Sunday, November 06, 2011

Perfect for Halloween

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah E. Harkness, an American historian, has been described as "Twilight for grown ups", and that is quite an apt description, although I would also say that there are similarities to the Harry Potter series too. I am a fan of all of them, and I did really enjoy reading this book, although I hadn't realised that it is the first in a trilogy, and I now have to wait until next June for the next installment! The story starts off in Oxford, and there are wonderful descriptions of the Bodleian Library. It focuses around a reluctant witch who is studying alchemy, and is desperately trying to avoid using her magic. However, she retrieves a book from the stacks, which is desired by daemons, vampires, and witches, and there the adventure begins. She gains a mysterious vampire protector, and as her magic struggles to reveal itself, other creatures come out of the woodwork. The story bounces from Oxford to France, from where the mysterious vampire hails, to America, where Diana, the witch comes from and where her Aunt and partner live in a wonderful house which has a personality of its own. This is a great story, really well told, and nicely researched. I think it is more of a cross between Twilight and Labyrinth, taking the illicit romance between creatures from other worlds, and linking it with the history of old France. There is a lot to enjoy in this story, and while I am disappointed that I have to wait for the next book, I am also glad that the author didn't try to cram all the adventure into the one book.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hot chocolat!

I finally got round to reading Joanne Harris's Chocolat, and I have to admit that I have mixed feelings. I loved all of it until it got to the story of the priest. I think it went down from there. I usually find that books are better than the films, but in this case I preferred the film. The book was really well written, and I loved the descriptions of the people and the town and the way the story was told from different viewpoints. However, the film gave more hope and was about a man who just wanted everyone to be pure and leads by example. The book is about a man who wants everyone to be pure, but is corrupt himself and hypocritical. It made me sad because there was no-one to believe in, and that seemed a shame. I think the author's style is similar to Alice Hoffman, and if the ending had been different, it probably could have become my favourite.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Holiday selection of love and war, mystery and friendship

Rachel Hore’s books make great holiday reads, and this one is no exception, although it did go deeper than the other stories she has told in the past, and I did find that a bit difficult at times. It actually reminded me a little of Rosamund Pilcher’s “Coming Home. Anyway, “A Gathering Storm” starts off in Cornwall, where a young woman, whose father has recently passed away, is trying to work out why he spent much of his life in sadness. She has found out that his past was briefly linked to Cornwall and in particular, to a famous manor house, and she visits a museum nearby to find out more. The curator introduces her to an elderly lady, who over the week’s stay, she manages to unravel the mystery. It is a very complicated story and it moved me greatly because of the very well-told Second World War scenes. The way she explained what happened to people during WWII really made it clear to me. I could really feel what they went through, what they experienced, and it was very difficult to read at times. I imagined how I would have coped, and I am just full of admiration at how they never lost hope and always kept their pride. There is part of the story, which I have to say, I could not understand. It just did not make sense to me, the choices that the older lady made. But while the character is fictional it is based on real-life figures, and therefore those choices were made, which is sad, but you also cannot deny the courage of these women. Although it wasn’t perfect – there were some loose ends that I would have liked to have seen tidied up -it was a very thought-provoking read, though harrowing in place. The descriptions of Cornwall, however, were fabulous.

So, my second holiday read was The Listerdale Mystery, a collection of short stories by Agatha Christie, and once again she surpassed herself. So many twists and turns, pleasant endings, scary outcomes. The first and second stories were such contrasts and lulled me into a complete sense of security. The first was a lovely tale, very romantic, although with an element of mystery. The second was quite terrifying, and I noticed this tale and most of the others had very strong female characters.  These short stories, none involving Miss Marple or Monsieur Poirot, chopped and changed between adventure, fear, excitement, romance. It was a lovely collection of characters and stories. One aspect I must check is the story that has a character called James Bond...which came first, Ian Fleming’s or Agatha Christie’s – these tales were originally published in 1934 - another mystery to be unveiled.

