Friday, December 10, 2010

The Group

I am not a huge fan of Sex and the City, so I probably should have paid attention that The Group was introduced by Candace Bushnell. I was expecting this book, originally published in 1963, to be inspirational, but it wasn't particularly. It was fairly interesting, but seemed to be very down on the male sex and didn't paint a very happy picture of marriage or even femalehood. It just felt very down-trodden and sad. It was well-written, and the characters were believable, but it just did feel quite hopeless and made it seem that being a woman is quite hard work, when actually, it isn't; it can be really quite fabulous.

I am now reading Jeeves and Wooster, because I really needed something so light-hearted to uplift me a bit. I am enjoying these and will tell you more later.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Grief and romance

Again, I am going to talk about two books. The first one is the second of my Christmas books and I really enjoyed it. Twelve Days of Christmas by Trisha Ashley is about a young woman whose husband died around Christmas time in a tragic accident, a few years previously. She is a chef by profession, running house parties in the Summer months, and house-sitting in remote places during the Winter months. This Christmas is no exception and she prepares to house-sit as an emergency replacement. Lots of complications follow and at times it does sound quite stressy, although she sounds like a super-woman in the kitchen. The develops special friendships with people in the area, and the story does have a good happy ending, without being too soppy and sentimental. I like the characters in the book, and the dilemmas that she faces. There is also the added bonus of her grandmother's journals which include a mystery to be solved. This is a good book to read over Christmas by the fireside.

The second book, is another Debbie Macomber. Hannah's List tells the story of a man, widowed a year ago, who is presented with a letter from his late wife, which she had written before she died. The letter asks him to remarry and have the children that they hadn't had. She even suggests three potential candidates. It is very predictable, and it is an okay read, but two things I liked, were the way the author dealt with the issues of cancer, death and grief, and also relationships. It felt realistic and was quite moving in places. There was also a lesson in dealing with arguments in relationships, focusing on compromise and change behaviour. It was really clearly explained, and I can see it being effective in improving relationships, not just personal, but in everyday working relationships too. Anyway, it was fine to read, not my favourite of her books but useful in its own way.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Too early for Christmas?

I have two books to talk about today and both very different. Juliet, by Anne Fortier, is a re-telling of Romeo and Juliet, set in the original time and modern day, and not in Verona, but in Sienna.The two stories are linked, the old and the new, and there is a mystery to unfold and a curse to overturn. I particularly loved the historical side of this story, and the modern day bit was good, but perhaps a bit to clever. I can see it making a very successful blockbuster novel, in the style of Da Vinci Code, but personally I think if it had been less complicated, it would have made a better read. Happy to discuss though. It is ideal for a holiday read, and the historical data is really interesting and well told.

The second book is the first of two Christmas books I bought. Falling for Christmas is written by Debbie Macomber and contains two books. Both follow the Christmas theme, and they are very sentimental and romantic and have completely happy endings. There is nothing offensive, a bit of sadness, but all the loose ends get tied up in a magical, simple way. They also contain lovely recipes. I really like the sound of the fried chicken, but I don't know if I have the patience to make takes hours! Anyway, these are lovely, feel-good stories, and they really get you in the mood for Christmas. And, yes, apologies, for starting so early. I just couldn't resist them. And, what's worse, is the next book I am about to read is also about Christmas. Sorry :-) Please note: the link for this book links to a book of the same title, and the first story is the same as the one I read, but the second story (according to the details on Waterstones) is different. I bought mine from the bookshop, so I am not sure what is going on. The second story in my book was about a toyshop, a little boy who wanted a robot, and an angel.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Electronic versus print

I finished two books this week. Northanger Abbey on my Kindle and Noah's Compass in print format. The method of reading didn't make a difference, I don't think, but I did enjoy Northanger Abbey more. I loved the characters and the way Catherine Morland was so heavily influenced by novels. This is the first Jane Austen that I have read without watching the film version and I think that makes a difference, because I was able to imagine the characters myself. I really liked the relationship between Mr Tilney and Miss Morland and especially her time at the Abbey. I will definitely try some other Jane Austen now. Now, Noah's Compass...I usually really love Anne Tyler's books, but this one was only okay, just because it was so similar to one of her earlier books, The Accidental Tourist, which I really enjoyed. I did like this book, but there wasn't anything unique about it. It was an easy, relaxing read though, so if you are a fan of her books, then this is still very readable.

