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Reviews Written by
A. Hope "bookcrossing ali" (Birmingham, England)
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The Moor (Mary Russell Mystery)
The Moor (Mary Russell Mystery)
by Laurie R. King
Edition: Audio Cassette

4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and engrossing, 16 July 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This - the 4th in the Mary Russell series - is enormously clever as it combines real historical characters with fictional ones - it is this sort of device that brings a touch of realism to these Laurie R King novels. The setting is the moors where Conan Doyle's famous Hound of the Baskervilles was set, with more ghostly sightings and sinister local characters. The Holmes/Russell partnership is as brilliant as ever, they are both tough, and intelligent, and no villain is safe from them. Brilliant stuff.


Body Surfing
Body Surfing
by Anita Shreve
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing read, 16 July 2008
This review is from: Body Surfing (Paperback)
After having been disappointed with A Wedding in December I approached this with a little caution. However I was delighted to find that with this novel Anita Shreve has returned to the kind of writing which had made me such a fan in the past. This is a novel about a young woman who is hired to tutor the teenage daughter of a wealthy couple at their summer home. Their two sons - much older than their "slow" sister are in their thirties, arrive and suddenly the dynamics of the house change, as they each vie for her attention.
I was delighted to find that much of this novel is set in the beach house which appears in Fortune's Rocks, The Pilot's wife, and Sea Glass, it's a setting I feel I know so well that it's like revisiting a place you've spent some special times in.
There are some great twists and turns as the novel progresses, which makes it a pretty hard to put down book.


Indian Attachment
Indian Attachment
by Sarah Lloyd
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An unusual attachment, 16 July 2008
This review is from: Indian Attachment (Paperback)
While this is primarily a travel book - it reads more like a memoir of an unusual relationship. I found myself wondering - more than once - what Sarah Lloyd thought she was doing - she lived with a poor sikh family - then later moved with her lover to a religious community - with a man who she admits she had no intention of marrying, or having children with. This question is one she asks herself in this honest account of her two year relationship with Jungli - but I didn't feel she ever answered it. I couldn't help but feel - that she a white English woman was simply satisfying her own wants - and when she had finished "expierencing" she left India and Jungli. It is obvious that she often felt that the hut she shared with Jungli was home, that she had all she needed there, and yet there always seemed that there was an ending they were just moving towards. I wondered what he and his family thought of her after she had left them. A truly fascinating account of an unusual relationship, but also and most intrestingly a wonderful account of Indian village life, and the life of a religious community.


Star Gazing: An epic, uplifting love story unlike any you've read before
Star Gazing: An epic, uplifting love story unlike any you've read before
by Linda Gillard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and Lyrical, 16 July 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Star Gazing is a lyrically poignant novel, set in Edinburgh and Skye which I found hugely readable and often very touching. It is the story of a woman, a music lover, widowed, blind from birth, she lives with her writer siter, then one winter night she meets a man on her doorstep.

As with Emotional Geology (Linda Gillard's first novel) the parts of the book set on Skye just make you want to go there to fully expierence what must be a beautiful and completley unspoiled natural enviroment. The central character Marianne is thouroughly realistic and likeable, she's intelligent, vulnerable, and sensitive, but never helpless despite her blindeness. Marianne's love of the natural world is infectious, there were some beautiful descriptions of trees and rain, the sound of rain in the trees has forever been enhanced for me through these lovely descriptions. Kier is a wonderful romantic hero type. The most memorable part of the book for me was when Marianne loses her way in the snow - my heart was in my mouth - and I could just imagine how that would have felt. The subject of blindess is brilliantly tackled - so many things that as a sighted person you take for granted, and so many simple things that for a blind person became laden with difficulties. This is a lovely novel, and I can't wait for more by this author.


Knowledge Of Angels
Knowledge Of Angels
by Jill Paton Walsh
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Knowledge of Angels, 12 Jun. 2008
This review is from: Knowledge Of Angels (Paperback)
I thought this novel was brilliant. A beautifully written book which concerns some fascinating theological questions. I also enjoyed the historical aspect of the book, the way in which people lived and worked and survived during the middle ages, the things they believed, and were unable to understand for example a cleric who has made a study of angels -and who rationalises his belief by reasoning how else could javelins fly through the air once they have been let go of. The narrative spilts between the story of a man rescued by fisherman - whose beliefs are strange and unorthodox to the people of the island and who maintains he is an atheist, and a wild wolf child who had been raised by wolves before being found in the icy mountains. I loved the story of the wolf child, and the abbey she is taken to.