Thank goodness I had my Kindle, because with my two holiday books finished, and the sun shining outside, I needed more reading. I really enjoyed Lucy Diamond's The Beach Cafe, so I decided to read Sweet Temptation next. I have to admit, at first I didn't like it. It starts off about overweight people, and I am sorry to say that I wasn't sympathetic. I just wanted them to have some will-power. However, as I got to know the characters, I really felt for them and was rooting them. The book is called Sweet Temptation, but I think "Fat-busting and Friendship" would have been a better title. It is a great self-help book, really empowering. I am not overweight, although there is room for improvement, and I found this book really inspiring, providing ideas for losing weight. It also covered the issue of domestic violence and in places it was quite disturbing. It was a very pleasant surprise, and I would really recommend it, both as a romantic read and a motivator for losing weight.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Scary mysteries

Because Waterstones have stopped their 3 for 2, we decided to give Daunt Books a try. I love going to Daunt, but they don't have any bargains. However, we went to the branch in Marylebone High Street and had a lovely time browsing, and I eventually chose two Agatha Christies. The lady who served me was just so lovely, and I am looking forward to shopping there again. Anyway, I have finished Sleeping Murder, and it had me gripped and terrified to the end. I have to admit, I did guess the murderer early on, but as it was getting to the end of the story, just before the murderer was officially unveiled, I had completely decided that it was someone completely different, in fact one of three other professionals. So, once again, Agatha Christie has completely surpassed herself. It is a great read, so many twists and turns, and quite nail-biting. I am really looking forward to my other one now!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

My final 3 for 2

So, here it is, my final three for two. I have already talked about Laura's Handmade Life in a previous post, although despite my criticism, it did inspire me to buy myself a little sewing machine, and I have so far made about six lavender bags and two little jewellery bags. My sewing machine is fuschia pink and from John Lewis, and it is really great. Anyway, enough plugging for Mum works there, so I have an excuse. So my last two, bargain books were completely different. Both were authors that I had read before, so I was familar with their style. My favourite out of the two was The Summer of the Bear by Bella Pollen. I really like her style and this was a wonderful story, quite complicated, but really good. There is a mystery throughout, and the story is about  diplomat's family, who following a tragedy, uproot themselves from a city in Germany to a remote Scottish island. The story tells how each of them copes with what has happened and how it all works out, especially when the mystery is solved. It is a beautiful book, full of sadness, love, both old and new, and hope, and young people discovering themselves. It is well worth a read, completely magical.

The second book I read was The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld. I have read the author's other books, Prep and American Wife, both of which are so different, they could have been written by different people. This book was written after Prep, and they are quite similar, in that they focus on youth and growing up. The Man of My Dreams focuses on the life of a girl who together with her Mum and sister has faced domestic abuse, with her father throwing them out of their house after years of bullying. This treatment clearly has an effect on her future relationships with men, and the book takes us through her life, the highs and lows, and how she finally comes to reconcile herself with her life. It was good, just a bit heavy in places, and sometimes you just want to give her a shake and say, "Why are you like this?" but of course she has her reasons. So, that is the end of my 3 for will I discover new authors now? Suggestions please?

Waterstones 3 for 2

I have to voice my disappointment that Waterstones are dropping their 3 for 2 deal, and I am also disappointed that they didn't let their loyalty card holders know. I haven't seen anything in my newsletters. It seems such a sudden decision, and sad, because I have discovered so many new authors this way, taking a gamble with my third book on someone who I had not read before. The excitement of discovering a different writer with a whole new collection of books for me to read. It is such a shame, as I really used to enjoy browsing through all the tables and shelves, spending ages choosing my three books and then heading off home with my pile of purchases. I hope they come up with a suitable alternative.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Frustrated reading

I have just finished two books. I had started one and was near the end when I started the other one because I was going away for a long weekend. Anyway, I am frustrated with both. I did enjoy them, but there were issues.

Laura's Handmade Life, by Amanda Addison had such potential. It was about a married woman with two children who had to move from London to Norfolk because her husband's company had moved there. She had a part-time job teaching art and design in a local college, but she was not happy. She actually had no reason to be unhappy, but all she did was moan in the first part of the book, and embark on some dodgy flirting with an old boyfriend. The good bits of the book were when she joined a sewing class and learned how to sew, and made things out of old fabrics. She had loads of wonderful ideas, and I can't help wondering if that was what the author wanted to do, just write about the things she makes and the sewing class she belongs to. That would have been great. She created a marvellous character called Hannelore, who had escaped from East Germany in the most creative way, the description of which was crammed into a letter at the end of the book, and it would have been wonderful to hear more about her life. But the author focused on a non-existent affair, possibly to make it a summer romance. Actually it would have been nice if she just talked to her husband, who seemed really nice. Anyway, I did finish the book, and there was lots that I really enjoyed, and at the back of the book she has patterns to make things, and also a list of further sources of information.

