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Greaders review August september books

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AnninGlos Report 28 Sep 2015 17:16

Putting up 2 days early while I remember.

Please review the books you have read from the August/September list (and any others you feel we would be interested in.

Full circle Katie Flynn writing as Judith Saxton 1
The Island by Victoria Hislop 1
The Girl in The Photograph by Kate Riordan 1
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman 1


AnninGlos Report 28 Sep 2015 17:20

Full Circle by Katie Flynn.

I had not realised but this is a follow up of a series of family saga stories I think. However it stands alone and I think in the distant past I have read others.

This one covers the war years. The story concerns the Rose and Neyler families and most of the young men in the family are in the services, jenny Neyler, is now married to Simon Rose who is a Spitfire Pilot but Val Neylor is in love with Otto who happens to be a pilot with the Luftwaffe who she met before the war.

Val drives ambulances both in England and at the front, Jenny is a nurse.

It is a fairly light read, a good holiday read but what I found interesting and informative was the fact that the war is covered from both viewpoints. We read about Otto's family and how the deprivations of war affect them. As in Britain, food is rationed and the family suffer loss and heartbreak. Although their sons are both in the war fighting, Otto and his father are not followers of Hitler. The British families suffer loss and injury and not knowing what has happened to their loved ones. It makes one realise that one man not only caused loss and suffering to those he considered his enemies, but to his own people too.

I like Katie Flynn's books, including this one written as Judith Saxton and I enjoyed this one.


AnninGlos Report 28 Sep 2015 17:22

The Island by Victoria Hislop.
This is the review Iw rote when I read it some time back.

Did I enjoy it? Not at first, found it very slow at the beginning and couldn’t see where it was going. Then I found it depressing, with all the description of leprosy.

But when I goy into it it got better. I learnt a lot about leprosy that I didn’t know and I hadn’t realised there was so much of it on Crete and mainland Greece in the 30s and 40s. if I am honest I had not realised either the extent to which Crete was affected by the war, so that was informative too.

But, about halfway through I suddenly realised that I was enjoying the book for its story and the interaction of the relationships. It was very well researched, she knew Crete very well and had obviously researched the leprosy angle, what a horrific disease it was and still could be. A well written book and I will certainly look out for more of hers.


AnninGlos Report 28 Sep 2015 17:23

The girl in the photograph

This one I liked a lot. For me it has many of the things that appeal to me, mystery, old houses, links to the past. And it has a real feel of Daphne Du Maurier about it.

Alice in 1936 becomes pregnant by a married man, she is banished to Fiercombe manor in the Cotswolds by her parents until after the birth of her child. The manor has history and a housekeeper who loves the house and knows its past.

It also has flashbacks to the days when Sir Edward and Elizabeth lived there.

It was a gripping not put downable story, I loved it.

Alice gets taken over by Elizabeths story which is mysterious, what happened to Elizabeth and her daughter?

Thomas Stanton returns to the manor and befriends Elizabeth.

I won't go into any more of the story as I don't want to give too much away but it is a great story and I was sad when it ended.

I was intrigued to learn that the manor was inspired by Owlpen Manor which is not too many miles from our home.


AnninGlos Report 28 Sep 2015 17:27

Without a Trace by Lesley Pearce.

Coronation day and a street party held indoors because of the rain. Molly goes looking for her friend who has not turned up, yet she knows Cassie had made Petal a lovely outfit for the fancy dress. She has a shock when she finds a body and Petal is nowhere to be seen. Molly’s father is a bully, made that way according to her Mum after he was attacked earlier in life. Molly needs to get away, and she does. Life continues to deal out set backs to Molly who won’t be put off in her search for Petal. It has a love interest or two, with a twist (that I found a bit predictable), and a good sense of mystery surrounding Petal’s disappearance. It also has a good insight into domestic abuse.
This is not a deep book, but it is a very readable story and I enjoyed it. I usually do like books by Lesley Pearce and I am pleased I had the opportunity to read this one.


Mersey Report 29 Sep 2015 21:53

The Girl in The Photograph - Kate Riordan

Elizabeth Stanton was the former lady of the Manor...a lady full of mystery and secrets.
A stranger arrives at the manor in the form of Alice. The manor has an airy, creepy and disturbing feel to it, but Alice has no choice but to stay as she has been banished from her home and family so as not to cause embarrassment. The only traces of the lady of the manor are a few old dusted and faded photographs of her, found in the on the rooms.Alice becomes fascinated and almost infatuated with Elizabeth and tries to make connections . Both stories of each character entwine and it opens so many quesions as the book enfolds....
This book did not sit well with me in places and I found only certain part's interesting
especially the parts regarding Elizabeth........


Mersey Report 29 Sep 2015 22:04

The Last Embrace - Pam Jenoff

Addie is a very young 16year old who lives in Italy. Her parents are deeply concerned as to the way Italy is turning in the year of 1939....She is sent to her Auntie & Uncle's in Atlantic City America to escape the troubles that seem inevitable.....
She struggles to fit into her new way of life away from all who and what she has loved. Eventually she meets Charlie and his lovely large family of brothers.....Issues amongst the brothers and his family cause secrets and a major tragedy that tears their family apart and Addie and all go their seperate ways.......

As the war enrages Addie is 18 years old and decides to leave America and finds herself in London getting a job as a correspondent....Out of the blue Charlie appears, he is now a paratrooper and on the journey along the war her job, her love she finds the answers she has yearned for and wanted which eventually lead her home........

