My Bookish July 2020

Well I’m happy to report that this month has been a very good month for books, both Ion the purchasing front (no news there) and the reading front. We were very lucky to be able to get away on holiday this month. We’d originally had a cottage booked for June but that was obviously cancelled, however with a very obliging cottage owner and lots of luck we were able to keep pushing the date back to coincide with the lifting of restrictions in Wales. As we expected that many of our usual activities wouldn’t be an option, we were quite happy to pootle around in the car and enjoy the scenery, or spend more time just relaxing and hopefully reading.

Powys
View from the cottage to Old Radnor

 

We’ve both been working as normal during the pandemic so we were more than happy just to get away from work. I optimistically decided to pack a bag of books for myself (to help clear my shelves) and also vowed to stay away from Twitter. Well I’m delighted to say I read all bar one, but also added managed an extra one that I bought while we were away.  It felt like old times and while I haven’t managed to keep up the momentum since we’ve been back, it’s comforting to know that all is not lost!!

So what did I buy and what did I read? Buckle up and grap a cuppa to find out.

 

Books I Bought 

NB contains Affiliate links (for more info see here)

 

hopes and dreams of libby quinnThe Hopes and Dreams of Libby Quinn by Freya Kennedy

Libby Quinn is sick and tired of being sensible.
After years of slogging her guts out for nothing at a PR company, she finds herself redundant and about to plough every last penny of her savings into refurbishing a ramshackle shop and making her dream of owning her own bookshop become a reality.
She hopes opening ‘Once Upon A Book’ on Ivy Lane will be the perfect tribute to her beloved grandfather who instilled a love of reading and books in her from an early age.
When her love life and friendships become even more complicated – will Libby have the courage to follow her dreams? Or has she bitten off more than she can chew?

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death of justiceThe Death of Justice by Tony J Forder

One night. Two shootings. Two victims. 

When DI Bliss arrives at the scene of the second murder, he recognises the same three-shot pattern as the first. But there is one major difference: the second victim has been decapitated, the head nowhere to be found. When a second headless corpse is discovered the following day, Bliss and his team realise the killer is on a spree – and he’s not done yet.

After Bliss links the killings and forms a task force with officers from Lincolnshire, they uncover further disturbing news: the murders are not the first in the series – there are four more headless victims, and the Lincolnshire team believe they know why. Not only that, they are also convinced that more potential victims are on the killer’s list.

In a race against time to save further loss of life, Bliss constantly finds himself one step behind and chasing shadows. In order to flush out the hired assassin, he and his team have no choice but to put their own lives at risk. But will everyone survive?

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people like usPeople Like Us by Louise Fein

‘I nearly drowned and Walter rescued me. That changes everything.’

Leipzig, 1930s Germany.

Hetty Heinrich is a perfect German child. Her father is an SS officer, her brother in the Luftwaffe, herself a member of the BDM. She believes resolutely in her country, and the man who runs it.

Until Walter changes everything. Blond-haired, blue-eyed, perfect in every way Walter. The boy who saved her life. A Jew.

Anti-semitism is growing by the day, and neighbours, friends and family members are turning on one another. As Hetty falls deeper in love with a man who is against all she has been taught, she begins to fight against her country, her family and herself. Hetty will have to risk everything to save Walter, even if it means sacrificing herself…

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hello againHello Again by Isabelle Broom

Philippa Taylor (Pepper to her friends) has big dreams. When she closes her eyes, she can picture exactly who she ought to be. The problem is, it’s about as far away from her real life in a small coastal town in Suffolk as she can imagine.

So when her elderly friend Josephine persuades Pepper to accompany her on a trip to Europe, she jumps at the chance to change her routine. And when Pepper bumps (literally) into the handsome Finn in Lisbon, it seems as though she might have finally found what she’s been looking for.

But Pepper know all too well things are rarely as they seem. Her own quiet life hides a dark secret from the past. And even though she and Finn may have been destined to find each other, Pepper suspects life may have other plans as to how the story should end.