So, onto the second frustrating book. I really love the Twilight saga, and I really like Carol Goodman's books, so when I saw that her new book was for fans of Twilight and True Blood, I jumped at it. I haven't read the True Blood series, so I don't know what they are about, but I like Twilight because it is romantic, and is more about feelings other than lust. So, I got a bit of a shock when I read Incubus, and maybe I should have researched what an incubus is. Anyway, the book is very erotic, and I think a bit too much. It was odd, because it felt as though it was written by two people. It was an interesting story, about a young woman accepting a job as a professor in a college specialising in folklore in a remote town. I did like all the descriptions of brownies, fairies, and witches, and the college sounded gorgeous and very interesting, but there was a lot of distraction in the form of her relationships. She did seem quite fickle. Anyway, I think that I will take care when looking at the publisher's blurb on the covers. Quite often, I have noticed that they are referring to a previous book written by the author, which might be quite different, and with this Incubus, well, the only thing to compare it to Twilight are that there are three vampires who play only a minor role in the story, so the publisher description was misleading. Also, while I would read Twilight over and over again, I think, with Incubus, once was more than enough, and it certainly won't be one I share with my young relatives.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dreams come true

I started my holiday reading a little bit early. I just fancied something light and found the perfect book. The Beach Cafe, by Lucy Diamond, ticked all the boxes. I am at that time of life when I feel like trying something new, but just can't think what. I have a great life and I am very happy, but one of my dreams is to live by the sea. I have to say, I am very fickle and lots of things make me happy. I would also love to live somewhere rural, I also love living in London, I would also love to live abroad, so I am probably either a difficult person to please or I just love everything. I think I am the latter, but enough about me. I loved the Beach Cafe. It is about the youngest of three sisters, who is referred to as the black sheep because she doesn't live life conventionally, e.g. find a man, get married, have babies, or have a career. She has chopped and changed careers, and although in a stable relationship, is not quite convinced that they are making each other happy. Anyway, in her early thirties, her favourite aunt dies suddenly leaving Evie (I love that name) her beach cafe in Cornwall. What could be more idyllic. The story describes the trials and tribulations that follow, but naturally, as with all good chicklit, there is a happy ending, allbeit with several disasters throughout. It is a really nice read, lovely characters, great location, and very enjoyable. I do however, now want to live right on the seafront in Cornwall.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Latest reads

I have been a bit slack with my reading and my blog lately, the main reason being that I am studying and working full-time and just ran out of time. I also have two other blogs, both work-related and I guess those have to take priority. Anyway, I have been reading. On my Kindle, I am reading Lord of the Rings. I promised my husband that if he read Twilight, I would read LOR. He honoured the agreement, and I am just getting round to honouring my part of the deal. I have to admit, I am enjoying it. However, my Kindle had a terminal crash, which was disappointing, but the fabulous support at Amazon Kindle, in particular Melanie, replaced it immediately. I am so impressed with the service provided by Amazon Kindle. No hassles, no issues, just a good, fair, and friendly, personal service. Anyway, my Kindle issue is all resolved now and I am back into reading LOR.

In the meantime, however, I have also been reading paperback books. The first was The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. I have read her other books (The Forgotten Garden and The House at Riverton) and really enjoyed them. I did enjoy this one too, but I have to admit that I did prefer the others. I am not sure why, but I felt the characters were stronger in the other two books and I cared about what happened to them. This one, I didn't become as attached. The story is very good and the twists and turns keep you guessing to the end, but it just feels a bit frustrating. Perhaps I was in the wrong mood.

The Sunday Times is currently offering Waterstones vouchers enabling you to choose from a different title every week and buy it for 99p. I bought Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon. I absolutely love the film, and I am delighted to say that it was pretty true to the book. The story focuses around a published author who has been writing his next best-seller for the past seven years, while spending most of that time stoned, teaching, and getting married or having affairs. It got a little bit lost in the middle, but it was actually really good to read. I have to admit the film version of Grady Tripp was far more tolerable than the book version, but Crabtree remains the same in both. At one point, I really didn't like Grady in the book, and I did wonder why I was reading the book, but I was determined to persevere, and as it came to the end when everything came together, I found that I had discovered a new and interesting author. I also enjoyed the way the author focused so much on the skill of writing. Anyway, I shall be checking out some of his other books in the future.

