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Culture Granny (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

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Concerto
Concerto
Price: £2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable and moving book, highly recommended, 27 Nov. 2015
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This review is from: Concerto (Kindle Edition)
This is a remarkable and moving book: good for anyone who is not afraid of their own emotions. It's the second one I've read by Elizabeth Darrell: when reading the first ('At the going down of the sun') I felt she was good on plot but there was something a little odd about her writing style. Quite a short way into 'Concerto' I realised what it was. Darrell sets her novels in the first half of the 20th century - and she uses the language of the time, rather than contemporary expression, to tell her story. It's a brilliant touch.

She's also a master of plot. The twists and unexpected turns of events in 'Concerto' kept me guessing right to the end. You might think, that when you've finished the book, that the ending was predictable, but if you're honest you'll know that it wasn't.. When I reached the last page, I put my Kindle down and let the tears flow freely, and there are few books that move me like that ('The Remains of the Day' was the last one).

The book is set during the second world war. I won't spoil it for you by revealing anything of the plot: but the three main characters - we've all met them. None are perfect, all are flawed: but at the start you can't even tell who are the goodies and who the baddies. By the end I was feeling deeply for all three of the main protagonists, and for a few others too. And the end... well, it worked for me.

Highly recommended: on a par with 'The Fault in our Stars' which for me was one of the defining books of the 21st century.


The Rose Girls
The Rose Girls
Price: £3.98

3.0 out of 5 stars OK as a holiday read, 17 Nov. 2015
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This review is from: The Rose Girls (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed the book as a holiday read, but it was rather predictable and some of the characters were a bit unrealistic. Not the most enthralling book I've ever read but quite fun and worth the 99p I paid for it.


A Question of Inheritance (A Very English Mystery Book 2)
A Question of Inheritance (A Very English Mystery Book 2)
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A book that makes you want to read on., 17 Nov. 2015
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I found I was gripped by this book, in spite of a slightly old- fashioned style of writing. I'd read the first book, which was a bit like an Agatha Christie, but enjoyable nevertheless, and the second instalment didn't disappoint. I'll be reading more by this author.


Still Alice
Still Alice
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A most moving novel, 17 Aug. 2015
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This review is from: Still Alice (Kindle Edition)
This book moved me a great deal. I'd seen the film first (highly recommended!) and the book filled in the parts you can't get in a film. Lisa Genova's writing is compelling - it was hard to put my Kindle down. The story, of an extremely bright woman who suffers from early-onset Alzheimer's which threatens to destroy not only her mind but everything that identifies her, is one that could so easily be anyone's. Told from Alice's point of view - so as the disease progresses so the narration echoes the confusions in her mind - it draws the reader right in to the situation. A thoughtful book which really makes you think.


Never Marry a Politician (Choc Lit): A warm hearted, witty, wonderful read
Never Marry a Politician (Choc Lit): A warm hearted, witty, wonderful read
Price: £2.63

4.0 out of 5 stars Good holiday read, 7 Jun. 2015
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I really enjoyed this book, and will look for others by the same author. The heroine, Emily, is very believable and if the plot is rather predictable the tale is well told and had me laughing much of the time. A good holiday read.


Abducted (Lizzy Gardner Series, Book 1)
Abducted (Lizzy Gardner Series, Book 1)
Price: £3.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Scary detective novel with a bit of unconvincing romance, 10 Aug. 2014
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This is a quite scary book, but very compelling to read more. It was a bit far-fetched in places, and the level of depravity portrayed made me quite uncomfortable. I must admit I've not been drawn to get the next in the series, as I didn't altogether take to Lizzy Gardner as a character. But as a 99p deal it was worth the money and I did enjoy reading it for the most part.


Look Behind You
Look Behind You

4.0 out of 5 stars Scary thriller that thrills = and scares!, 24 July 2014
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This review is from: Look Behind You (Kindle Edition)
Not a book for the faint-hearted! Sibel Hodge is seriously scary in places - at one point I hardly dared read on for fear of what was going to happen, and that for me is the mark of a true suspense thriller. I scrambled through this is very short order, I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next...and next and next. You'll be kept wondering all the way through, but clues are there for the finding. Just don't read it alone on a dark and windy night! But do read it (unless you don't like scary books) - it won't let you down.


Silent Voices (Vera Stanhope Book 4)
Silent Voices (Vera Stanhope Book 4)
Price: £4.74

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent detective mystery, 24 July 2014
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I'd enjoyed 'Shetland' on TV so thought I'd try Ann Cleeves 'Vera' set in my own part of the world. I have to confess that part of the attraction was living in the region in which the book is set - it's fun to come across local and familiar details. The story is pretty much on a par for a decent detective story: Vera herself is an interesting character, deliberately unglamorous, and her team are much what you'd expect. But it's well written, the suspense is nicely kept up and there are red herrings to keep you guessing. Well worth the read and an author to follow.


Thursdays in the Park
Thursdays in the Park
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars High quality chicklit, 24 July 2014
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I'd read Hilary Boyd's 'Tangled lives', and liked it, so this one was worth a try. I wasn't disappointed. The plot is ingenious and well worked and the characters are mostly believable, even if part of the scenario is really rather unlikely. As chicklit goes, this is well up to the best standards, and the Kindle edition on offer at 99p was a steal - well worth a good deal more.


The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault in Our Stars
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A book to cherish and read again and again, 24 July 2014
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You wouldn't think that a book about young people with cancer could be a feelgood book, but this one manages to avoid the mawkishness into which it could easily have fallen, and retained an ability to inspire and uplift. The main characters are believable, flawed, and in the end highly engaging, and John Green makes you care about them. I shed tears over this book: I wept with Hazel Grace, who shows how it is possible to keep your dignity in the face of staggering adversity. I've met a young woman with cancer, who in fact died a month after I'd got to know her a little, so I know what the reality is like to an extent: I've also loved and lost, so I know that feeling too, and John Green has it spot on. Unless you have no heart, read this book: read it before you see the film (which is also brilliant and very faithful to the book), and take it to your heart. I personally will not want to be without it for the rest of my days.


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