Saturday, October 02, 2010


I have just finished a book by Rachel Hore, called A Place of Secrets. I have read all of her books and enjoyed them all. They follow a similar theme, set in a beautiful location, complicated relationships, building on a historical story, fitting the pieces of a puzzle together. This one takes the same pattern but with a different subject area, so with each book, because they are so well-researched, you always feel as though you are learning something. The subject for this book was astronomy and it was fascinating. It was a really brilliant story about an auctioneer being asked to visit a country home in Norfolk to value a collection of books about astronomy. She finds a journal describing the findings of a previous owner of the house and uncovers a mystery, enhanced by the strange dreams that her niece was having. My only criticism is that it was a very complex story, and was perhaps unravelled a little too quickly. I think the author could have spent some more time just unpacking some of the relationships and the mystery itself. I could quite happily have continued reading this story. It was beautifully and cleverly told and the characters were all so real. I enjoyed the ending very much as it was well-put-together.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I forgot to provide an update about my Amazon Kindle. It is going well. I had a bit of a hiccup when it kept on crashing, but I think that was because I was expecting it to be as fast as a computer. It isn't. It isn't slow though, just requires some adjusting too. Anyway, I finished Sherlock Holmes and really enjoyed it, part from the last story, which was just a bit too gruesome! Now I am reading Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, and I am really enjoying that one too. I can see that you might be wondering when I am doing my PhD reading. I have a system. My outgoing train journey to work is when I do this reading because my mind is fresher. It works well. I can highlight and make notes very easily and then I can type these up at the weekend. My home journey is when I do my pleasure reading with my Kindle, and then when I am at home, I read my paperbacks. It is all working out well.

The Help

As you know, when I do 3 for 2 at Waterstones, I usually pick at least one new author. This time was no exception. I bought two books by favourite authors and then I picked up The Help, a first novel by Kathryn Stockett. The Sunday Times describes it as 'The other side of Gone with the Wind - and just as unputdownable.' I haven't read Gone with the Wind, but The Help was definitely unputdownable. It was superb. I was unsure whether I would enjoy it because the subject matter is about the working and private lives of Black maids in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962, and in particular about their relationships with their white bosses. I was wary because the book is written by a white woman, so I wondered how realistic it would be. But her acknowledgements, at the end of the book, gave more details of her background and how she attained her knowledge and that made the story more believable. It was good to read it after reading the whole book. The book itself, is a narrative, told by three people - two black maids and one of the white children, now grown-up. In places it is hard to read, but not gratuitously so, and it is also warm and surprising, and so tender. It is a beautiful book and one that I cannot recommend enough.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Victorian literature and Kindle

Well, first of all, I have to talk about the latest paperback book I have read. Cousin Phillis and Other Stories is by Elizabeth Gaskell, a Victorian novelist. I have read Cranford which I really enjoyed, and this one too, was very enjoyable. It is a book of short stories, and as with Ms Gaskell's other books, the females, although feminine, enjoy strong roles and characters. The emotions throughout all the stories are so strong and pure, you cannot help believing in love and propriety, and wondering how much simpler life was then, with the social rules in place. As a bonus with this book, there is a fantastic chronology of the author's life, mapped against historical and cultural events at that time. It really put things into context and it was so interesting seeing how she worked alongside Charles Dickens and other famous authors of the time. Elizabeth Gaskell brings me onto the second part of my post. I am wondering if I have sold out. I love books, with a passion, but I have bought myself a Kindle. There is a good reason for this. I am doing a PhD, and I need to do lots of reading. I don't have a printer, and yes, I could get one, but I would prefer not to print out loads of papers. Initially, I thought I would read the papers on my netbook. However, on the train, when I do all my reading, I rarely get a seat, so the netbook idea doesn't work. So, I am experimenting with Amazon's Kindle, and it is working out quite well. I don't know if it is as sophisticated as the Sony eReader, but it is cheaper and it does everything I need it to. Also, when you turn it off, it displays beautiful images from old books and of famous authors. I love that. It is very pretty. I bought the wifi version. I did have a few blips at the start, but I have worked out my system now. Rather than transferring books via wireless from Amazon to Kindle, I download them to my netbook and then transfer them via the USB cable. This is much quicker. Saying that, I did buy a book from the Kindle store and it was delivered within seconds. I can store PDFs of the papers, and make notes, even while standing up. The other thing which I have discovered to my detriment, as it is distracting me from my reading, is that you can download more than 4,500 electronic books for free, from Kindle alone! So, I have downloaded Sherlock Holmes, and I am allowing myself some time for pleasure-reading, and what a pleasure Sherlock Holmes is! I love the characters and all the mysteries, but I cannot help comparing Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson to Monsieur Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings. The similarities are just all too strong, with Monsieur Poirot and his "little grey cells" and Mr Holmes with his observations and deductions. How can two people come up with so many mysteries!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Three for the price of two