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Grave's EndGrave’s End by William Shaw

A BIZARRE DISCOVERY

An unidentified cadaver is found in a freezer in an unoccupied luxury house. No-one seems to know or care who it is or who placed it there. When DS Alexandra Cupidi is handed the case, she can have no idea it will lead her to a series of murderous cover-ups and buried secrets. Namely the discovery of the skeleton of public-school boy, Trevor Grey, beneath a housing development.

A HISTORIC CRIME

His disappearance twenty five years earlier had almost passed unnoticed. But as evidence surfaces that his fate was linked to long suppressed rumours of sexual abuse, Cupidi, her teenage daughter Zoe and her friend Bill South find themselves up against powerful forces who will try to silence them.

A BURIED LIFE

Digging deep into the secrets that are held underground leads to Cupidi’s realisation that crime and power are seldom far apart. There are dangerous connections between the two cases, which are complicated by Constable Jill Ferriter’s dating habits, a secret liaison and the underground life of Trevor Grey’s only friend.

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no place to dieNo Place to Die by Clare Donoghue

DS Jane Bennett takes charge of South London’s Lewisham murder squad following the temporary suspension of her boss, DI Mike Lockyer. His involvement with a female witness resulted in her murder. Mike returns to work but he’s a shadow of the detective he was a few months before.

Bennett gets a desperate call from an old friend to say that her husband, retired colleague Mark Leech, has gone missing. Blood spatters found in the home suggest that she doesn’t have long to find him.
When Jane is sent to a site in Elmstead Woods she stumbles upon a sinister murder scene. A tomb has been created, and the body she finds is not Mark’s – as she dreaded and suspected – but that of missing university student, Maggie Hungerford. Her killer recorded her last moments, even providing an air supply which was only cut off when the game lost its thrill.

Two men admit to having had a sexual relationship with Maggie. Both deny murder. Someone is lying. And Mark is still missing. When another tomb is discovered, an anonymous tip and mounting evidence suggest a disturbing link which threatens to derail both cases and let a murderer walk free.

Lockyer is shocked into supporting Bennett in a case which becomes ever more ominous and dangerous as the investigation deepens. They know that their hunt is for a killer with a mind so twisted that he, or she, is likely to stop at nothing.

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finding my voiceFinding My Voice by Nadiya Hussain

‘I am writing this for everyone who was told no. ‘No, you are not rich enough. No, that is not credible. No, you can’t. No, you won’t. No, you are not allowed. No, that is not appropriate.

I was told, “No, you do not belong.”

Finally, I am saying, “Yes, I do.”‘

From the moment Nadiya Hussain was born, she has been questioning her role in life. But the irony is, she never wanted to be a trailblazer. She just wanted to follow a ‘normal’ path. But life kept telling her ‘you can’t’.

And so she found her own way, beyond anything she dared to dream . . .

In this wise, witty, open-hearted book, Nadiya lets us into her life and, for the first time, shares the memories and experiences that have shaped her into the woman and role-model that she is today, alongside her personal recipes and the stories they tell.

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Handstands in the darkHandstands in the Dark by Janey Godley

Brought up amid near-Dickensian squalour in the tough East End of Glasgow and sexually abused by her uncle, Janey married into a Glasgow criminal family as a teenager, then found herself having to cope with the murder of her mother, violence, religious sectarianism, abject poverty and a frightening family of in-laws.

First-hand, Janey saw the gangland violence and met extraordinary characters within an enclosed and seldom-revealed Glasgow underworld – from the grim and far-from-Swinging 60s, to the discos of the 70s, to the tidal wave of heroin addiction which swept through and engulfed Glasgow’s East End during the 1980s.

This evocative, intimate and moving portrayal of a woman forced to fight every day for her family’s future will strike a chord with anyone who has ever struggled against adversity.

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convictionsConvictions by Caro Land

There are two sides to every crime…

Returning home to care for her ill mother, and approaching her fortieth birthday, Natalie Bach is devastated when she’s dumped without explanation by her long-term boyfriend.

Struggling to pick herself up, she’s offered her old job at Goldman Law. Jack Goldman’s estranged son Julian has been arrested for attempted murder and he wants Natalie to find out why.

With the help of fellow solicitor Gavin Savage, Natalie sets out to investigate, but with a series of red herrings ahead, will she ever discover the truth?

