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Amanda Jones (London)

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In Case There's a Fox: (Bilingual Edition)
In Case There's a Fox: (Bilingual Edition)
by Aya Katz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.02

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, interesting well-illustrated children's story suitable for a range of ages, 9 Oct. 2016
This is a great book for both my sons. Toddler enjoys the pictures and the sound of the words, 11 year old gets more out of the deeper layers in th story. There aren't all that many books that both are interested in, given the age gap, but this is one of them. 11 year old mostly reads to himself, naturally, but enjoys occasionally curling up on the sofa with Toddler and Parent, and this book's perfect.

It's cleverly set out, so that it starts in English at one end, and turned over, starts in Hebrew the other. The two endings meet in the middle.

The illustrations are fabulous.


Their Guilty Pleasures
Their Guilty Pleasures
Price: £6.02

2.0 out of 5 stars Poor knowledge of history and cultural attitudes spoils otherwise interesting book, 21 April 2016
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I bought a few books by this author on my kindle in one go. I won't buy any more.

This is set in Second World War Southampton. I gather from other reviewers that it is faithful to the place - I don't know the city at all, so I'll take their word for it.

But what annoys me about this author is her ignorance. You have people popping off to fight in France in 1943. You have people cheerfully taking antibiotics in 1943, or prescribing them. You have people getting a decree nisi in divorce proceedings a few months after they started, and a decree absolute 6 months later. Divorce appears no big deal.

All of these are completely wrong. I also have my doubts as to whether a collection of British and American soldiers and civilians would be quite so understanding of a woman having a serious relationship with an officer in the army, and also working as a prostitute on the side, and it all being OK because they love each other.


The Reluctant Sinner
The Reluctant Sinner
Price: £1.89

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting in treatment of prostitution, embarrassingly awful courtroom scene, legal knowledge lacking, 21 April 2016
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This is a mixture of interesting, and "oh my God!" terrible.

It's interesting in that it shows a compassionate and nuanced view of prostitution, from the view of a young woman in difficult circumstances. The main character is an interesting one.

It's dire, because the historical context is pretty badly done (bodies being shipped back from France after the first few months of the First World War DIDN'T HAPPEN), it shows an ignorance of social norms of the time, in basic ways such as how people were addressed in formal situations, and so forth.

But the bit that takes the biscuit is the "trial" of our heroine. The author has set a significant part of the book in a courtroom, and every sentence reveals a profound and utter ignorance of how English law worked in the early 20th century (or at any other time, come to that). It's shockingly, embarrassingly ignorant. Everything from the way the judge was addressed in court via rules of evidence, procedure, EVERYTHING was pathetically wrong.


Extra Large Plain Unfinished Unpainted Wooden Keepsake or Memory Storage Boxes - Decorate your own. Craft Box Kits for use with acrylic paints, stain or varnish. An unusual gift for Boys, Girls or adults.
Extra Large Plain Unfinished Unpainted Wooden Keepsake or Memory Storage Boxes - Decorate your own. Craft Box Kits for use with acrylic paints, stain or varnish. An unusual gift for Boys, Girls or adults.

5.0 out of 5 stars Top quality box, well-made, good value, 17 Feb. 2016
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This is absolutely fantastic, well-made, and great value.


Liverpool Gems
Liverpool Gems
Price: £2.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but howling legal inaccuracies in the plot spoil it a bit, 16 Feb. 2016
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This review is from: Liverpool Gems (Kindle Edition)
It was a good book, and I enjoyed it. Although set in the 1930s, it was a book genuinely about the 1930s, and not full of really heavy-handed "the second world war is coming" references. I liked that, because the 1930s is often used merely as a prequel to the War.

There was a lot I liked in this book, and the references to people marrying in secret because of the marriage bar for working women was an interesting feature.

I've given it only 3 stars because of the crashing legal blunders. I don't want to spoil the plot too much, so I don't want to introduce "spoilers" for people looking at the reviews before buying it.