Maestro
Maestro
by Peter Goldsworthy
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and Poignant, 11 April 2008
This review is from: Maestro (Paperback)
I loved this beautifully written little book. The relationship which deveops between Paul (a young gifted painist) and Keller (his mysterious piano teacher) I found quite poignant. Paul like so many young people is brash at times and awkward at others, he finds he has things to learn. The mystery of Eduard Keller makes this a compelling unputdownable read, but it is the gradually changing relationship between Paul and Keller that makes this such a joy. Toward the end of the novel, an older Paul reflects on memory, and how we view our childhoods from our middleage - and I think it was this for me, that was the most poignant part of the whole story. Beautifully told.


The House By The Dvina: A Russian Childhood
The House By The Dvina: A Russian Childhood
by Eugenie Fraser
Edition: Paperback

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful Memoir, 11 April 2008
This is a fascinating and immensely readable memoir. Eugenie Fraser - born Evgeniya Scholts in Archangel Russia in 1906 the eldest child of Russian father and Scottish mother reveals a world now consigned to history books. Samovars, wolves, sledges piled high with furs and packages rushing through the artic winter, women bathing naked in the river unobserved and unmolested, are just a few of the images that this book leaves the reader with. The realities of war and revolution are described with a sort of childlike matter of factness that is horribly poignant. The House by the Dvina is beautifully recounted story of an unusual family.


The Book Thief
The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
Edition: Paperback

302 of 325 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just read it!!!, 22 Feb. 2008
This review is from: The Book Thief (Paperback)
I am not sure how to describe this book - without either giving too much away - or making it sound depressing and grisely which it is not at all. Suffice to say this is a novel narrated by death. It is the story of a young girl living in Nazi Germany, who goes to live with a foster family,and learns to read, and falls in love with: books, her new Papa, a boy called Rudy, and a Jew hiding in a basement. It is also a story of WW2 - from a persepective we don't often see - ordinaary Germans - some of whom were members of "The Party."

Death takes the reader by the hand, and leads us through the lives and deaths of people in Liesel's world, he kind of "gives the game away" a few times - and yet that never spoils it - it prepares the reader for what's ahead.
This is an astonishing book - the writing is great - an unusual style - but one that fits perfectly somehow with the voice of Death - and that of the unforgettable Liesel.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 3, 2010 3:04 PM BST


Mango And Mimosa
Mango And Mimosa
by Suzanne Marie Adele Beauclerk St.Albans
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful life, 22 Feb. 2008
This review is from: Mango And Mimosa (Paperback)
Suzanne St Albans has had a very intresting life - certainly the first twenty five years or so (which are dealt with in this memoir) appear to have been. Born in Malaya, where she spends a few years of her eccentric childhood, she lived much of her life in the south of France, with her mother, nanny and siblings, her father being largely absent. As a teenager she goes to school in Paris and then later for a short time in England. When war threatens their French idyll, the family flee to England again, and Suzanne now about twenty starts work in the county library. Soon - longing for a more active role in the war she finds herself working for Basic News - Psychological warfare Branch in Algiers, and later Italy. I have to say I found this part of the memoir fascinating, to think that a young woman of about twenty two or three could suddenly find her self moving from a county library to a news agency in Algiers is remarkable. Overall a very readable and engaging memoir.


They Were Sisters
They Were Sisters
by Dorothy Whipple
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.00

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They were Sisters, 22 Feb. 2008
This review is from: They Were Sisters (Paperback)
This is a hugely readable almost unputdownable novel. First published in 1943 - it contains many wonderful domestic details that set it firmly in it's time, the sister's of the title employ maids, make trunk calls, send telegrams, travel first class, and don't work. Despite the 1940's details this novel remains as topical today as it ever was. It concerns domestic violence, and the slow destruction of a once happy woman; Charlotte married to a man who turned out to be a vile bully. The effect this has on their three children is terrible, as over the course of their childhoods they become more and more cowed by their father. Charlotte's sisters, Lucy, dependable, supportive and nurturing is happily, but quietly and childlessly married to William. While Vera, beautiful and shallow, married to Brian who bores her takes little notice of her two young daughters.

This excellent Dorothy Whipple novel re published by Persephone takes a poignant look at what today might be called disfunctional families - the unhappiness of children caught up in the destruction brought about by adults is keenly felt.
Beautifully written, and sympathetically told, it is a truly engrossing read.


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