And can Natalie avoid her personal problems interfering with the case?

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at the stroke of nine o clockAt the Stroke of Nine O’Clock by Jane Davis

Like most working-class daughters, Caroline Wilby is expected to help support her family. Alone in a strange city, she must grab any opportunity that comes her way. Even if that means putting herself in danger.

Star of the silver screen, Ursula Delancy, has just been abandoned by the man she left her husband for. Already hounded by the press, it won’t be long before she’s making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Patrice Hawtree was once the most photographed debutante of her generation. Now childless and trapped in a loveless marriage, her plans to secure the future of her ancient family home are about to be jeopardised by her husband’s gambling addiction.

Each believes she has already lost in life, not knowing how far she still has to fall.

Six years later, one cause will reunite them: when a young woman commits a crime of passion and is condemned to hang, remaining silent isn’t an option.

“Why do I feel an affinity with Ruth Ellis? I know how certain facts can be presented in such a way that there is no way to defend yourself. Not without hurting those you love.”

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10 minutes10 minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak

‘In the first minute following her death, Tequila Leila’s consciousness began to ebb, slowly and steadily, like a tide receding from the shore…’

For Leila, each minute after her death recalls a sensuous memory: spiced goat stew, sacrificed by her father to celebrate the birth of a yearned-for son; bubbling vats of lemon and sugar to wax women’s legs while men are at prayer; the cardamom coffee she shares with a handsome student in the brothel where she works. Each fading memory brings back the friends she made in her bittersweet life – friends who are now desperately trying to find her . . .

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A place of executionA Place of Execution by Val McDermid

In the Peak District village of Scardale, thirteen-year-old girls didn’t just run away. So when Alison Carter vanished in the winter of ’63, everyone knew it was a murder.

Catherine Heathcote remembers the case well. A child herself when Alison vanished, decades on she still recalls the sense of fear as parents kept their children close, terrified of strangers.

Now a journalist, she persuades DI George Bennett to speak of the hunt for Alison, the tantalizing leads and harrowing dead ends. But when a fresh lead emerges, Bennett tries to stop the story – plunging Catherine into a world of buried secrets and revelations.

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red sky at sunriseRed Sky at Sunrise by Laurie Lee

‘I was set down from the carrier’s cart at the age of three; and there with a sense of bewilderment and terror my life in the village began.’

‘This trilogy is a sequence of early recollections, beginning with the dazzling lights and sounds of my first footings on earth in a steep Cotswold valley some three miles long. For nineteen years this was the limit of my world, then one midsummer morning I left home and walked to London and down the blazing length of Spain during the innocent days of the early thirties. Never had I felt so fat with time, so free to go where I would. Then such indulgence was suddenly broken by the savage outbreak of the Civil War . .

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olive kitteridgeOlive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Olive Kitteridge: indomitable, compassionate and often unpredictable. A retired schoolteacher in a small coastal town in Maine, as she grows older she struggles to make sense of the changes in her life. She is a woman who sees into the hearts of those around her, their triumphs and tragedies.

We meet her stoic husband, bound to her in a marriage both broken and strong, and a young man who aches for the mother he lost – and whom Olive comforts by her mere presence, while her own son feels overwhelmed by her complex sensitivities.

A penetrating, vibrant exploration of the human soul, the story of Olive Kitteridge will make you laugh, nod in recognition, wince in pain, and shed a tear or two.

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olive againOlive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

Olive, Again follows the blunt, contradictory yet deeply loveable Olive Kitteridge as she grows older, navigating the second half of her life as she comes to terms with the changes – sometimes welcome, sometimes not – in her own existence and in those around her.

Olive adjusts to her new life with her second husband, challenges her estranged son and his family to accept him, experiences loss and loneliness, witnesses the triumphs and heartbreaks of her friends and neighbours in the small coastal town of Crosby, Maine – and, finally, opens herself to new lessons about life.

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fatal musicFatal Music by Peter Morfoot

Captain Paul Darac of the Brigade Criminelle is called to a potential crime scene – an elderly woman found dead in her hot tub. At first it is thought that she died of natural causes, but a surprising link with Darac’s own life leads him to dig deeper. In doing so he uncovers disturbing proof that there may have been a motive to kill the woman, and there is no shortage of suspects…

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american dirtAmerican Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

FEAR KEEPS THEM RUNNING. HOPE KEEPS THEM ALIVE.