However the author demonstrates a woeful ignorance of both the letter of the law and the practice of it when she writes about a conspiracy to handle and process stolen goods. She allows one character to be allowed to get away scott-free for reasons that are utterly contrary to English law both then and now.

That spoilt the last third of the book for me, and it's a shame.


The Alpha Plague: A Post-Apocalyptic Action Thriller
The Alpha Plague: A Post-Apocalyptic Action Thriller
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 15 Feb. 2016
Pretty good, races along, interesting idea. I don't *do* Zombies, but these weren't.... (quite) Zombies. Definitely worth a read.


100 Fruit & Vegetables from the RHS: 100 Postcards in a Box (Postcards Boxset)
100 Fruit & Vegetables from the RHS: 100 Postcards in a Box (Postcards Boxset)
by Royal Horticultural Society
Edition: Cards

5.0 out of 5 stars good quality card, 26 Jan. 2016
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Really lovely images, on thick, good quality card. Highly recommended.


Rachel
Rachel
Price: £4.49

2.0 out of 5 stars I certainly can't recommend it., 26 Jan. 2016
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This review is from: Rachel (Kindle Edition)
Fairly dire. There is a serious of extremely improbable consequences. Some unlikely contrivances are par for the course in fiction, this features everyone who has ever met Rachel turning up in the place she happens to make home, by one means or another. It's all just so unlikely and so irritating, that although I finished the book, I certainly can't recommend it.


There Will Be Better Days
There Will Be Better Days
Price: £3.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Dire - meandering plot, terrible dialogue, bossy authorial voice, 25 Jan. 2016
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This is pretty awful. The dialogue clunks like a centipede with several peg legs. Who on earth says, for example, "Every male in the room will be envious when I arrive with you on my arm." Or the man who nips out to do some shopping, and refers to the "four-course dinner for two, which we shall avail ourselves of this evening."

Then there is a horrendous authorial voice butting in, like a bossy great-aunt. "Chloe was not to know that fate would decide what she did with this coming month. Or what the outcome of meeting a lot of strangers would be. However, she was just about to find out."

Then there is a very dodgy plot. Man in his 50s, married (of course) and her boss, buys her a flat and lavishes her with company money (tax fraud, by the sound of it) such as a taxi to and from work and a "generous expense account" in open exchange for having sex with her. In case we end up thinking this is just prostitution (which it is) they fall passionately in love, so that's OK. And apparently, he's always had his wife's well-being at the front of his mind, because she's in a wheelchair.

I've read half of this, and I'm abandoning it. It's just a couple of hours of my life I'll never get back, having wasted them!


The Mill Girl
The Mill Girl
by Rosie Goodwin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A book with pantomime "goodies" and "baddies", ridiculous anachronisms and scattered with historical ignorance, 7 April 2015
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This review is from: The Mill Girl (Paperback)
This book is almost a parody of the bad end of the historical fiction market. There are cartoon-evil characters, who go around poisoning their brothers, chaining up their nieces, killing off girls who don't want to be prostitutes, and so forth. There are wonderfully stoic, heroic characters who are flawless and "down-to-earth" - hard-working, emotionally-open, compassionate to all and tolerant beyond all belief. There are the highly improbably events, such as one man allowing himself to be hanged because his brother, previously a rapist (known to this man) and now a murderer, can't be held to blame for his own crimes.

And then you have the awful, gut-wrenchingly dire anachronisms. Nobody, just nobody, ever went around in the 1850s saying things such as "she's just a normal little girl wanting love, behind her disability". It's a 21st century expression, put jarringly and appallingly in the mouth of an 1850s character. It's just ludicrous.

And this child, in the 1850s, is described by one character as being a Mongole,, or similar, and other characters refer to people "with her medical condition..." and a doctor says, "heart problems in people with Fleur's medical condition..."

This is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS. If you are going to write a book in which one of your main characters has Down's Syndrome, would you not bother to look it up and discover that the syndrome was identified about 15 years after this book is set, and the term "Mongolia" applied firstly in the 1860s? Would you write a book in absolute and shocking ignorance of what you were writing about? If you were Rosie Goodwin, you clearly would.


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