I enjoyed the book but have to say I preferred her earlier novel.....Winter Guest


AnninGlos Report 29 Sep 2015 22:05

That is what is so fascinating of Greaders, how two people can find one book affects them so differently. :-D


Mersey Report 29 Sep 2015 22:09

The Silent Hours - Cesca Major

Based on a true story about the massacre of a French Village in the unoccupied zone.
The book actually starts with 1 of 4 characters a woman who is living and hiding herself in a convent , she refuses to speak as she is haunted by her past. the other characters all have a story to tell and lives are ruined by such a massacre and histroical event....lives torn apaprt and also brought together......

I loved the book , loved the desciptions and characters and literally cannot wait for her next book.........Great Read !!!


Mersey Report 29 Sep 2015 22:11

I did try to read The Invisible Library......but gave up *Sorry* :-( :-S


Persephone Report 30 Sep 2015 06:48

I got confused by your opening post so had to go and look at the vote from last time as Lesley Pearse got 3 votes.. to see if I was on the right track.

Without a Trace by Lesley Pearse.

I have nothing but praise for this book, I enjoyed every minute of it and I could see it all happening. (now that was not what I could see in the other book) I was there with Molly Heywood all the way from start to finish. It was sad at the end that her mother died and her sister would not come to the funeral. I was sort of hoping she would turn up at the wedding and put a bit more icing on the cake. However, when you read a novel like this it is all the little encounters and interactions that Molly has with those she meets that endears you to her. I worried when she walked the streets alone, I never knew what was going to happen next. Her journey does take you through some ups and downs and nothing could be more hilarious than her escaping from a den of iniquity, where she thought people had been kind to her and given her a place to stay in her hour of need. She was such a trusting soul even when she fell for Charley not realising he wanted to marry her as a cover up for his homosexuality. As for Miss Gribble, I believe she would have been very happy to have been a warden in a concentration camp in Germany.
Lesley Pearse does make it in the end an almost happily ever after story. I was certainly pleased with the outcome after 400 odd pages of all sorts of encounters.


Persephone Report 30 Sep 2015 06:50

This one also got one vote

The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes

This author is great but this book is a huge let down, I guess if you weren't expecting better you might deem it to be okay. The one thing I did get from this book was probably a better understanding of Guillain-Barré syndrome, but even then I could probably have Googled this illness if I wanted to know more about it. You know fairly early in the book that the main character Stella will recover and she did form an interesting relationship with her Doctor. Her husband was the most apathetic person, everything to his mind had to be about how it affected him. We used to have a saying in our house when anyone was remotely like that, "all about you sitting in your deck chair." I wasn't even sure who the title related to whether it was Stella herself or her husband, it did have its odd humourous moments but some of the characters were just a bit too OTT. It took me longer to read than.....

Without a Trace.


Persephone Report 30 Sep 2015 06:52

I also gave up on the Invisible Library after reading about 10 pages....


The Island by Victoria Hislop

I thought this book was such a great way of talking about the people of Spinalonga. I knew nothing about this place before I read this. The author must have fully researched the place before hand. It is such an emotional story about the family of Giorgis and their interaction with each other and the other characters in the story. I would have liked to find out more about Dimitri and whether he made contact with his siblings upon his return to Plaka. We are still left with not knowing who the father of Sofia is, but I am sure a good genealogist and DNA could rectify that. I really enjoyed it and watching it all unfold for Maria, an excellent tale well told, not a story you can race through you need to savour all the flavours that are so well described in it.


Persephone Report 30 Sep 2015 06:52

I apologise for not looking on here before today 30th after we got back from up north.


AnninGlos Report 30 Sep 2015 17:11

sorry my fault Perse I missed Lesley Pearse off. No problem Perse you were no late.


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 3 Oct 2015 14:53

Sorry that I won't be reviewing any books this time as I wasn't able to get any.
I had read The Island previously (perhaps two or three years ago) but can't find any notes made at the time.
I see to remember that it was a well written thought provoking book which was informative too. I think that I thought that it was well worth reading.

I also looked for thy book by Lesley Pearce but didn't find it.

Instead I read. Bella another book by her.
This is a book about white slavery and prositution. As well as the powerlessness of women in the early 1900's.
I found it amazing that prostitution was so wide spread and such big business so recently in the U.K. Young women/girls were moved to other countries, making them even less powerful.
Not sure if I would recommend it, especially as it was so difficult to empathise with Bella- which just goes to show how much things have changed for most people in the UK.
Perhaps in other countries women are not do lucky.
P.S. I believe that Bella might have a sequal and might try to get it just to see what differences WW1 makes to the people in the book.


Pammy51 Report 3 Oct 2015 20:46

Sorry my revues are so late, my computer kept freezing and then had to be rebooted but hopefully my son has fixed it now.

Full Circle

Through Greaders and the GR Book club I have now read a few books which deal with 'the other side' in and after both WW1 and 2 and have found the different viewpoint really interesting. Although this is a stand alone book I wish I had read the three previous books which I think would have enriched the story (knowing how it all ends I probably won't read the others). As Ann says, quite a light read but Katie Flynn always portrays interesting and rounded characters and puts them in situations which make you think.


Pammy51 Report 3 Oct 2015 21:11

Without a Trace

Molly, a kind but innocent country girl with an abusive father, is started on a journey by the disappearance of Petal, her friend Cassie's child, after Cassie is found murdered. Molly's search takes her to London, both rich and poverty stricken areas, meeting people she could never have imagined. She gradually builds a new life but never gives up on her search.
A really enjoyable book with sorrow and humour mixed together. I was so glad it had a happy ending.

The Invisible Library

I have to agree with everyone else – I wonder who suggested this book?
:-S Whoops, I think it was me! :-D


Persephone Report 5 Oct 2015 08:18

:-D :-D