Vivid, visceral, utterly compelling, AMERICAN DIRT is an unforgettable story of a mother and son’s attempt to cross the US-Mexico border. Described as ‘impossible to put down’ (Saturday Review) and ‘essential reading’ (Tracy Chevalier), it is a story that will leave you utterly changed.

Yesterday, Lydia had a bookshop.
Yesterday, Lydia was married to a journalist.
Yesterday, she was with everyone she loved most in the world.

Today, her eight-year-old son Luca is all she has left.

For him, she will carry a machete strapped to her leg.
For him, she will leap onto the roof of a high speed train.
For him, she will find the strength to keep running.

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spice box lettersThe Spice Box Letters by Eve

Longlisted for the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize Journalist Katerina Knight longs to know why her grandmother, Mariam, so rarely speaks about her family and childhood. When Mariam dies suddenly, she inherits a journal and handwritten letters stashed in a wooden spice box, cryptic treasures written in Armenian, Mariam’s mother tongue. On a spring break in Cyprus, Katerina meets Ara, a young Armenian man, who agrees to act as translator, and an extraordinary tale unfolds. In 1915, aged seven, Mariam was expelled from her home in Eastern Turkey and separated from her family, her life scarred by tragedy, exile and the loss of her first love. As a child, she witnessed the murder of her beloved brother, Gabriel, or so she believed. In fact, Gabriel survived and is living in the heart of a bustling Armenian community not so far away. Soured by experience, he is an uncompromising character, a stickler for tradition determined to stop his granddaughter from marrying outside the culture. A fact-finding trip across the island brings Katerina face to face with the great uncle she thought was dead, but another miracle is on the horizon. Katerina unearths a family secret that changes her life and lays the ghosts of her grandmother’s turbulent past to rest.

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The body in the Castle WellThe Body in the Castle Well by Martin Walker

 A missing art student. An international investigation. A secret that will shatter the village of St Denis.

A rich American art student is found dead at the bottom of a well in an ancient hilltop castle. The young woman, Claudia, had been working in the archives of an eminent French art historian, a crippled Resistance war hero, at his art-filled chateau.

As Claudia’s White House connections get the US Embassy and the FBI involved, Bruno traces the people and events that led to her fatal accident – or was it murder?

Bruno learns that Claudia had been trying to buy the chateau and art collection of her tutor, even while her researches led her to suspect that some of his attributions may have been forged. This takes Bruno down a trail that leads him from the ruins of Berlin in 1945, to France’s colonial war in Algeria.

The long arm of French history has reached out to find a new victim, but can Bruno identify the killer – and prove his case?

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tony hogan bought me an ice cream float

Tony Hogan Bought me an Ice Cream Float Before He Stole my Ma by Kerry Hudson

Winner of the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust First Book Award 2013, Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, the Sky Arts Awards, the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award, the Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year, the Portsmouth First Fiction Award, the Green Carnation Prize and the Polari Prize

‘More than just one of the best debuts of the year; one of the best books of the year. It should do for Aberdeen what Trainspotting did for Edinburgh’ Louise Welsh, Herald

When Janie Ryan is born, she is destined to be the latest in a long line of Aberdeen fishwives.

Ahead of her lies a life filled with feckless men, filthy council flats and bread & marge sandwiches.

But Janie isn’t like the rest of them. She wants a different life.

And Janie, born and bred for combat, is ready to fight for it.

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cow girl

Cow Girl by Kirsty Eyre

When her father falls ill, Billie returns home to the Yorkshire farm which she left behind for life in London. The transition back to country lass from city girl isn’t easy, not least because leaving London means leaving her relationship with Joely Chevalier, just as it was heating up.

And when she gets to Yorkshire, Billie’s shocked to discover the family dairy farm is in dire straits – the last thing Billie expected was a return to the life of a farmer but it isn’t long before she’s up at 5am with manure up to her wellies.