And, if you fancy something fresh and new, check out Padraig De Brún (my husband), who has launched his novel and his short stories via three blogs:
Enjoy :-)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Prince of Mist

I have long been a fan of Carlos Ruiz Zafón, and, by the way, he has a great website. Anyway, his latest offering is actually the first book he wrote. In his earlier days, before Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game, he wrote a set of four books for young adults. The Prince of Mist is the first one to be published and it is brilliant. Really quite scary, but as usual, beautifully described, with wonderful characters and gorgeous scene descriptions. The mystery is so imaginatively written and quite powerful. I read it in less than two days and I would have finished it in one, but I wanted to sleep last night. It is a horror story, but in a Philip Pullman Dark Materials kind of way. It is a book that suits young adults and above, a delight to read, providing excitement, terror, and adventure combined with rich characters and beautiful beach scenes. I can't wait for the next three to be published.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Complex cookery

Amazon were having a special offer on e-books, and being the type of girl that likes a bargain, I went and had a browse. One of the books I downloaded was The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman. It was very interesting and covered many topics, and if there is a flaw with this book, I would say that that is it...the story just had too many facets. The book's title does make you think that the main subject is the cookbook collector, who Jessamine meets while working part-time in an antique book shop, but that is only one of the many topics, and this is where I think the book could be better. The two main characters are Jess, who can't seem to settle in life or love and her sister, Emily, a clever entrepreneur, in a loving, and supposedly trusting relationship. The people interactions in this book are quite complex and you do wonder how one family can be so complicated! However, the saving grace of this book are the descriptions of the collection of cookery books, which are wonderful and the book just comes alive. The collection has books from the 15th century, and the descriptions of recipes and ingredients are divine, entirely mouth-watering, and had the book focused on this theme, then I think it would have become one of my favourites. However, the book also dwelled upon her sister, owner of highly successful IT company, and in competition with her boyfriend. On top of that, the story brings in family secrets including their Jewish faith, which is very interesting, but again, a lot to focus on and detracting from the main story, which was the cookery book collection. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it, but I think the author could have got three books out of it. It is a good book and well-written. It just felt very hectic, and when I finished it, all I was ready for was a very simple romance.

Which brings me on to my next book: A Mother's Gift by Debbie Macomber. I have spoken about Ms Macomber's books before. They are romantic, easy-to-read, and always have a happy ending. Just right for a rainy weekend. This one was no exception, and comprised of two stories. Both were about schoolfriends match-making their parents, and both stories had at least one of the parents widowed. In the first story, the children were in their early teens who wanted complete families and in the second story, the children were in their later teens, preparing to leave the nest, and not wanting to leave their parent alone. The stories are just nice. They cover difficult issues, like death and domestic violence, but they also demonstrate kindness and they are full of love. If you are looking for something deep, then this probably isn't the book for you, but if you are looking for a story with a happy ending, then, go for it and enjoy.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Exotic food and treasure trails

I first read Pomegranate Soup four years ago, and really enjoyed it, learning about the delicious Iranian culinary delights and beautiful customs. So I was really pleased to find that Marsha Mehran had written a sequel. Rosewater and Soda Bread continues the story of the three sisters who fled Iran to set up an restaurant in County Meath, in Ireland. The latest update deals with unwanted pregnancy,
blossoming romances, and unexpected surprises. There are gorgeous descriptions of the food and Ireland, and the characters vary from the romantic to the wicked, from the kindly to the mean. Really enjoyable story!

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson was a really interesting story, about an American teenager who is left a series of letters by her artist aunt who recently died of cancer. The letters send her on a voyage of discovery in Europe, and each letter sends her to a different country, starting with London, and continuing to Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Corfu. She meets a whole load of people, falls in love, takes risks, and discovers more about her crazy aunt then she ever knew. I loved the characters and the descriptions of art and the cities she visited. Really good story, and I am glad to say that there is a sequel, which I will be reading soon, although not before a whole pile of books that I have to get through first. I love books and I love my Kindle!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Hope springing from ashes

I thought I had read all of Alice Hoffman's books, but I haven't. I found The Green Angel, a sad, but also beautiful tale, and quite poignant at this time where a number of natural disasters have recently occurred. This story tells the story of a girl who has lost her entire family to a disaster. It is so tragic, but tells of kindness and hope. It is a lovely, inspiring story, and very magical. There are lovely descriptions of asparagus soup and chestnut bread, and I love Ghost the greyhound. There was quite a lot of sadness in the first half of the book, but understandably so, and just like the perfect fairytale, as the girl is kindly in her activities, she is rewarded and her life begins to turn around. Life will never be the same, but her despair disappears.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's been a while!

