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Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
by Shaun Usher
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't let letter writing become a dying art..., 4 Feb 2014
This is a great gift for anyone the Right Side of 50! Seriously it is just a fabulous book to have on your coffee table to share with others, or by your bed to pick up every now and then. The art of beautiful handwritten letters is fast becoming a lost one and so in the future there will not be the availability of such letters which give an insight into the private lives of the famous and the influential. The letter from Gandhi to Hitler pleading for calm is one I had no knowledge existed, let alone knew could be seen by all of us and is a more personal indication of how there was still a strong belief that words could or might persuade a dictator to re-think his plan. We now have emails, press conferences, social media but these letters were written believing them to be private for at least the immediate future but now we can read them.


The Light Years: Cazalet Chronicles Book 1
The Light Years: Cazalet Chronicles Book 1
by Elizabeth Jane Howard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Established modern classic, 4 Feb 2014
I remember reading The Cazalet Chronicles (4 books) about 20 years ago, a family saga set in wartime Britain, and I loved every word. They were not fast paced or even page-turning, yet they were so well written that one quickly became engrossed with the Cazalet family and, much like Downton Abbey, you just wanted to know what happened to each and every one of them. The first book, was set in 1937 and the next three books follow on from there and so they encompass a world that was to change so much during those war and post-war years. EJH does not dress her characters in pink froth as there is much that goes wrong, and she even pushes them within the then boundaries of acceptability. In 2013 EJH published the fifth book of the series, All Change, but as I couldn’t remember all the names of the characters and their history I never got around to reading it. However when I listened to some of the series adapted on BBC Radio 4, it all came flooding back and then on 2nd January 2014 the lady herself died aged 90 years, and so I realised that I would really like to read them all again. So much time has passed it would be like reading a new story. I have just finished the first book in the series, The Light Years, and it has been like putting on old slippers which don’t need breaking in and once on you remember instantly why you loved them so much.
I can highly recommend them and even if you have never read her books before you should dip into these established modern classics.


The Storyteller
The Storyteller
by Jodi Picoult
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.19

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read, 6 Aug 2013
This review is from: The Storyteller (Hardcover)
Once again Jodi Picoult did not disappoint. As one of my favourite authors I always start each of her books with a certain level of trepidation, as I worry that it won't live up to her previous ones, but this was not necessary, as once again she produced an intense piece of writing that kept me on my toes right until the end where she finished with her signature twist of plot. The different storylines that run parallel to each other, like pieces of thread, weaving closer and closer together as the book progresses, keep you captivated throughout, as you are always waiting for the moment when they all come together in a final crescendo. For anyone that enjoys Jodi Picoult, or similar authors, this is a must read.


The Secrets of the Lighthouse
The Secrets of the Lighthouse
by Santa Montefiore
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.04

5.0 out of 5 stars Family saga with mystery!, 6 Aug 2013
I have never read any of Santa's books however when I read a review by one newspaper critic that said "...she is the new Rosamunde Pilcher" I was immediately drawn to her books as I used to love reading all of Pilcher's books.
I bought, on Kindle, Santa's latest book, Secrets of the Lighthouse, and I was not disappointed as it was so beautifully written and the story was captivating, a sweeping family saga set on the West Coast of Ireland with an element of mystery. I would recommend this book as a good summer read, sitting under a parasol, sipping your chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc.........need I say any more! BLISS!!


A Sister for Margot
A Sister for Margot
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Draws one in - brilliant story, 6 Aug 2013
I met Emma at Britmums Live in June and we discovered that we both live in Henley. She then told me about her book and I was fascinated. I am always impressed by the authors who publish as an e-book and hope,through hard work self-publicising their book, that it will get picked up by a publisher. Emma is a talented story teller and very quickly you are drawn into the web she weaves. Her characters are extremely believable as they are flawed but very likeable. The book spans three generations of one family who lived through the war and then through all the dramas that any, and nearly all, families have, death, illness, heartbreak and love. The book keeps you interested and intrigued throughout even though you sort of second guess how it is going to turn out you are still willing it to be so as you genuinely care for this family. Emma's description of Ibiza is particularly real, coming from her own intimate knowledge of the island, her grandmother having retired to the island many years ago. It is this grandmother who inspired the story in that she worked as an actress during the war, then afterwards as a TV presenter before deciding to move to Ibiza however the rest of the story is entirely fictitious. I absolutely loved this book and will miss the family that I became so involved with over the past few days. I hope Emma has another book in the pipeline!


Winter Games
Winter Games
by Rachel Johnson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good history lesson of pre WWII Germany, 23 Jan 2013
This review is from: Winter Games (Hardcover)
I love RJ's articles and find her quick-witted and whilst this book is well-written, the background setting (Germany 1936) well researched, I found the story line lacking. I did not warm to Francie at all and it was so obvious what the answer to the 'family secret' was that she was seaching for. HOWEVER the lack of plot was overcome by the background of pre-war Germany. I was fascinated at how England still regarded Germany as their 'cousin' precipitated perhaps by the fact that the Kaiser was Queen Victoria's grandson (even though he had abdicated in 1918) which was possibly why everyone still naively thought WWII would never happen. It goes onto show how young ladies were sent to Germany for their 'gap year' as our affiliation with Germany was much stronger than France or Italy for example. It became a rich person's playground, staying in Bavarian castles and hunting, a favoured sport of the upper classes. Also it shows how the British felt that Hitler was the answer to Germany's economic problems so they thought they could do business with him. The historical facts are so fascinating which is why I gave this book a 4 star rating as it is worth reading for this reason alone and I finished it in one sitting on a snow bound Sunday! Paperback out on 13th Feb so pre-order that version as definitely not worth the hardback price!


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