Battling misogyny, homophobia and some very unpredictable dairy cows, Billie must find a way to keep the cows happy, save the farm and save herself…

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secrets of sunshine

The Secrets of Sunshine by Phaedra Patrick

A lonely single father gets an unexpected second chance at love in the heart-warming new novel from the bestselling author of The Library of Lost and Found.

Only his daughter Poppy knows that behind his prickly exterior, Mitchell Fisher is deeply lonely. He may have sworn off romance, relishing his job cutting off the padlocks that couples fasten to his hometown’s famous ‘love story’ bridge… but underneath it all, he’s still grieving the loss of Poppy’s mum.

Then one hot summer’s day, everything changes when Mitchell bravely rescues a woman who falls from the bridge into the river. He’s surprised to feel an unexpected connection to her, but then she disappears. Desperate to find the mysterious woman, Mitchell teams up with her spirited sister Liza to see if she’s left any clues behind. There’s just one – a secret message on the padlock she left on love story bridge…

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the henna artist

The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist—and confidante—to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own…

Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow—a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does.

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The Bookshop on the Shore: the funny, feel-good, uplifting Sunday Times bestseller by [Jenny Colgan]

The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan

Zoe is a single mother, sinking beneath the waves trying to cope by herself in London. Hari, her gorgeous little boy is perfect in every way – except for the fact that he just doesn’t speak, at all. When her landlord raises the rent on her flat, Zoe doesn’t know where to turn.

Then Hari’s aunt suggests Zoe could move to Scotland to help run a bookshop. Going from the lonely city to a small village in the Highlands could be the change Zoe and Hari desperately need.

Faced with an unwelcoming boss, a moody, distant bookseller named Ramsay Urquart, and a band of unruly children, Zoe wonders if she’s made the right decision. But Hari has found his very first real friend, and no one could resist the beauty of the loch glinting in the summer sun. If only Ramsay would just be a little more approachable…

Dreams start here . . .

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Subscription Books

 

This month’s, and as it happens next month’s NB subscription books were a ‘pick your own’. Due to covid-19 they’ve struggled to get books in from our suppliers during the lockdown period and don’t expect any quick re-stocking over the summer. Their solution was to offer us our own choices from their existing stock for July and August.  Hopefully by September they anticipate being able to go back to sending out tailored recommendations. I found this an admirable solution and chose two non fiction offerings for a change. They both arrived together so I’ll have to remember not to get excited about my already delivered, mid month book post next month.

 

footnotesFootnotes by Peter Fiennes

A Guardian Travel Book of the Year

Shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards

Peter Fiennes follows in the footsteps of twelve inspirational writers, bringing modern Britain into focus by peering through the lens of the past.

The journey starts in Dorset, shaped by the childhood visions of Enid Blyton, and ends with Charles Dickens on the train that took him to his final resting place in Westminster Abbey.

From the wilds of Skye and Snowdon, to a big night out in Birmingham with J. B. Priestley and Beryl Bainbridge, Footnotes is a series of evocative biographies, a lyrical foray into the past, and a quest to understand Britain through the books, journals and diaries of some of our greatest writers.

And as Fiennes travels the country, and roams across the centuries, he wonders:

‘Who are we? What do we want? They seemed like good questions to ask, in the company of some of our greatest writers, given these restless times.’

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the debatable landThe Debatable Land by Graham Robb

The Debatable Land was an independent territory which used to exist between Scotland and England. At the height of its notoriety, it was the bloodiest region in Great Britain, fought over by Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and James V. After the Union of the Crowns, most of its population was slaughtered or deported and it became the last part of the country to be brought under the control of the state. Today, its history has been forgotten or ignored.

When Graham Robb moved to a lonely house on the very edge of England, he discovered that the river which almost surrounded his new home had once marked the Debatable Land’s southern boundary. Under the powerful spell of curiosity, Robb began a journey – on foot, by bicycle and into the past – that would uncover lost towns and roads, reveal the truth about this maligned patch of land and result in more than one discovery of major historical significance.

Rich in detail and epic in scope, The Debatable Land takes us from a time when neither England nor Scotland could be imagined to the present day, when contemporary nationalism and political turmoil threaten to unsettle the cross-border community once more. Writing with his customary charm, wit and literary grace, Graham Robb proves the Debatable Land to be a crucial, missing piece in the puzzle of British history.

