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Greaders review June/July 14 books

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 4 Jul 2014 12:39

Please review the following if read.

Dancing in the Moonlight by Rita Bradshaw was the first choice


And then:
The Bed I Made by Lucie Whitehouse and/or
Don’t Pass Me By - Julia McGowan


Put up a day early in case I forget tomorrow as we will probably be going out.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 4 Jul 2014 12:46

review Dancing in the Moonlight by Rita Bradshaw.

I have read books by RB before and enjoyed them. They are usually gritty based on life in the early to mid 20th century. When I started to read this one I felt it was going to be an easy read, quickly read. But not so.
The story covers a lot of years from when Lucy is a young child until after she has gone through the second world war. Life is unkind to her, then kind, then unkind again and then, in true RB fashion she fights her way up, owning shops, turning them into soup kitchens while facing further loss in her big family.
The story through the war years is very well written, very comprehensive made poignant for me by the fact I was reading about Dunkirk on 4th June 2 days away from the anniversary. And Lucy’s feeling as war ended and people celebrated must ring true with many who lost family and loved ones who were not returning home, she felt there was nothing to celebrate.
I really enjoyed the read, there are a lot of war stories but they usually concentrate entirely on the fighting aspect. This was more from the view of the suffering of those left at home. A good story well told with well rounded characters. I felt the Kane brothers were possibly moulded on the Kray twins and I am sure there were many like them, ruling their areas, inflicting fear on people and using thugs like Tom Crawford to do their dirty work. Yes a good choice I feel.






Don’t pass me by by Julie MacGowan June 2014.
I enjoyed this one because it was an easy read although to me it was predictable. I suppose I have read many similar books, so much so that, although I know I haven’t, I kept thinking I had read it before. I liked her descriptions of the area, living in Usk she couldn’t fail there really. I also thought her characterizations were very good. Many villages have a Mrs Preece even nowadays where their preconceived ideas of who is ‘good’ and who is ‘bad’ and I would imagine it is highly possible that what went on in her house went on in many with refugees. I have to admit that I did see that coming. And there are still the village gossips and villages where everyone is related. Having lived for 8 years in The Forest of Dean I can vouch for the sentence that you don’t talk to anyone about anyone as they are probably related, some of the villages in the forest could be the model for that village in Wales.
So, yes I enjoyed it and would read other books by JM.

The bed I made by Lucie Whitehouse

I have not read anything by Lucie Whitehouse before, but I will be keeping my eyes open in the future for other books.
I actually didn’t know what to expect and the story when it started off didn’t really give any hints. This is one of those stories that to comment on the plot would be to give it away but I will say that the last quarter of the story had me sitting on the edge of my seat and it may have not been the best idea to read the last part just before going to sleep at night.
What a horrible character she created in Richard, he made my skin crawl. Conversely I liked the character of Chris from the bookshop and wished that she had expanded his character a bit more. I liked Kate’s character, thought she was brave. I also thought that Helen was weak. Actually she crafted all the characters very well, they all rang true.
I also liked the descriptions of places on the Island, probably because when I was a child we used to go there fairly regularly and I loved it. Pete, I think it was, commented on how places had changed, how cliffs had crumbled and changed the coast line and I imagine that is true. Made me want to re-visit and see for myself.
Yes a very good book, I loved it


And one that didn't make it
The Legacy by Katherine Webb

Sadly this was not voted in as a read so you will have missed a really good book.

There are many layers to this story, starting with Caroline in New York in 1904/5 who marries and moves to a ranch where Indians live and are accepted, a fact she dislikes as she is so scared of them. The marriage is happy but childless and then tragedy strikes. The consequences of this send her to England.

Fast forward a generation to her daughter Meredith, a lonely bitter widow, then to her Great granddaughters Erica and Beth who could inherit the family home if they live there. Add in the gypsy family of Dinny and his friend the simple Harry, and Erica's determination to unearth the family secret and you have a great story. I liked the thought when Erica decides to like the fact that she can't find everything out, that she can't fill in all the blanks. She remarks that some things are lost in the past, surely that is why the past is so mysterious, why it fascinates us. Nothing much will be lost any more, too much is recorded, noted, stored on computers. It is harder to keep secrets.

a lovely read that I really enjoyed. KW is such a good story teller that I hope for more books by her.

