I devoured this book in a day and could not put it down.
This is a story about a family moving to live at the edge of the world in Alaska. It’s a wild, remote place with a very simple way of living. There’s no electricity, no running water and an outside toilet. It’s a very hard life, especially in the harsh Alaskan winter. However, there is strong community support including from the memorable ‘Large Marge’! Teenage Leni is the main character and her father, Ernt, is a Vietnam vet who is clearly suffering from PTSD and is often violent towards his wife. She always forgives him though but she and Leni are effectively trapped. Leni feels a responsibility to mother and that she can’t leave her. Her only escape is school where she meets Matthew who becomes her great love. Ernt grows steadily more crazy leading to a dramatic situation. I have to say the last 25% seemed almost like a different book and I felt it was overly dramatic. However, there was a very satisfying ending and overall, would say I enjoyed it.
I do love to read ‘on location’ as it were and I enjoyed reading this book while I was on holiday in Lewis last week. I love that I know so many of the locations now having visited Lewis a few times. My photos above show Dalmore beach and the cemetery above it, both of which feature in the book. The book is about Ruaridh and Niamh who work in the tweed industry. I actually learned quite a lot about the island and island life too. It’s really two stories: the story of investigation into Ruaridh’s death in Paris (not a spoiler, you know that from page 1) and the story of his and Niamh’s lives from when they first met as children living on the island, throughout their married life and the building up of their Ranish Tweed business. It’s a terrific thriller with plenty of twists and turns and quite the surprising ending!
You know what you’re getting with a Dan Brown book – an action packed thriller. This latest Robert Langdon adventure didn’t disappoint. A genius scientist is about to reveal huge discovery which will explain the origin and future of human life and throw all religion into turmoil. However, dramatic events at the launch event leave Langdon in mortal danger (again), working with an intelligent and stunningly beautiful woman (again) and racing against time to uncover what has happened (again). And I loved it – again!
This is a classic tale of he said/she said so who can you believe? A drama teacher is accused of sexual assault by young pupil. The book follows the repercussions for Nick, a married father of two who is adamant he is innocent and Angela, the unhappy almost teenager who accused him. We see the way both families are hugely affected. My sympathies for both characters changed several times throughout as more was revealed. I didn’t particularly like either of the main characters and I’m not sure I can say I enjoyed the book, given the subject matter. It’s an uncomfortable read but it’s certainly compelling. 3.5*
So there you have it, a few of the books I’ve enjoyed over the summer. What have you been reading? I’d love to know so do comment below.