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What I Read this Month

Not sure at this stage whether these will all be individually reviewed on the blog, but they were all enjoyable in their own way. A mix of thriller, romance, historical and ‘faction’. They ranged from heartbreaking to feel good, thrilling to thought provoking. My favourite, if pushed, was Painted Ladies – it just hit the spot being the fictionalised  portrayal of the the tangled relationship of the artist Pierre Bonnard and his muses. But all were well worthy of their place in the holiday reading bag.

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Old BaggageOld Baggage by Lissa Evans

It is 1928. Matilda Simpkin, rooting through a cupboard, comes across a small wooden club – an old possession of hers, unseen for more than a decade.

Mattie is a woman with a thrilling past and a chafingly uneventful present. During the Women’s Suffrage Campaign she was a militant. Jailed five times, she marched, sang, gave speeches, smashed windows and heckled Winston Churchill, and nothing – nothing – since then has had the same depth, the same excitement.

Now in middle age, she is still looking for a fresh mould into which to pour her energies. Giving the wooden club a thoughtful twirl, she is struck by an idea – but what starts as a brilliantly idealistic plan is derailed by a connection with Mattie’s militant past, one which begins to threaten every principle that she stands for.

Old Baggage is a funny and bittersweet portrait of a woman who has never, never given up the fight.

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Will You Remember MeWill You Remember Me? by Amanda Prowse

How do you say goodbye to your family for the last time?

Poppy Day is thirty-two and married to her childhood sweetheart. She’s a full-time mum of two gorgeous children and loves her homely little cottage in the countryside. It’s the life she aways wanted.

But Poppy is so busy caring for others she hasn’t noticed how tired she is, or the menacing lump growing on her breast. It’s unthinkable that cancer could defeat such a strong and amazing woman. But life doesn’t always give you what you deserve…

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Painted LadiesPainted Ladies by Lynn Bushell

Paris 1917. For twenty-five years, the legendary Marthe has been Pierre Bonnard’s companion and muse. His new model Renée, lovely and captivating, thinks it’s time her rival stepped aside. But Marthe won’t give up her place in history without a fight. An artist may have many models but there can be only one muse.

I can heartily recommend this having devoured it on my recent holiday. I loved the evocation of Belle Epoque Paris and the social mores that defined the period.  But it’s the fictionalised lives of Bonnard’s muses that sit at the heart of this captivating read. Its hard to feel anything but sympathy for both Marthe and Renée as they sacrificed reputations, families and more for the love of  Pierre Bonnard. 

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woman at no 24The Woman at Number 24 by Juliet Ashton

When your marriage falls apart, the last place you’d want your husband to move to is downstairs. Unfortunately for Sarah, up in the eaves at number 24, her ex-husband now lives one floor beneath her with his new wife. Their happiness floats up through the floorboards, taunting her.

A child psychologist, Sarah has picked up great sadness from the little girl, Una, who lives with her careworn mother three floors below, but is Sarah emotionally equipped to reach out?

The Spring brings a new couple to the house. Jane and Tom‘s zest for life revives the flagging spirits, and Sarah can’t deny the instant attraction to handsome Tom. Having seen at first hand what infidelity does to people, she’ll never act on it … but the air fizzes with potential.

The sunshine doesn’t reach every corner of number 24, however. Elderly Mavis, tucked away in the basement, has kept the world at bay for decades. She’s about to find out that she can’t hide forever.

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lavender-houseThe Lavender House by Hilary Boyd

Nancy de Freitas is the glue that holds her family together. Caught between her ageing, ailing mother Frances, and her struggling daughter Louise, frequent user of Nancy’s babysitting services, it seems Nancy’s fate is to quietly go on shouldering the burden of responsibility for all four generations. Her divorce four years ago put paid to any thoughts of a partner to share her later years with. Now it looks like her family is all she has.

Then she meets Jim. Smoker, drinker, unsuccessful country singer and wearer of cowboy boots, he should be completely unsuited to the very together Nancy. And yet, there is a real spark.
But Nancy’s family don’t trust Jim one bit. They’re convinced he’ll break her heart, maybe run off with her money – he certainly distracts her from her family responsibilities.