Jill in France

Jill in France Report 4 Jul 2014 20:53

Sorry, only managed one
Dancing in the Moonlight by Rita Bradshaw
Sorry but not my cup of tea, felt I was reading a Catherine Cookson and was all too predictable for my taste, I did read to the end but even though it was well written and gave an insight to how poor people were in the backstreet slums it was not for me.

Did read The Lewis Man by Peter May and really enjoyed it, it kept me gripped from start to finish and will read more by this author

x Jill

Mersey

Mersey Report 4 Jul 2014 23:19

Dancing In the Moonlight - Rita Bradshaw

I did enjoy this book and this was the first Rita Bradshaw book I had read.I enjoyed the story and also become not wanting to put the book down.

Lucy starts out by trying to look after her young family when her Mother dies. She forms a strong bond with her next door neighbour Jacob, but with his older brother Tom being jealous of their friendship, his nasty streak cause even more heartache not only for Lucy and her one true love but also with her family, brothers and Father. Drastic steps are taken and Lucy longs to be in the arms of Jacob.........



Don't Pass Me by - Julia McGowan

I just loved this book!! from the very start it was a very easy and pleasant book to read. I actually thought the children in the book jumped off the page. The story although simple made me want to read more and not put it down.

A small village trying to do their part in the war and support the small children of a busy London area of Bermondsey. The children finding it hard to adjust to rural life and the adults trying to understand and cope in their individual ways....

I thoroughly enjoyed the story regarding Lydia who flees London after a traumatic marriage, and the hope she can find safety for her and her baby daughter and a new life away from her husband.... She finds herself in the house of the village doctor where she becomes his housekeeper and friend....

A flowing easy book , and I am really looking forward to her new book.........


The Bed I made - Lucie Whitehouse

I have to be in honest, never would I have actually chosen to read this book as one of my normal reads but I thought I would give it a go ...

I was that unsure about it I left this as the last of the books to review.

I found the book intense from the beginning.
As others might say and feel I would hate to spoil the ending to this book if others decide to read it at a later date.
Kates relationship with a man she met in a London bar, becomes somewhat fearful and chilling. When she can take no more she decides to escape to an isolated island . Richard does not give up the fight for her, with lots of twists and turns in this book. The frightening emails and mobile texts are short, mind blowing and so complex. The words short , but clever in which they are posted are those of a deranged, irrational, perplexed man, made me jump in some areas. I actually could not read this book going to bed and had to leave it for through the day........

Chilling but excellent !

Pammy51

Pammy51 Report 5 Jul 2014 17:12

I only managed the one book this time

Dancing in The Moonlight

I think of this kind of book as a 'kitchen range' saga (as opposed to an Aga saga) and they tend to follow a definite pattern : poor but stalwart family, troubles bravely borne made bearable by love, more woe and misery (usually caused by a baddy) leading to self sacrifice, time passes, a resolution occurs and the book has a happy ending. It is how the author adds interesting detail to the bare bones of the story and makes us believe in the actions and emotions of the characters which separates the 'yawns' from the 'page-turners'. I did enjoy reading this and the details of the war once more reminded me of the fact that London was not the only area devastated by bombing. Although some of the events were fairly clearly signalled beforehand I still wanted to finish to see how the happy ending would be achieved.

Berona

Berona Report 6 Jul 2014 01:30

Dancing in the Moonlight
Unusual for me to like this type of book, but I found myself so sympathetic with a girl who knows no teenage as we know it – it’s all work and worry to care for the entire family and how she managed to put food on the table, amazed me. Then, to be raped by the son of the only woman who helped her, left her with no alternative but to leave – with nowhere to go . She was so lucky to meet the man who was kind to her – but then to lose him too, was so sad, but good to see her take over and build up his business to finally give her some comfort. Of course, the ending was predictable, but good to see.

The Bed I Made
A ‘woman scorned’ had nothing on Richard, who Kate loved until she began to see the real Richard emerging. She moved away, but he kept hounding her with phone calls and emails and violent threats. I felt that Kate would have been involved with Chris, but that was not to be, and Peter became closer to her once his wife’s body was found and he could put closure to her disappearance of five months previously. A good read – right to the end.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 6 Jul 2014 09:40

Thanks all.

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 6 Jul 2014 13:44

Of the tree books with the most votes I was only able to get Dancing in the Moonlight.
The story of Lucy Fallow and her family covering the years of the Great Depression and The Second World War.

Set in the north-east of England an area of deprivation - where men working in the docks were often only employed by the day (or half-day)
As the eldest daughter, young Lucy takes care of her father and siblings when her mother gets sick and dies. School is a thing of the past for her as she struggles to make ends meet.

