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Awakening
Awakening
by Stevie Davies
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 15.42

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tale of humanity, 16 Oct 2013
This review is from: Awakening (Hardcover)
A moving story about the lives of two sisters, showing how their fate is dictated by the times they are born into. A historical record of the extraordinary beliefs of the 1860s, and the struggles encountered by women in a misogynist society. Stevie Davies includes bizarre medical customs, sceances, madness, religious zeal, anomalous love, and of course, the constant threat of death in her account of two girls becoming women.

The characters are fictional, yet the reader is aware that the pain is all too real, and these things are part of our collective past. It's this which makes it so intense and disturbing. 'Awakening', however, is not without humour, and beauty. Most of all, then, it is a tale of humanity.


Changing Patterns
Changing Patterns
by Judith Barrow
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic fiction, 10 Oct 2013
This review is from: Changing Patterns (Paperback)
Books which inform, as well as tell a great story, are always a good find. I'd put Judith Barrow's 'Pattern of Shadows' and 'Changing Patterns' into this category. The era that is depicted is now long gone, but Judith Barrow brings it to life once more within these pages. This is authentic historical fiction.
The novels are successful through their narrative scope, with extremely realistic and sharp dialogue. The author's strength lies in her portrayal of believable characters and the relationships they build, as she confidently shows us the pattern of their lives. Judith Barrow gets right under the skin of the judgemental and difficult wartime and post-war eras of Britain, and just tells it how it is.


Havoc, in Its Third Year
Havoc, in Its Third Year
by Ronan Bennett
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Bleak, brilliant, brave., 1 Nov 2011
Ten out of ten for this novel. I now want to read all other works by Ronan Bennett. I was instantly taken to a bleak world yet I couldn't put the book down. It's extremely true to the 17th century and the start of the wars. I love the viewpoint in this book as it's right at the centre of all the extremism of those times. Of course, I was praying for a happy ending. But the author doesn't allow any romantic nonsense, and the book is all the more harrowing for it. I enjoyed his style of writing...very sparse and spare, yet extremely detailed. I honestly felt as though I was learning about the times as I read, which is the ultimate enjoyment for me!
(I only review books that I find inspiring - I wouldn't like to give a negative review about a book, as what may not be to my taste may be enjoyed by someone else. But I'm honest about the books I love!) 'Havoc in its third year' is excellent!


A Spell of Winter
A Spell of Winter
by Helen Dunmore
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, 14 Oct 2011
This review is from: A Spell of Winter (Paperback)
I love Helen Dunmore's writing, and I loved this book. I read it about nine months ago and the story hasn't left me....that's surely the sign of a successful novel. Her writing is precise, detailed and descriptive, but not overly so. The story is moving and intense. I was utterly absorbed reading this, and I was bereft when it ended. Excellent.


Into Suez
Into Suez
by Stevie Davies
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.49

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, beautiful, tragic., 18 April 2011
This review is from: Into Suez (Paperback)
This novel is a beautiful, fluid read, and Stevie Davies's writing is incredibly emotive and moving. Her characters remain with you long after the last page has been turned. The central relationship between Joe and Ailsa is perfectly portrayed, showing the flaws of the couple, but their lovable aspects too, so that when everything comes tumbling down for tragic Joe, we mourn for him and his little family in the shocking events that follow. Davies's perfect prose (so clear, so real to life) ensures that we are often gulping back tears, and vowing to not let that happen to ourselves. What I take from this novel is a clear message to be happy with what you have in your life, for once it is all to be taken away, what is really important becomes obvious. George Eliot advised us to 'Say I love you to those you love. The eternal silence is long enough to be silent in, and that awaits us all.' I feel sure that Davies holds that quotation close to her heart; if only Joe had.
This reader gives 'Into Suez' a ten out of ten.


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