Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Profile for Athena53 > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Athena53
Top Reviewer Ranking: 65,515
Helpful Votes: 66

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Athena53

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
pixel
The Beach Cafe
The Beach Cafe
Price: £4.29

4.0 out of 5 stars happy holiday read, 8 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Beach Cafe (Kindle Edition)
There's nothing not to like in this Cornwall-based novel. Slightly iffy family end up supporting daughter Evie in her new venture as owner of a beach café. Villagers who seem distant at first all rally round to avert a crisis and the love-angle works out splendidly too.


The Likes of Us
The Likes of Us
Price: £4.07

3.0 out of 5 stars how times have changed, 21 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Likes of Us (Kindle Edition)
I've always loved Stan Barstow's writing, so I was keen to read this new anthology. However it isn't new and I realise I have these short stories in paperback form from about 30 years ago. I was surprised though in how my own reactions to these gritty tales has changed. They can now be read in a far more historical context and this makes us realise how much life has changed since the 1950s when these stories are set. I can't pretend they are a fun read because they show up all too clearly human frailty and failings as well as how hard life was 60 years ago, but of course they are very well written with characters expertly drawn.


The French House
The French House
Price: £1.42

2.0 out of 5 stars dull story, dull characters, 23 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The French House (Kindle Edition)
I have rarely said this about a book, but this was utterly boring. The characters had few redeeming features – they were dull and interacted with each other in predictable ways. Yes, it was sad that CC was targeted by the French witches and not believed by her boyfriend, but I found I didn’t really care and just wanted her to take responsibility for her own life. Eventually she did, but then seemed set to drift yet again when she returned to England. Yes, it was a happy ending (I think), but I didn’t hold out a lot of hope for these characters’ futures. The title was misleading as it wasn’t really about the house at all – that was simply a device around which the characters circled. I wonder whether the fact that this was written by a man, but narrated by a woman had any bearing on how the people were perceived? I finished it because I wanted something good to happen, but...


Recipe for Love
Recipe for Love
Price: £3.99

3.0 out of 5 stars the usual recipe, 23 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Recipe for Love (Kindle Edition)
This book follows the usual recipe for a modern rom-com; girl meets boy (man) and they immediately dislike each other. They are thrown together against the backdrop of a cookery competition (see Great British Bake-off and Masterchef) with lots of in-fighting and sabotage between the contestants. Happy Ending.
Not one of KF's best but a jolly read.


By My Side
By My Side
Price: £4.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars young,gifted and in a wheelchair, 23 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: By My Side (Kindle Edition)
This is a story of what it is like to suddenly find yourself paralysed and wheelchair bound and to fall in love just as passionately but much more inconveniently than any able-bodied young person. All the characters are believable and come together by a variety of routes. The writing enables you to feel their frustrations and anger as well as sharing their joys and sadness. I feel I learned a lot as I became more empathic with the characters.


War Brides
War Brides
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars brave women, 20 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: War Brides (Kindle Edition)
This is a story which spans 50+ years - from just before the start of WWII to 1995 although most of it is set 1940-44. It centres on a group of very different young women thrown together because of the war, but from very diverse backgrounds - Home Counties, East End, southern USA and Vienna. Over the course of the book they learn how to exploit their talents to everyone's advantage. At the same time they fall in love, marry and begin to produce babies which add to the general chaos of living with evacuees in a large country house. Husbands are frequently absent or injured as the war begins to penetrate further into everyday life. One of the girls, secretly trained for SOE operations disappears and we don't know what happens to her until the end of the book.
The beginning and end are rather different from the main part and both offer up their own surprises and secrets.
There isn't a super-happy ending and many lives are lost; but this adds to the general credibility of much of the tale. I'm not sure about what the old women do at the reunion - would they really have dared to do what they did?
My only grouse with this book is about the americanisms which creep in - odd spellings and too frequent use of 'gotten' which is inappropriate in a book set in 1940s England.


The Land of Decoration
The Land of Decoration
Price: £4.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good vs Evil, 15 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book had me in its thrall from the beginning, just as the characters are held by the forces of good and evil. I found I didn't really like it, but had to carry on reading. The short chapters help with this and easily lead the reader on.
The ten-year-old Judith (OT name?) has a beguiling maturity - probably from spending so much time with the adults of the fundamental religious sect she and her father belong to. She is bullied and set apart at school for being different and this is then reflected in how her father is treated when he dares to be different and refuses to strike.
Judith believes her `land of decoration' (NT), the `world' she has created from rubbish, is an instrument for miracles in the real world and believes she hears the voice of God. She becomes very frustrated and confused when no-one will believe in her `powers' and she is told not to talk about such things. As Judith's and her father's lives fall apart - he is beaten up, the house is attacked and he ultimately has a breakdown and loses his faith - she begins to assume Armageddon is nigh and prepares to kill herself. Thankfully she has a change of heart and subsequently ceases to hear God's voice.
After this the story rather fizzles out without conclusion or a great deal of hope. Even the sect turns its back on them. It is a sad tale of deprivation - of love and of normal material things in the modern world. In spite of her apparent maturity Judith has little idea of what really goes on in her town or in the world - a reflection of having no television or radio.
For me, some things were under-developed; her sympathetic teacher - an instrument of goodness - is simply faded out of the story, and likewise brother Michaels. I was expecting them to be revealed as angels and to help Judith in her fight against evil as I expected `God' to be revealed as the Devil. Perhaps I am just too fanciful...


The Soldier's Wife
The Soldier's Wife
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, 19 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I feel Trollope is really on form with this novel. She attempts to bring the stresses and strains of army life to those of us who have little idea of what it can be like. It may not be entirely accurate if viewed from the inside, but her delicate touch brings out the sheer despair of the main characters Dan, Alexa and Isobel. I also liked the way Dan's father and grandfather had their own memories of active service and therefore their own ways of dealing with the somewhat intractable problems thrown up. I was sorry to get to the end, but I didn't feel it was a rushed ending. I found myself wishing the characters well for the future.


The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry
The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars delightful and sensitive, 13 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book was a delight from start to finish. It was chosen by my reading group and I am looking forward to discussing it with my friends.
We are taken along with Harold on his pilgrimage, which is of course, a journey of self-discovery, not only for him, but also for his wife left behind in Devon. I found myself urging him on, telling him to ignore the hangers-on, and for goodness sake to get a map! His refusal to wear new boots was perhaps reminiscent of pilgrims of the Middle Ages, and his insistence on self-sacrifice to expunge his guilt.
There are very sad and poignant moments when we are allowed in to Harold's past and mourn with him.
This is an amazing book in which every reader will discover something about themself too


A Time for Silence
A Time for Silence
Price: £0.99

51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars haunting, 7 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book was quite a surprise. In parts it is extremely dark and haunting but the present day bits are much lighter and so sometimes appear less well crafted. The almost sparse text in the welsh parts serves to underline the cold, starved lives of the characters. It is salutory to note that the 'older' parts of the book are set in 1948 - very recent history but a very different time - especially in rural Wales.
There seem to be many books around at the moment that are set in this 'dual-time' mode, but in this case it seems to work well. I also appreciated that Robert's learning difficulties were not laboured but played a very important part in the whole.
I was also secretly pleased that I did guess 'whodunit'.
Haunting but without the ghosts.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4