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ELIZABETH WILLIAMS

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To Kill A Mockingbird
To Kill A Mockingbird
Price: 2.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, 12 Aug 2014
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A book that knew I should have read, but for some reason I hadn't. Not only is it beautifully written. It was really, really easy to read and entertaining. I'm not going to write a proper review; after all it's a classic. However, I got it really cheap on kindle ( it used to be prohibitively expensive) and suggest that others do the same, or get it out of the library.


Wild Wood
Wild Wood
Price: 4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revolution in Arcadia: clever, sad and very funny, 10 May 2014
This review is from: Wild Wood (Kindle Edition)
The riverbankers in The Wind in the Willows are, by and large, gentle souls, living in a rural idyll and never needing to worry about where their next meal is coming from. Even Toad doesn’t set out to hurt anyone. He just has such a monstrous ego that he never considers anything but his own pleasure. But what is life like for those at the bottom of the social scale? Why do the stoats, weasels and ferrets take the great risk of occupying Toad Hall?
In Wild Wood Jan Needle wittily chronicles why and how the young workers are persuaded to have a revolution. There is no idyllic existence for them in a society where there is no job security and no income when an animal becomes unemployed. As the comfortably off riverbankers snooze and munch their way through the long, hard winter, life becomes desperately hard for those not so privileged.
When the committed revolutionary Boddington Stoat arrives he tries to instil political zeal into the woodland residents, but although the dour, ascetic stoat troops will follow him, the other young animals are only united in insurrection by the charismatic Chief O.B. Weasel. The workers’ occupation of Toad (Brotherhood) Hall ends in failure, but perhaps the concessions achieved make it all worthwhile.
Wild Wood was first published in 1981, but I was left thinking that if O.B. Weasel had been president of the N.U.M. during the Miners’ Strike, the outcome might have been rather different, the workers united and Thatcher’s government outmanoeuvred. Boddington Stoat, in Willie Rushton’s brilliliant illustrations, has a distinct resemblance to Arthur Scargill. The book seems even more relevant now than when it first appeared. In this edition the narrator’s voice is more conversational, leaving readers to interpret the story and the motives of the animals on both sides in their own way.
If you read the book in the eighties it’s well worth reading again,not least because there are one or two entertaining additions in the update. If you haven’t come across Jan Needle's story before,his 'countertext' is a classic. I’ve now re-read The Wind in the Willows and I see it differently. Wild Wood is written in simple, clear prose as the uneducated Baxter Ferret directly addresses his audience, so children can enjoy the story as well as adults. It’s far more accessible than The Wind in the Willows. What’s more, although it’s sad, Wild Wood is really funny.


Nelson: The Poisoned River
Nelson: The Poisoned River

5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected but fascinating, 14 April 2014
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I expected a ripping yarn with depth and great characterisation like The Devil's Luck, but this novella took a different approach. Needle takes historical detail from Nelson's career and weaves this with fictional diary entries to tell a fascinating story based on this ill fated expedition. I loved it- so hopefully there will be a series of novellas about Nelson's life - and hopefully that of Collingwood too.


Cooking The Books: An Anthology from Authors Electric
Cooking The Books: An Anthology from Authors Electric
Price: 0.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Great read- and some really interesting recipes as well, 11 April 2014
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You don't need to be a cook to enjoy this. - in fact some of the authors aren't really writing about cooking at all. The bloggers on Authors Electric are so diverse that every contribution is highly readable. I'm fully intending to try one or two of the recipes in the near future though, particularly the baked peaches.


A World Between Us
A World Between Us

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a well written love story with a fascinating setting, 24 Feb 2014
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This novel is simply yet movingly written. Felix follows one man to the horror of the Spanish Civil War and another follows her. The book has a background of the naivety, commitment, squalor and bravery of the doomed fight against Franco, the role of the International Brigade and sometimes the savagery of the Republican factions. I really enjoyed it.


Silver Rain
Silver Rain
Price: 1.83

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning- allow time in case you can't put it down, 27 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Silver Rain (Kindle Edition)
I downloaded Silver Rain with the intention of leaving it until a long plane or train journey but gave in to temptation one night. Fortunately I wasn't doing anything special the next day as I finished it at 2.30 without putting it down. This was well written entertainment with a feel good factor. Nothing challenging, just well-drawn characters, particularly the unusual, rather annoying, hero. My sympathies were all with his brother. A while after I'd finished I started thinking that some of the ending was a bit unlikely, but ,to be honest, that just didn't matter.


Other People's Blood
Other People's Blood
Price: 1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars unbearable tension, 27 Dec 2013
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I disliked the two main characters from the beginning. The story crackled with the intense sexual attraction between them, but it was only the quality of the writing that persuaded me to continue. As the story developed I became more involved until as the pace increased towards the end, instead of reading faster I had to flick my kindle over to an article in The Guardian several times to stand the suspense. This book has a background of the Troubles but gives little detail about them. I would have preferred more history, which would have slowed the pace and would have made The Guardian unnecessary. However Jan Needle has written a pure thriller for those who thrive on tension. In this he succeeds admirably.


White Horizon
White Horizon
Price: 1.83

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just difficult to put down, 19 Nov 2013
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This review is from: White Horizon (Kindle Edition)
I should have been reorganising the cupboard under the stairs, but I started White Horizon instead. I finished it the same day and the contents of the cupboard were still scattered over the floor. Jan Ruth's stories are like that. I prefer a bit of horse interest, and horses don't feature in this story. However, the story of three couples ( or perhaps four), their relationships and an amazing hotel up the Conwy valley was gripping,and, as always, very well written.


The Lion of Sole Bay (Strong Winds Series)
The Lion of Sole Bay (Strong Winds Series)
by Julia Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They didn't mean to go to sea, but they had no choice, 22 Oct 2013
As a grown-up I loved the first three books of the series, and particularly the parallels with Arthur Ransome's more fantastic Swallows and Amazons stories, with their dastardly villains. The Lion of Sole Bay has links to Ransome as well, but to his most dramatic story and to tales from an earlier time. Did Old Peter know Ransome? What is the significance of the name of his boat, his cat and the other names he uses? Julia Jones's villains have more depth in this book, a deranged political extremist, a pathetic drug dependent assistant and a teenager with dreadful choices to make. The failings of support systems for vulnerable children are presented more subtly than the in the earlier stories and the desperation of Angel's parents, clumsily loving her but receiving no help, is movingly described. The book is marketed for children, and certainly young readers who enjoy a challenging story, especially those who like tales of adventure and boats, will love this. But The Lion of Sole Bay works at several levels and adults will appreciate it too. This is Julia Jones's best book to date. There are obviously more episodes to come and I look forward to them.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 25, 2013 4:07 PM BST


Wild Water
Wild Water
Price: 0.77

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really entertaining- this book gallops along, 19 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Wild Water (Kindle Edition)
I read this book when I should have been doing other things. This was a bad idea as I couldn't put it down. Jan Ruth has the kind of style that makes reading completely effortless, and as I'd recently come back from the Conway valley her descriptions of places were particularly effective. After I got to the end I began to have the odd mental quibble. Surely that woman couldn't have been THAT awful?
Then I thought who I could recommend it to. But the people I thought of didn't read e-books. I'm amazed that some mainstream publisher hasn't snapped up Jan Ruth's books.


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