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Athena53

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The Road Back (Choc Lit)
The Road Back (Choc Lit)
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Should you ever go back?, 5 Nov. 2014
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This tells of a girl who always feels she is second-rate in her family compared to her ill brother (who dies). To win her father's approval she accompanies him on a journey to northern India to revisit places from his post-war army days in the 1960s. There are excellent descriptions of the tough terrain they settle in and of the people who live in semi-isolation from the modern world. When she falls in love with a local boy and becomes pregnant her family disown her and she returns alone to London where she lives for many years. There is a happy ending though...


The Last Runaway
The Last Runaway
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read, learn, enjoy, 5 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: The Last Runaway (Kindle Edition)
Another fascinating story from Tracy Chevalier who can be relied upon to do meticulous research for her novels. This time the story is set in pioneering 19th c America and follows the tragedies, trials and tribulations of Honor Bright from England as she settles into her new life in Ohio. Interwoven are the stories of slaves trying to reach freedom across the Great Lakes into Canada and also of Honor's quilts and her talent for stitching. I already knew quite a lot about quilting but have learned so much more about Quaker societies and slavery. Wonderful.


Entry Island
Entry Island
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read, new scenery, 5 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Entry Island (Kindle Edition)
Another fantastic contribution to the reading world by Peter May. I loved the Lewis trilogy and was slightly apprehensive about tackling another continent entirely, but was delighted to find part of the book set back on familiar Lewis soil.
His descriptions of both characters and landscapes are superb and enable us to have clear images of both as well as the action.
This is a murder/mystery and a family history and those of us into genealogy will especially appreciate the latter.
I feel I've had a jolly (?) good read and learned a lot along the way about early settlers in Canada and about the Gulf of St Lawrence.
I wish someone would make these books into TV dramas or films.


Dolly: A Ghost Story (The Susan Hill Collection)
Dolly: A Ghost Story (The Susan Hill Collection)
Price: £2.29

3.0 out of 5 stars macabre, 15 Jun. 2014
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An unusual and intriguing story - at the beginning at least. A young boy and his wayward cousin Leonora are invited to spend a summer with their aging aunt Kestrel Both children have a sad and dysfunctional upbringing but Edward knows the 'right' way to behave which gets him through life. He is appalled by Leonora's behaviour and tantrums. After he buries a broken doll in the graveyard life resumes as normal and he carries on visiting his aunt, although he loses touch with L. When Kestrel dies they meet again and decide to exhume the doll, but find it horribly disfigured and aged.
From his point I felt the story went downhill and the diseases and disfigurements that subsequently affect both of their own children were hard to believe or really to link in with the original story.
Throughout the book Edward is beset (haunted) by strange rustlings - is this the doll trying to escape tissue wrappings?
The story suggests L is possessed by demons and that this taints both families. To make this a 'believable' ghost story I feel at least some loose ends need to be tied up, but we are left very high and dry.


Longbourn
Longbourn
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and imaginative, 15 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Longbourn (Kindle Edition)
P&P from the servants' viewpoint. The hard life endured by Mr & Mrs Hill, Sarah and Polly is revealed as the story develops. This time the main P&P characters are the ghosts in the background. I was delighted to see how unpleasant Mr Wickham was in this story, even to the servants; but his presence was also very threatening , resulting in the footman's disappearance.
The circumstances surrounding James' birth are a fascinating idea and he appears a genuinely good person - the antithesis of Wickham.
I felt the story dwelt perhaps too long on James' experiences in the war in Spain and Portugal. This obviously built him into the man he became but rather over-egged the point.
Although the ending was neat, I felt it was the least credible part of the book. Would a maid really have left a secure home and employment to walk from Derbyshire to the Lake District?


The Peacock Emporium
The Peacock Emporium
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing read, 20 Mar. 2014
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This is an intriguing read - moving back and forth between characters and different times in their lives.
It is skilfully written - you really seem to share the angst suffered by the main character Suzanna as she sways between the loving family she feels she doesn't belong to or deserve, her husband, her deceased birth mother and the past and the new friends she makes at the Peacock Emporium.
The movement between past and present add mysteries to the narrative which are only revealed at the very end.


Summer at the Lake
Summer at the Lake
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 20 Mar. 2014
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I feel this is one of Erica James' best novels - perhaps her writing style has matured from the early days of more everyday small-town romance.
The characters are charming - from the unpredictable and accident-prone Floriana, the somewhat staid but very kindly Adam to the elderly intellectual blue-stocking Esme who harbours secrets and hidden depths.
Floriana's life is on hold because of her previous relationship with Seb whom she can't let go of. Adam's girlfriend has walked out and Esme appears a lonely confirmed spinster. Their friendships grow as they all need something more in their lives, and ultimately they all find love - somewhat unexpectedly when Seb finally does the decent thing.
There are also beautiful descriptions of the Italian lakes which will make any reader want to visit.


Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Wi-Fi
Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Wi-Fi
Price: £109.00

4.0 out of 5 stars it just gets better, 12 Nov. 2013
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I only bought this because I'd broken my old (mk2) kindle (by accidently stepping on it in the dark). At first this new one seemed a little small and almost flimsy by comparison, but now I'm totally smitten. It's light weight and the built in light is fantastic and all the other 'new' gadgets really do make reading and navigating around the device easier. I like the touch screen too. Downloading all my library from the cloud was much simpler and quicker than I'd expected. The only criticism I have is that the battery life is not very good. I read every day and it only lasts about 2 weeks, whereas my old one (without the light) lasted a month.


Consequence
Consequence
Price: £2.39

4.0 out of 5 stars surprises, 19 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Consequence (Kindle Edition)
This book is a good read, full of surprises, although I feel that neither the cover graphics nor title do justice to the narrative and may not attract everyone.
Don't be put off by the first few chapters which can seem quite uneventful, but are necessary to set the scene and characters. Amanda's life as a young teacher in her first job seems to be nothing out of the ordinary, but once the main thrust of the novel takes shape the pace changes and the writing is transformed. All the narrative is in the present tense and this brings an immediacy to events - particularly vital when Amanda is in a bit of a fix (can't say more than that). Descriptions of locations are outstanding and very carefully crafted to allow the reader to observe and analyse exactly the same details as the characters.
I was feeling quite pleased with myself when I thought I'd cracked an identity, but had to smile as I found myself led up a blind alley (as were the police).
The ending is neat and satisfying, but I was left feeling a little flat after earlier events.
I look forward to reading more from Ms Whitesides.


Midsummer Magic
Midsummer Magic
Price: £0.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 8 July 2013
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This review is from: Midsummer Magic (Kindle Edition)
Sadly I feel this is not one of Julia Williams' better novels. I liked the idea, but it was rather done to death by lack of good characterisation and far too much cliff top coming and going, that I really did feel I was losing the plot.. It was interesting to try to match the current characters with their Shakespearian alter egos but I never felt I really got to know Josie and Harry, Ant and Diana because they were so caught up in the Midsummer Magic.
I hope JW returns to her former form with her next release.


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