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Janie S

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You'll Die in Singapore: The True Account of One of the Most Amazing POW Escapes in WWII
You'll Die in Singapore: The True Account of One of the Most Amazing POW Escapes in WWII
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A great book., 14 July 2016
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I feel privileged to have read this book. The true story of one of the great escapes of the war in the hot & steamy jungles of Sumatra is absolutely gripping from start to finish. The locals bravely risked everything for these men, knowing that death was certain for whole villages if they had been captured - truly heroes in the best sense of the word. What a book. Recommended.


Sisters In Arms
Sisters In Arms
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book., 14 July 2016
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This review is from: Sisters In Arms (Kindle Edition)
I was in two minds whether to read this book or not, as I'd already read "Soldiers Wives" by Fiona Field (the same author, apparently) & it was unbelievable garbage. However, I found "Sisters in Arms" very interesting & I became involved in the lives of the three very different girls & how they meshed together. The 1st Gulf War sequence was well described & the after-effects on all of them were believable, although the last couple of chapters zipped along - the nasty one got her comeuppance, the lives of our three heroines were sorted out pronto, & everything rounded off very nicely. On the whole an interesting book, not needing Army connections to understand & a bit glib in places, but possibly worth keeping to read again - sometime!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 15, 2016 12:53 PM BST


Soldiers' Wives
Soldiers' Wives
Price: £3.79

2.0 out of 5 stars Superficial rubbish., 2 July 2016
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This review is from: Soldiers' Wives (Kindle Edition)
Having been a serving soldier and an officer's wife, I was very interested to find this book on Amazon. It doesn't cut the mustard, unfortunately. I can't comment on the chapters about Afghanistan as I have no personal knowledge, but I do know about quarters & the thought that anyone would make over a bathroom is ludicrous in the extreme. To spend that kind of money on a house you might live in for only a few months is just not feasible, whether you want to start a business or not. We all had hideous carpets & the psychedelic seat covers had to be seen to be believed, but we just got on with it, & it was a great conversation starter. I didn't care about the characters in the book, I found they were superficial & abrasive, so I doubt I'll be reading this again.

I must take issue with the blurb about Fiona Field. It was a condition of service that if you got pregnant you had to leave, as there were no welfare facilities for pregnant soldiers or their children. This was made perfectly clear to every woman who joined up, being married was no excuse. She could have left the service at any time after her marriage, that she didn't was up to her, & if she was discharged on pregnancy she could have claimed compensation from the MOD when the service equality rules were implemented. To say she was 'thrown out' gives entirely the wrong impression.


You And Me, Always: The No. 1 Bestseller
You And Me, Always: The No. 1 Bestseller
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable., 25 Jun. 2016
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This book is a good way to pass the time between dips in the pool. A bit predictable and undemanding, easy to pick up the storyline, quite well-written apart from the bad language splattered about, full of gorgeous women & handsome hunks & a couple of real stinkers - your typical chick lit. Will probably read it again, but not yet.


A Town Like Alice (Vintage Classics)
A Town Like Alice (Vintage Classics)
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking story!, 8 Jun. 2016
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I've read this book several times over the years since I first discovered Nevil Shute's work. My favourite is "In the Wet", but this runs in a close second. The story of the walk in Malaya is gripping, we're there with the women & all the hardships they endured until they finally stopped in the small village by the sea. We're there with Jean as she rides the 40 miles in the pouring rain. It's a wonderful book, highly recommended.


Gone with the Wind
Gone with the Wind
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful., 23 April 2016
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What a story! The intermingled lives of Scarlett, Ashley, Melly & Rhett and their separate families make riveting reading in a book that's very hard to put down. Set against the background of the Civil War, Scarlett's courage & tenacity stand out like a beacon. The deprivation & poverty of the aftermath of the war, the freeing and lawlessness of the slaves & well explained beginning of the Klu Klux Klan, all wound in and around Scarlett's efforts to support her family in the only way she knows how - all meld together into an unforgettable tale of survival against the odds. Brilliant book. Recommended.


The Spencer Family
The Spencer Family
Price: £2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars History of an interesting family., 12 April 2016
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At the beginning of this book, Charles Spencer wrote that he didn't intend it to be a list of who begat whom. Unfortunately he failed, & while the life story of each of his relatives is fairly interesting, do we really need that of every wife and her wider family as well? It was confusing to sort out which John, Jack, Charles and Robert he was referring to, a real test of memory, hence the 3 stars, but I commend him for his sensitive handling of the marriage of his parents and subsequent events. I think I probably won't read this book again, but if you're interested in the history of one of the families who came over with William the Conqueror you'll probably enjoy it.


The Duke
The Duke

4.0 out of 5 stars Tribute to a great man., 23 Mar. 2016
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This review is from: The Duke (Kindle Edition)
Most people know a bit about the Duke - maybe India, certainly Waterloo - but there's so much more. His early life in Ireland, the army service before & during the Peninsula War, the diplomatic era leading up to Waterloo, and then a further 30 years of politics & service to the Crown. Truly a great man.
But I feel that England surely needs its heroes now like never before, when so much of our great history is not taught in schools or ignored as irrelevant. Wellington's numerically inferior army thrashed the might of France on numerous occasions, how is that irrelevant? Or is that something else dictated by Brussels? They were very grateful at the time.

The book is easy to read & quite amusing in places, but with only schoolgirl French learned some 50 years ago I found the many French paragraphs (without translation) a bit annoying - hence only 4 stars.


Shadow of the Moon
Shadow of the Moon
Price: £9.49

5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book., 8 Feb. 2016
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I don't know how many times I've read this book. I just love the story; anyone interested in the Indian Mutiny will find a different approach as the native viewpoint is given as much emphasis as that of the British, who precipitated the mutiny by their disregard for Indian customs, religion & culture. The love story is sensitively handled throughout, the bad eggs get their just desserts & the good chap gets the girl eventually. Very satisfactory all round, played against the backdrop of the mutiny.

Fantastic book. Highly recommended.


The Furies of Rome (Vespasian Series Book 7)
The Furies of Rome (Vespasian Series Book 7)
Price: £3.79

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another cracking read., 19 Jan. 2016
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I thoroughly enjoy reading the Vespasian books, they're factual and full of action as well as being interesting and entertaining. What's not to like? Recommended.


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