I took advantage of Waterstone's three for the price of two offer to try some new authors. The first book I read was The Legacy, by Katharine Webb, in which two sisters are left a house by their grandmother, a very unhappy woman, who leaves it with some unpleasant strings attached. The story focuses on two secrets; one which involves the sisters and one which involves their ancestors. It is so interesting because it is set in New York, Oklahoma, London, and Wiltshire, across two eras. The first secret takes place in the early 1900s, while the second secret is set in the childhood of the two sisters and takes us up to present-day. The first secret describes the lives of cattle ranchers setting up in Oklahoma and their relationships with the Native American Indians. It seems a very honest account of the hardships faced, but also the camaraderie of all those living there. The second secret focuses around the younger sister trying to unravel the secrets from their childhood without causing further stress to her stress who is battling her own demons. It was a very good read, and I am looking forward to more books by this author.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Agatha fest!

Gosh, I think I have outdone myself. Three Agatha Christie's in a row and all equally brilliant. I am really noticing a difference between her earlier and later books, and the change in the social system in England. A Pocket Full of Rye, written in 1953, demonstrated how people were still getting used to the new Health Service and were finding it difficult to locate a doctor because they now had to find one in their local area but they were unsure as to how to do this. Very interesting. And the story was just brilliant, running along the nursery rhyme themes that the author likes to follow. I just loved the way it was written and all the mystery. So clever. I also read Poirot Investigates, written in 1924, a collection of short stories. You can really see how her later novels stemmed from these short stories, eg the similarites of "The Western Star" alongside the novel "Evil Under The Sun". I had so many favourites, but I particularly liked The Kidnapped Prime Minister and The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb. Why Didn't They Ask Evans? was the third book that I read and it was a masterpiece. So many red herrings and confusion and I loved the hints at romance between the two main characters who were playing detective. Excellent plot and hugely enjoyable. Now, what's next...

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Swan Thieves

The Swan Thieves is Elizabeth Kostova's new book, and it was given to me as a leaving present. I was very impressed that my friend chose so well for me. It was a beautiful story, covering art, history, romance, mystery, mental illness, so much. And the characters, so believable. The love stories were deliciously intense. I learnt so much about art and the Impressionist artists and now want to go to France to learn more, to explore Paris from another point of view and to discover some of the other areas that the author describes. The description of techniques and colour were really interesting, making me long to have artistic talents...I have none, unfortunately. I really enjoyed reading this tale, and it has made me a week behind in my PhD reading, but it was really worth it. I couldn't put it down. The author has such a talent for educating and entertaining. I love the story and I was delighted that although it was a piece of fiction, it was based on fact, in particular a picture by Alfred Sisley - Snow at Louveciennes - it was good to see this picture after reading about it (and it was quite different to how I had imagined it. I learnt this from the Amazon customer discussion lists. Very interesting.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Agatha overdose

