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Greaders review July/Aug 15 books

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AnninGlos Report 19 Aug 2015 12:04

Please review:

A good yarn

And any others from the list that you have read.


AnninGlos Report 19 Aug 2015 12:10

review Park Lane by Frances Osborne
A first novel by an author of two factual History stories, Park Lane covers the years 1914 to 1923.Beautifully written with believable characters, a sort of Downton Abbey meets Upstairs Downstairs; with the main characters being Grace, Michael, her brother, and Joseph downstairs and Beatrice, Cerise and Clemmie upstairs.
The story covers the Suffragists and Suffragettes, Mrs Pankhurst and all the violence surrounding their activities. It also covers the war and the horror of the wounded and the devastation of loss, and the bravery of those who go to fight or help with ferrying the wounded to hospital. Plenty of blood, gore and mud, graphically and realistically depicted.
I do enjoy novels that cover periods of history, which we sort of know about, but which are enhanced by being brought to life. This, I felt, was one of those novels and I really enjoyed it.
I found this book among books in a garden centre, two for £5. I am so pleased that I did.


AnninGlos Report 19 Aug 2015 12:12

review Summertime Vanessa Lafaye

I can’t say that I was engrossed by this book or that I particularly enjoyed it. However, it was an eye opener as I knew nothing about the events that the story is based on. The abandoning of the vets when the storm was imminent was horrific. And, although I am aware of how bad apartheid was in the Southern States at that time it made for unpleasant reading when the black people (called coloureds then) were pushed out of the shelter.
The story is well written and especially the storm is graphically written, really frightening to imagine being caught up in it. The stuff of nightmares.


Mersey Report 19 Aug 2015 14:42

Summertime - Vanessa Lafaye

I will be honest as in not really knowing much about Apartheid, so was willing to give the book a go.....Set in 1935 in Florida Keys, the malice and frustration between (white&black people) portrayed in the book........A young white woman is found beaten and at deaths door, an investigations takes place and there is a suspicion one of the war veterans has committed the crime....as the investigation is taken up a wild storm hits the island, in the storm there is so much going on, people helping each other and also things against a human being that should never have been allowed....quite gruesome and intense in places...and being based on the event, it is quite an upsetting read in places.....I carried on with the book but found it hard in places and could not believe that some of the events actually happened at the time.......

Not a happy book to read, and a bit too graphic for me ...........


Pammy51 Report 19 Aug 2015 18:18

A Good Yarn

Debbie Macomber always provides a light, enjoyable story, taking us through angst and troubles through to a satisfying ending.
Lydia runs a knitting shop where you can not only buy wool but learn how to use it as well. The main story is based around three students in her class, Elise who is worried because her gambling ex- husband is back in town, Bethanne who is recently divorced and lacks the confidence to make a new start and overweight, lonely Courtney, a teenager whose mother has recently died and now needs to face starting a new school without her support.. They become friends and this friendship (and the knitting) help them solve their problems. A good poolside read. (Made me wish I could knit!)


Persephone Report 19 Aug 2015 22:06

Summertime by Vanessa Lafaye

This story is exceptionally good. I was a bit ho hum when I started to read it, I am not good on racial segregation and usually get frustrated and annoyed by it. However this was story telling at its best. It is based on the hurricane that hit Florida in 1935 where one of the Keys was virtually flattened and a lot of lives lost.
Vanessa sets her story up for the 4th of July's celebrations with the coloured on their section of the beach and the whites on their section. Not far away are military boys of both creeds camped after returning from France, they have not received their promised bonus and they are all rather fed up. These men have tasted life overseas where black and white are treated as equals.
There is a scrap on the beach and later a white woman gets trashed (but not raped) and is near death's door and suspicion is thrown upon a black soldier. He does get arrested but it is not him, he turns out to be more of the hero of the story.
Following the celebrations which included corn pone so had me singing Jubliation T Cornpone, the storm brews, and whites and blacks go for shelter in a shop (this shop had withstood many a storm before).. you can see where this is heading the shop becomes too crowded so the whites elect for the black to go outside and brave the storm and one of the black women has to hand over a white baby that she cares for, to them.
There are the ferrocious scenes of the storm's mayhem, there is also the storm in the relationships of the men at the military quarters and there is the white people's storm with the blacks and themselves. All facets of the story are so well written and I was practically glued to the book whenever I could.
Whatever you do never ever eat Mabel Hickson's potato salad or else your stomach will be having a storm.