Can she be brave enough to follow her heart? Or will she remain glued to her family’s side and walk away from one last chance for love?

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Sky's the LimitSky’s the Limit by Janie Millman

Sky is devastated when she finds that her husband is in love with someone else, even more that it is her oldest friend Nick. She has lost the two most important men in her life and can’t ever trust either of them again.

To escape, she goes alone on a dream trip to Marrakesh and meets Gail, on a mission to meet the father of her child, a man she loved but thought did not want her.

In Marrakesh, Sky and Gail both find unexpected joys – and surprises. For Sky these lead to France, to a beautiful chateau and a family whose relationships seem as complicated as her own.

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perfectly imperfect womanThe Perfectly Imperfect Woman by Milly Johnson

Marnie Salt has made so many mistakes in her life that she fears she will never get on the right track. But when she ‘meets’ an old lady on a baking chatroom and begins confiding in her, little does she know how her life will change.

Arranging to see each other for lunch, Marnie finds discovers that Lilian is every bit as mad and delightful as she’d hoped – and that she owns a whole village in the Yorkshire Dales, which has been passed down through generations. And when Marnie needs a refuge after a crisis, she ups sticks and heads for Wychwell – a temporary measure, so she thinks.

But soon Marnie finds that Wychwell has claimed her as its own and she is duty bound not to leave. Even if what she has to do makes her as unpopular as a force 12 gale in a confetti factory! But everyone has imperfections, as Marnie comes to realise, and that is not such a bad thing – after all, your flaws are perfect for the heart that is meant to love you.

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no place to dieNo Place to Die by Clare Donoghue

DS Jane Bennett takes charge of South London’s Lewisham murder squad following the temporary suspension of her boss, DI Mike Lockyer. His involvement with a female witness resulted in her murder. Mike returns to work but he’s a shadow of the detective he was a few months before.

Bennett gets a desperate call from an old friend to say that her husband, retired colleague Mark Leech, has gone missing. Blood spatters found in the home suggest that she doesn’t have long to find him.
When Jane is sent to a site in Elmstead Woods she stumbles upon a sinister murder scene. A tomb has been created, and the body she finds is not Mark’s – as she dreaded and suspected – but that of missing university student, Maggie Hungerford. Her killer recorded her last moments, even providing an air supply which was only cut off when the game lost its thrill.

Two men admit to having had a sexual relationship with Maggie. Both deny murder. Someone is lying. And Mark is still missing. When another tomb is discovered, an anonymous tip and mounting evidence suggest a disturbing link which threatens to derail both cases and let a murderer walk free.

Lockyer is shocked into supporting Bennett in a case which becomes ever more ominous and dangerous as the investigation deepens. They know that their hunt is for a killer with a mind so twisted that he, or she, is likely to stop at nothing.

amazon-uk

Hive


 

RememberedRemembered by Yvonne Battle-Felton

It is 1910 and Philadelphia is burning . . .

The last place Spring wants to be is in the rundown, coloured section of a hospital surrounded by the groans of sick people and the ghost of her dead sister. But as her son Edward lays dying, she has no other choice.

There’re whispers that Edward drove a streetcar into a shop window. Some people think it was an accident, others claim that it was his fault, the police are certain that he was part of a darker agenda. Is he guilty? Can they find the truth?

All Spring knows is that time is running out. She has to tell him the story of how he came to be. With the help of her dead sister, newspaper clippings and reconstructed memories, she must find a way to get through to him. To shatter the silences that governed her life, she will do everything she can to lead him home.

amazon-uk

Hive


 

So that was my month in books, hope yours was as good. Until next time, happy reading!!

 

 

13 comments

    • I am aware of the controversy but at 99p it was an affordable way of finding out for myself. It’s praised by some and shot down by others. Knowing why it has been criticised I suspect may well affect my reading of it (whenever that might be!)

      Like

  1. Old Baggage was very good. I loved At the Stroke of Nine O’clock, by the way. Also, that Nadiya Hussain book looks good, even though I don’t usually read memoirs – I just loved watching her win the Bake Off!

    Liked by 1 person

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