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Reviews Written by
Irene BT

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The Collection
The Collection
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Brings back beautiful memories, 22 Jun. 2016
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This review is from: The Collection (Audio CD)
If you remember Rita's lovely songs from your youth, like I do, you will not be disappointed. Beautiful words and music.


Delta Lady: A Memoir
Delta Lady: A Memoir
by Michael Walker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book, pity about all the name-dropping, 22 Jun. 2016
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This review is from: Delta Lady: A Memoir (Hardcover)
I recently heard a song by Rita on the radio, and it brought back all her beautiful songs from my youth. I bought this book and a CD, both of which I have enjoyed. The book is moving, with some lovely descriptions of feelings and relationships.. The thing that spoils it for me is all the name-dropping. I did not want to hear about all the half-famous people she knew and met several times in each chapter.


The Song Collector
The Song Collector
by Natasha Solomons
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Favourite Dorset author!, 11 April 2016
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This review is from: The Song Collector (Paperback)
A favourite local author for me. Saving this to take on holiday. Can't wait to get started. Arrived promptly and in good condition.


OS Explorer Map (139) Bideford, Ilfracombe and Barnstaple
OS Explorer Map (139) Bideford, Ilfracombe and Barnstaple
by Ordnance Survey
Edition: Map
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect holiday map, 11 April 2016
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A perfect map to take on holiday to Devon. Arrived in very good condition and promptly. Very pleased.


The New Woman
The New Woman
by Charity Norman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Truly one of the best books I've read, 15 Sept. 2015
This review is from: The New Woman (Paperback)
This is truly one of the best books I have ever read, because the interest begins in the short prologue and is kept up throughout the book, with no dull sections. The author, Charity Norman, who has been a barrister in family law and a mediator, is passionate about the power of communication. She has obviously researched the subject of gender identity thoroughly, so that the book is believable, with convincing events and language.

Luke Livingstone is a respected solicitor and family man, living in the Oxfordshire countryside. However he is struggling with an unbearable secret, as all his life he has hidden his identity. The truth will devastate his wife and children and make him an outcast. The only way he sees to carry on living is to become the woman he knows himself to be.

The book consists of fifty-one chapters, each one, or part of each one, from a different character's viewpoint. This makes the book exciting, as the reader shares the differing reactions and emotions of family members and friends. Simon, Luke's son, reacts angrily, telling his father he should have been drowned at birth. He cannot handle seeing his father in women's clothes. Eilish, Luke's wife, is revolted yet fascinated, when she discovers silk and lace that her husband is hiding. Kate, Luke's outspoken daughter, shows him kindness and wants to understand him. His mother and daughter-in-law try their best to be caring.

I like to learn about life from fiction. I learned a lot about the continuum of gender, not the same thing as sexuality. There is a fascinating chapter about Luke as a child, putting on school uniform of shorts and Aertex shirt, 'that made her feel horrid.' When Eilish is first coming to terms with Luke's desire to change gender, she tells the reader that it's the future you mourn most, the road you thought lay ahead.

I could relate to Luke and his mental and emotional agony, having suffered clinical depression myself. I could appreciate Eilish's anguish, having experienced the breakdown of a marriage and the utter disappointment of the future not turning out as planned. The divorce petition made me feel sad, as I felt Luke and Eilish still cared about each other. But Eilish says, 'I loved him enough to love her too.' The reader is on tenterhooks, as Luke plucks up courage to go to a supermarket dressed as a women, and when he finally tells work colleagues of his decision to change gender.

Other people's attitudes towards Luke range from open hostility to being relaxed and cool. The first doctor Luke consults has no interest in helping him and treats him disrespectfully. Luke, who calls himself Lucia when he becomes a woman, has a transgender friend called Chloe who supports him. Tragedy hits Chloe, with the police referring to her as an AKA, and the press calling her a 'lurid weirdo'.

My thanks go to Real Readers for sending me this book to review. I read the heart-breaking and intriguing story quickly, learning as I read. There are many fascinating characters, and there is never a dull moment. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone searching for a good read. The reader is gripped immediately, shares reactions and emotions and is soothed by a satisfying and happy ending.


The Twilight Hour
The Twilight Hour
by Nicci Gerrard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A great holiday read., 25 Jun. 2015
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This review is from: The Twilight Hour (Paperback)
Nicci turns what could be a depressing subject into an enjoyable and unusual read. The characters are great, and the vocabulary beautiful.


Mary Berry's Absolute Favourites
Mary Berry's Absolute Favourites
by Mary Berry
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book from the adorable Mary Berry, 25 Jun. 2015
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I adore Mary Berry and like to watch her on TV. She writes a little about herself and her life. However the book is mainly recipes, which are fairly simple and easy to follow. Beautiful colour pictures.


The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle
The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle
by Kirsty Wark
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great 1st novel, 25 Jun. 2015
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A brilliant read, I could not believe it was her 1st novel. Unusual plot and set in an interesting area. Beautiful language and great characters.


Paradiso
Paradiso
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite CDs ever!, 8 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Paradiso (Audio CD)
One of my favourite CDs. I have seen Hayley live, and she is wonderful, such a pure voice. I find all the songs on this CD not only beautiful, but interesting and calming. She sings in French and Italian, as well as English.


Tango: the Sensuous Sound of Argentine Tango
Tango: the Sensuous Sound of Argentine Tango
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Gold medal Argentine tango music!, 8 Mar. 2015
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Absolutely wonderful Argentine tango music and songs. My dance teacher loves it too! We are practising for an above-gold medal using one of the tracks!


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