Although I haven't blogged, I have been reading, some repeats - Twilight and Chalet School. But I have also been downloading to my Kindle and the latest book I have read is The Girl Who Chased The Moon by Sarah Addison Allen (or Addison Lee as I keep on referring to her). It is a gorgeous book as all of hers are. They remind me of Alice Hoffman, but they are gentler, but still so magical. And this one was no different. It is a beautiful story of love and acceptance and focuses around Emily, a young adult whose mother has recently died. She has to move back to the town where her mother comes from to live with her grandfather who is over 7ft tall. The story describes how she fits in and how she learns more about her mother than she ever knew. There is so much more to this story, but I don't want to give it away, but it is a nice read, with lovely descriptions, and magical cakes that have the power to bring people back.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More Kindle

And yet more mysteries, in Poirot's Early Cases. I loved these. Yet again, so much creativity and innovation. However, for the first time, I found two stories which were very similar to other stories I had read in other books. I won't say which, because it didn't spoil the book at all. I did particularly like "Mary, Mary quite contrary"...another story named after a nursery rhyme.

So, from mysteries to classics. The Eight Cousins Series is made up of two books, Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom, and they have been written by Louisa May Alcott, who wrote one of my all-time favourites, Little Women. I had not realised that she had written so many books, and on Kindle, you can download a compilation of her collection for 99p. She was such an interesting person. Both in Little Women and the Eight Cousins series there is a lot of focus on the importance of good education systems and health improvement. The story is about eight cousins, one of them an orphan girl who is being brought up by her uncle. Although she is really rich, he wants her to grow up to be independent of wealth, healthy, and kind and he shows her how to do this. It is such a lovely story, as is the sequel when she deals with love. I would love her books to be on the curriculum in schools as there is so much to be learnt, particularly about simplicity and compassion.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Recently, I have been mixing murder with romance. I downloaded The Secret Lives of Dresses by Erin McKean, and after a slow start, it turned into a really good story. I thought it would be like a book I have read previously called A Vintage Affair, but it was very different. Firstly, and I know this sounds strange, but I just couldn't work out where it was set, Yorkshire or somewhere in America, and I found that a bit frustrating. But eventually, I realised it was set in America, and gradually, I got absorbed in the tale. It was about a woman whose grandmother who had brought her up and who ran a vintage clothes shop, had a stroke, and Dora rushes back to look after her and the shop. It is a lovely story, a bit sad in places, but great characters, and great secret stories about previous lives of the vintage costumes in the shop. It was surprising, and had a sad and happy ending. After that, I read Murder in the Mews, yet another short story collection from Agatha Christie, and which was once again, superb...full of twists and turns and mystery. Just brilliant. And finally, I read From Notting Hill With Love ... Actually, which was fabulous! So clever! I love romcoms, absolutely adore them. My guilty secret. This story was about Scarlett, named after the Vivien Leigh character in Gone With The Wind, who is challenged by her father and fiance because they think she daydreams too much and is looking for a life like the movies. So, before her wedding, they persuade her to go away for a few weeks to get her head together. A friend arranges a house-sit in Notting Hill and that is where all her adventures begin. It is excellent, so clever. The author, Ali Mcnamara, has obviously done her research, and thinks up scenarios which replicate movie scenes from a range of my favourite films. It is a great read, really entertaining, and funny, and full of interesting movie trivia. Loved it...actually.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Scary tales and romance