I have just finished two Agatha Christie's and both were so different. I wasn't wild on the first one - Hallowe'en Party. It was interesting because it was written in 1969 and it dwelled on the falling standards of society. Actually, Agatha Christie's books would make a very interesting sociological study because her writing spanned several decades. I think with this one, it was evident that she wasn't thrilled with the freedom available to people, and she focused especially on crimes of a sexual nature. So, it was okay, but reminded me too much of what is in the news today. I prefer escapism, and that is what I got with the next one - And Then There Were None. It was fabulous. So much mystery and speculation and I still got it completely wrong. I won't say anymore, but I do think it would be great to write a fictional book about Agatha Christie carrying out the perfect crime. Has this been done? Personally, I don't have the imagination, but I would love to be able to describe the sort of crime that she would do. Is that wrong....not meant to be, but she has such a brilliant mind, it does make you wonder what she would have been like as a criminal. I am glad she chose to be an author - her books are amazing!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

More Sarah Addison Allen

After reading Garden Spells, I went straight to Waterstones to buy the next one The Sugar Queen. The lady in the shop said that she preferred Garden Spells, but that it was still a good read. I was a bit worried, but took the risk and was pleasantly surprised. It was slightly different, and I can't say how, because it would spoil the story. But again, the book had strong female characters, complicated romances, and a touch of magic, in the form of a fairy-godmother-type character. It is a lovely Summer holiday read.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

A Spanish mystery

I loved The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, so I was delighted when The Angel's Game was published. I enjoyed this almost as much, although I was surprised by the ending. Personally, I had a different ending in mind. But, it is a highly complex story, and perhaps I need to read it again, to understand the chosen ending. The story is superb and completely captivating, although a little scary in places. So much is implied and I think that adds to the fear element. Barcelona sounds so full of passion, life and history, and the characters in the story were so full of drama. I couldn't put this book down. It centers on the life of a writer and his relationship with a kindly bookseller who encourages him from an early age to read and then write his own stories, and his wealthy mentor, also a writer, but not on the same scale. The story tells of betrayal, secrets, lies, madness, love, and desperate deals to prolong life, made with mysterious and fearsome publishers. It is beautifully written; a complete treasure; unputdownable.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Floral magic

I have just finished Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen, and it was just lovely. Actually, lovely is probably the wrong word as the are some sad/difficult moments focusing on domestic abuse, but the majority of the story is about the magical powers of flowers and how they can be used in cooking to manipulate emotions. You can find the recipes on the author's website - just click on books and choose a title, and there you will find the recipes. Back to the book, I love the sound of the garden, with the mischevious, magical apple tree. The style reminds me of Alice Hoffman, but gentler. All the women have strong characters and they are all so engaging, and not just the women, but the five-year old daughter of one of the women too. I have The Sugar Queen waiting in the wings, while I read The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

I loved it. When I first started reading The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, I was worried whether I would be disappointed; I wondered if Stephenie Meyer would be influenced by the films. However, I don't think so. As I read further into the book, it reminded me more of Host. This story was really good and it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if we had known all this about Bree. I am glad I have read it before seeing the film. I am now re-reading Eclipse and wondering if anymore Twilight spin-offs are planned. Incidentally, until 5th July 2010, you can read this story for free online - the software is really cool!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Old favourites and new tales

After my Agatha Christie phase, I decided to revert to some old favourites, so I read some JK Rowling, some Anne Tyler, and of course, Alice Hoffman. And then I bought The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman. I haven't managed to finish it though. The subject matter makes me sad, but that is a personal opinion. It is just as well written as all her books and I hope to finish it one day. We went to see Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap last week at St Martin's Theatre, Covent Garden, London, and it was superb! Really enjoyable, and we had great fun trying to guess who the murderer was, and of course, we were completely wrong! The theatre was gorgeous too. Anyway, that play spurred me on to return to Agatha Christie, and I picked up my favourite so far: Death in the Clouds. It was fantastic. So many twists and turns, yet again, I did not guess who the murderer was, although I suspected practically every character in the story. It was hugely enjoyable. I was going to get another one, but I spotted The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner and quickly grabbed it. I will let you know what I think in my next blog!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Murder in the library