Persephone Report 19 Aug 2015 22:08

Just What Kind of Mother are You? by Paula Daly.

Rather compelling reading in this thriller. You just don't expect what is coming, well I at least had no idea.
The book grabs you from the start and even though you are watching all of these people carry on with their normal everyday lives some of the things that were happening were not your normal every day happenings. Absolute page turner this one and I probably read it far too quickly. But I tend to do that when I have to know what is going to happen next.. it is one of those sort of stories. Don't want to give anything away, you have to read it.

After this I had to read her second book.. "Keep your Friends Close" ... also good but not as good as the first book. The same detective and some of the characters are in the second book as well.. so I am hoping there will be another one.... just to compare you understand.. lol I think even if I had read them the other way around I would have still preferred the first one.


Persephone Report 19 Aug 2015 22:08

A Good Yarn by Debbie Macomber

Light entertainment. Nothing ever very exciting happens in her novels everyone just sort of trundles on and the story weaves and wends it way through in a manner of all sweetness and light. Nothing really bad happens and all the characters are believable with their everyday worries and enjoyments.


AnninGlos Report 20 Aug 2015 12:47

Thanks all.
Perse, re A good Yarn, thatw as really why I didn't read it as I have read quite a few of hers and it was, in my view, a bit expensive on the Kindle.


Pammy51 Report 20 Aug 2015 17:11


I have to agree that this was not an easy book to read. It is hard to realise how many aspects of every day life were covered by apartheid, although it was no surprise to learn how veteran soldiers were undervalued even in those days. As Ann said it was well written and graphic and gave a real sense of the frustrations and fears of being trapped by life (as well as by the storm that hits their community). I'm not sure if I would read other books written by the same author, I think it would depend on the subject matter.


Pammy51 Report 20 Aug 2015 17:35

Aprons and Silver Spoons

An interesting book written by an amazing woman, who, in spite of a life of hard work,died at the grand age of 97 in 2014 (the book was released in 2013).
Aged 14, country girl Mollie becomes a skivvy in a posh London house. The story covers both the hard work she has to do and the scrapes she gets into, brought to life by her lively sense of humour. By the age of 20 she has worked so hard that she becomes a cook. The story covers her life in service and her boyfriends from farmworker through abusive footman to a blackshirt, and eventually I am glad to say to a happy marriage. It also includes some household hints and some of her recipes. She seems like a woman I would have loved to have known and eaten her cooking!


AnninGlos Report 21 Aug 2015 09:43

Just finished this one:

review The Hearts Citadel by Anita Burgh

I have read a lot of books by Anita Burgh and always enjoyed them. I must have missed this one though as it was published 10 years ago.
The second of the Cresswell Inheritance stories (I can’t remember if I ever read the first but it stands alone), it is set in Devon and is a family saga book. Set in the early 20th century starting with suffragettes and their treatment in prison ,leading up to and including the First World war, it has a large cast of family members and below stairs characters. It took a while to get the characters sorted out but it is a very well written book with many twists and turns.
Pathos, humour, sadness, fear and apprehension about war, it is all in the book. I really enjoyed it and must look to see if I can find the first book of the series (The Broken Gate). I love family sagas.


Persephone Report 21 Aug 2015 10:08

I will put my tree in book form for you then Glossie Ann. Very much a saga

I have just been reading The Carpenter's Children by Maggie Bennett... Before and during WW1.

Got Victoria Hislop's book today.. I forgot to take my slip of paper in with titles and authors and nearly came out with one of hers called The Thread. I knew the book I wanted was at that library and the one I picked up was set in Crete and I thought that sounds right but not sure that's what it is called... and then along from it were two paper back copies of The Island. Memory clicked into place then.