I am still hugely enjoying Agatha Christie's books. I downloaded Miss Marple's Final Cases. Most of them involved Miss Marple, but there were a few which had neither Miss Marple or Monsieur Poirot, and they were so dark, particularly the one about the dressmaker's doll. Absolutely brilliant, but quite spooky. I don't know why, because it shouldn't have been, but it was just the way she intimated what might happen. Anyway, after that one, I took a break and read something a bit more light-hearted. Encore Valentine, byAdriana Trigiani, is a follow-up to Very Valentine, a story about a shoe-maker of Italian descent, now in America, and taking on the family shoe-making business. In this instalment, Valentine discovers another branch of the family in Argentina so she goes to meet them in Buenos Aires. Typical of the author, there are the usual family dramas and complicated relationships, and together with the gorgeous descriptions of Argentinian culture and food (which so made my mouth water), it makes great reading. The only disappointment was the ending, a bit quick and lots of loose ends, but I suspect that that only means that another book with Valentine is on its way

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Paper and Kindle

Well, since my last post, I have finished another three books, three of which are on Kindle. The one I was reading The Postmistress. Quite a coincidence as it was also set in the Second World War, but this time from an adult perspective. It was very moving and described the dilemmas that people faced in England and America during the war. The main characters were a female, American radio reporter, based in London, and a postmistress and a newly-wed woman, living America, the latter whose husband had gone to London to do his bit in the war. It was a really interesting story, sharing insights into how people survived while their loved ones were in another country. Part of the story involves the radio reporter following Jews across Europe. It was incredibly sad, but also made their stories so alive. It was very thought-provoking and does make you appreciate what people went through.

On a lighter note, I searched the Kindle store for my favourite authors. Not many of them are there. Still missing JK Rowling, Fannie Flagg, Elinor Lipman, and Alice Hoffman, but some of them are there, like Agatha Christie, Laurie Graham, Adriana Trigiani, Stephenie Meyer, and Debbie Macomber. So I downloaded Viola In Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani, and Perfect Meringues by Laurie Graham. Viola in Reel Life was about an American teenage girl, very skilled in making films, who is sent to boarding school for a year, while her parents are filming a documentary in Afghanistan. It is quite light and fun, and very easy to read. This is very different to the author's other books, but it is very enjoyable for all ages. I am not sure if it is aimed at teenagers, but it was good, particularly the bits where she describes how to make films. Perfect Meringues, if I am honest, is not my favourite book of Laurie Graham's, but it was perfectly readable and enjoyable. It is a about the life crises suffered by morning TV chef. I would say it is a good holiday read, with laughter and tears, particularly around all the characters on the morning TV show, and all the diva tantrums.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Massive catch-up

I can't believe I have left it so long since my last post! I have been reading, but where to start!

Well, I started reading PG Wodehouse and greatly enjoyed The Inimitable Jeeves. Just brilliant. So entertaining, and full of mischief. The characters and the dialogue are really easy to read and very relaxing. It was a lovely holiday read.

I started reading Skipping Christmas by John Grisham and was so disappointed that I couldn't finish it. It was supposed to be funny, so maybe I just have a different sense of humour. Anyway, I got quite far, but it just seemed to get more miserable and just didn't have the spirit of Christmas.

While I was at my Mum's I picked up an old book that I used to read. Michelle Magorian has written many children's books, including Goodnight Mister Tom, one of my favourites. The book I read over Christmas was called Back Home, and it was about a young teenager, who five years previously had been sent to America as an evacuee during World War II. She comes back from a country without rations, with colour and promise, to a country that is still facing devastation, struggling with rations, with everyone and everything in dull, grey colours. She also finds that her mother has changed. She struggles to adapt, particularly as she has such a strong, American accent. It is a really brilliant insight into the adjustments, Rusty, her mother, and eventually her father, when he returns from the war, have to make. It is a story of bravery, friendship, and tolerance, and it is really good. It is also very believable and I highly recommend it. The descriptions of her life in New England compared to her life in Devon and then London were really interesting. The ending is just right.

As I enjoyed that one so much, I decided to read another one of her books and downloaded Just Henry onto my Kindle. It was fantastic. I could not put it down. Again, it was set during World War II, and again it was focused around the views of the child growing up at the time. The story covered difficult stories including illegitimacy, bigamy, physical child abuse, but emphasised that no matter what the sins of the father were, the children should be treated as people in their own right. All the children were given hope and were encouraged to follow their dreams. It was fantastic and inspirational, and also very interesting as it focused around historical cinematography and photography, so from that aspect alone, it was an amazing book. It was quite a hard book to read as some of the issues were quite traumatic, but it was so well done, and again, I just couldn't put it down. I will definitely look out for more books by Michelle Magorian.

So, that's it for now. I am reading something else, but I will save it for another blog.