Yes, another Agatha Christie. I couldn't resist The Body In The Library. And yet again, it was really good. Lots of great characters and twists. Kept me guessing to the end! I also like the covers of these new versions. Nice colours and designs. I know, nothing to do with Agatha Christie, but still pleasant to have on your bookshelf. Don't worry, I am having a break from these novels now. I am re-reading Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani and I am waiting for the new Alice Hoffman "The Story Sisters" (due end of May), the new Stephenie Meyer "The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner" (due 5th June) and Noah's Compass (due in August), the next Anne Tyler. I would happily pre-order all of them, but I am due to move anytime soon and so don't know which delivery address to put down. Wouldn't want them to get lost!!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Murder, mystery and suspense

Agatha Christie gets better and better! I loved At Bertram's Hotel. And I would so love to stay there, if it exists. The story was so complex and exciting, with fabulous characters, and intertwining stories! And the surprise twist at the kept me guessing throughout! It amazes me how one person, can have such a versatile imagination. I am completely in awe. I have to admit, when I first started reading these, I really thought I would get bored, but instead, I am just craving more and more!

Friday, April 23, 2010

How does she do it?

Well, I read another Agatha Christie, and I really thought I had guessed the murderer within the first couple of chapters, but I was so wrong! The ABC Murders was brilliant, so clever. Really nice plot, and a real insight into Hercule Poirot and his vanities. I really did not guess until the very end who the murderer was or why! Very good.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Scary stuff

Well, I am still on my Agatha Christie fest, but after the last one, I am going to digress somewhat because I found it quite disturbing. The one I read previously, Sparkling Cyanide, was really good, and I really could not work out who the murderer was until it all came together at the end. It was a really good mystery and I really enjoyed it. Then, I read Endless Night, which was very interesting. It reminded me very much of books by F Scott Fitzgerald. I don't want to spoil anything, but it was different to the other AC books that I have read. For a start, the murder didn't happen until the end. And I was so surprised! I knew something was going to happen and I had my suspicions about who would be involved, but I was really shocked about how events unfurled. It is a good read, but I did find it sinister and sad. There is no graphic violence, but it is sad that innocence is harmed and that people can be influenced so much by money. Anyway, I do recommend it but it does make you think...who can you trust?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Three days later!

A Murder Is Announced...another Agatha Christie that I couldn't put down. I am on holiday, fortunately, otherwise I don't know how I would survive! It is quite amazing that a book, written in 1950, by a sweet-looking old lady, can scare me so much, that I can't sleep. That was last night! I had to wake my husband because I was scared. Pathetic really. It is just the way it is written...nothing graphic, just all left to you imagination. Not good! Actually, it was a really good read - great, complicated story with loveable characters and of course Miss Jane Marple - and I am looking forward to my next one, which has already educated me....I have never made the connection between the colour blue and cyanide...cyan...obvious now. Anyway, I will let you know how I get on.

Monday, April 05, 2010

The great criminal mind!

I have just finished my first Agatha Christie and it was superb! I guessed the true identity of the murderer incorrectly, thanks to the complicated story that was told. The investigator was Monsieur Hercule Poirot himself! Five Little Pigs was the story of a murder which had taken place 16 years earlier and the daughter of the convicted perpetrator was seeking to clear her of her guilt. It is a brilliant story, all the characters and scenes richly described so that you could imagine the whole scenario quite clearly. I really enjoyed it and couldn't put it down. I can't believe it has taken me so long to discover this fabulous author.

Friday, April 02, 2010

World music and the Bulgarian influence

Yet another success from Laurie Graham and once again, quite different from her other books. Life According to Lubka is about a middle-aged career woman working in the music industry who is persuaded to go on tour with a group of Bulgarian grannies who sing folk songs. Her life completely changes, and although she is quite a potty-mouth, the book is very entertaining. She learns how to enjoy a simple life and the value of true friends. The characters are fabulous and the dialect that the author uses sounds believable - not having been to Bulgaria, however, I am probably not in a position to judge. But they all seemed really believable and it made me want to find out more.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Musical tales