As the Depression hits the area, things go from bad to worse for the Fallow family and many of their neighbours
This book brings home just how difficult it was to keep their heads above water for so many thousands of people at that time.

Lucy is determined that her remaining family will stay together and does what she can to keep them safe.

I don't want to say too much about the plot as I don't want to give away anything to anyone who hasn't read the book yet.

Well written, in an easy to read style a story with ups and downs - some laughter and a lot of tears.

Not sure if one particular things that happened in the book would have been able to happen at the time (but don't want to say what at the moment)
Worth reading if you haven't already. I think that I've previously read some Rita Bradshaw books (titles look familiar) and would read even more by her in the future.

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 6 Jul 2014 19:53

Will keep trying to get the other books that have been reviewed- including The Legacy.

I am still waiting for Coffee Shop of Kabul (requested in April)
Had notification that it was ready for collection (last day Monday 23rd June).
Went on Saturday 23rd (an open day - usually) and they were closed!!!
This is the second time that this has happened to me in recent months - last time part of the ceiling had fallen in. This time it was due to staff sickness - they were unable to get cover>

Although I phoned explaining that I had tried to collect book - could they please keep it for me etc. (twice leaving messages on answer phone) they had sent the book back by Thursday.

Apparently they were open on Monday 23rd which should have been the last day it was available for collection. (I'd left message on Saturday 21st) normal closing days Tuesday (when I phoned again) and Wednesday. Heard from them on Thursday (before I could phone for third time) they had received my phone call/s, book no longer available :-( :-0 :-S
They have now ordered it for me again - I've just checked online - I am tenth on the waiting list. :-( :-( :-(
Perhaps another two months to wait.

Am I down hearted?? YES I Bl---y am :-( :-| :-|
:-| :-|

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 6 Jul 2014 21:32

Tess is your library run by volunteers now like some of ours, sounds like they left no leeway, why was it open on a day it is usually closed? That was a real nuisance for you.

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 6 Jul 2014 23:22

Not run by volunteers Ann., just run on a shoe-string budget.

Lots of money has been spent on the new Birmingham Library - so little left for the smaller local libraries.

They are usually open on Mondays - just I wasn't sure that they would be last Monday as I didn't then know reason they were closed (unexpectedly) on Saturday.

Staff are very helpful, but I reckon that they were under a lot of strain at the time.

I don't know if any staff are there at all on days that they are not open to the public. Perhaps doing paper work and other catch up work for a few hours. Maybe the "send the books back" person was ahead of the "listen to the answering machine" person. So book was returned.
As I am tenth on waiting list now - there must have been a lot of people waiting for it last week.

Generally I am pleased with the service I get from them - but recently there have been signs of cost cutting or money saving - which means the public get a reduced service.


I still think though that we are lucky to have a library service at all .

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 7 Jul 2014 09:51

Yes that is true Tess although I don't use ours hardly at all now I have the kindle.

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 14 Jul 2014 12:37

Greaders review East of the Sun by Julia Gregson.

This was a great book, one you don’t want to put down. Her descriptions of India (as it was) are great, her characters believable and her writing keeps you involved and wanting more. So much depth to the book, so much better than some of the lightweight stories I have read recently on Kindle.
The story is about three young women in 1928 who journey to India by sea (of course), a long journey. Rose is beautiful, a bride to be albeit a naive one, anxious about leaving family and marrying someone she hardly knows. Victoria (Tor) is to be her bridesmaid and she couldn’t be happier at getting away from her Mother. She wants a husband. Viva is their inexperienced chaperone who lived in India as a child. She also chaperones a young 16 year old lad, expelled from school who is rather weird. Then there is Frank a doctor on board their ship.
Nothing prepares them for what lies ahead for each of them in India, or for the strange ways of Guy.
This was a book I suggested for June/July so I decided to read it anyway even though it wasn’t chosen. It has been on my book shelf for ages. I am so glad I read it.

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget

TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 16 Jul 2014 01:52

Ann,

I have read this book ( about a year ago I think) and loved it.

I can't remember all the details but know that I enjoyed it +++

Well worth reading. As I don't remember it fully, it is the type of book that I would read again after a while (if I still had it)

So pleased that you enjoyed it too.

Tess

AnninGlos

AnninGlos Report 16 Jul 2014 09:04

Yes, one of those books that you feel were actually worth reading Tess. :-)