Kazuo Ishiguro's latest book, Nocturnes has left me thinking, which isn't a bad thing. It is made up of five short stories, all following a musical theme, and although the tales were involved, and the characters were realistic, the endings were left for the reader to imagine. I suppose this is a clever way of writing and involves your reader, but sometimes, you just want to know what the author wants to happen. Anyway, I might try reading it again and find what I am missing.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Shoes and Italians

I do like books by Adriana Trigiani. Her latest, Very Valentine, is about a girl working in the family business making exquisite hand made shoes. The company was set up by her grandfather and the book describes traditional methods and traditions. Of course, there is romance, with a chef and the descriptions of his recipes are just sumptuous and had my mouth watering! As with all her stories, it is loosely based on her Italian family, and there is a wonderful visit back to Italy, which Valentine takes with her grandmother. It is such an enjoyable story, and I am really looking forward to the sequel. As usual, the author slips in recipes, which I think make the books that extra bit special, because you can bring the story to life in your kitchen. If you like, food, shoes, Italy, romance, drama, then this is the book for you.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Something new...

Having read some older books, rather than from modern authors, I thought I would continue on this theme. So, I bought Cranford: and Other Stories by Elizabeth Gaskell. I don't have a television, so I hadn't seen the series on the BBC. I loved the book; the characters were so believable and enjoyable, and it was quite unusual to have the females as the dominant characters. I read the omnibus edition, which includes the stories 'The Lady Ludlow', 'Mr Harrison's Confessions' and 'The Cage at Cranford'. The stories and the characters were so delightful, and the historical element was really interesting. A lovely Winter's read, which was followed by a book from one of my usual genres. Elinor Lipman's The Family Man follows her usual style of complicated family setups with strong characters, some of which from Jewish backgrounds. This book tells the story of Henry Archer, a gay man, who used to be married, and who meets the daughter he adopted and lost about 25 years ago. This was a complicated, but easy to read story, which had me giggling in my seat. I really like the way Elinor Lipman writes. She covers some sensitive topics, but with a perfect amount of humour. Really enjoyable!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I rarely read classics. I have always struggled with the long, complicated words. However, having read The Hidden Heart of Emily Hudson, where the author recommended additional reading, I read The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton and I was enchanted. The ending was, again perfect, although this time sad, but perhaps for the leaves you wondering. It was really well written, with words I have never heard of, but they weren't intimidating as they have been in the past. I enjoyed this story very much, but will always wonder what would have happened. I wonder if it is something about that era, - well between 1850 and 1950, - I remember reading A Handful of Dust, and thinking that it was such a brilliant book, but such a sad ending...wasted love.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Most perfect ending

I have just finished reading The Hidden Heart of Emily Hudson, by Melissa Jones, and it was an absolute treasure to read. It is set in the 1860s, and is about a 17 year old orphan in the care of her uncle and his family. Unlike most women of her era, she ignores the social etiquette and speaks and behaves as she desires, much to the anger of her uncle. The story tells of her life and loves, and the possessive hold that the men in her life have over her. It is a beautiful story with wonderful descriptions of her trials, and also of her travels, as she travels from America to London to Europe. There is so much to this book, but I don't want to give anything away, because there is something key to Emily Hudson that explains the way she is. The book could have ended in several ways, all good, but the one chosen was the best, and it was done so well.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

More Macomber

I am still enjoying Debbie Macomber's books. The latest one I have read is 311 Pelican Court, which focuses on an unusual divorce court ruling which sees the parents of two children moving between houses, instead of the children. All the books are set in a small town, Cedar Cove, where everyone knows each other. This book is full of misunderstandings, and unexpected solutions. They are gentle books, with happy endings, some sadness, and unusual twists.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

New year, new posts!

I have just finished The Dream House by Rachel Hore. Like her other books, there was a lot of flashbacks, this time to the 1920s/30s. It was a good story, but my favourite bits were the historical ones. I became irritated with the modern day setting, because of the casualness of the relationships and the lack of respect. It was probably more evident, because they had such high standards in the past. Anyway, it was entertaining, although I do prefer her other books, such as The Memory Garden and the Glass Painters Daughter. In this book, I felt she ended up with the wrong man. Let me know what you think.