Hobbies and Crafts

Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search


  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

Greaders please review April May books.

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


AnninGlos Report 26 May 2016 14:46

Please review
Silent Boy by Andrew Taylor
A Promise Given by Meg Hutchinson

And any of the others you have read.

Thanks Perse, you woke me up, just had two holidays back to back and lost a month!!
:-D :-D


AnninGlos Report 26 May 2016 14:59

I have the Silent Boy on my Kindle. I have strated to read it twice and given up. I may try again.

Review Yew Tree Gardens by Anna Jacobs

Not a heavy read by any stretch of the imagination but a good story that retained my interest. Good holiday reading and I enjoyed it. It touched on the difficulty women faced with getting any meaningful employment and how they were considered inferior by men in the work place. It also brought home the advance that has been made with improving the life of disabled people. Just pre the first world war and the suffragette movement was touched on, also the Titanic disaster. The characters were beautifully crafted, very realistic and believable.


AnninGlos Report 26 May 2016 16:18

review A promise given by Meg Hutchinson.
Rachel Cade accused of her brother’s death sent to the workhouse to await trial. She is rescued and vindicated when Jarad Lytton comes to her aid, her brother fell into the canal but she is forced to leave the village. She is taken in on a small farm by Beaulah Thomas and her son William. She agrees to marry William who she doesn’t love. Meanwhile Jarred comes into her life again.
This was an easy read. A love story, I read it on holiday and it was ideal for a holiday read. I like Meg Hutchinson’s story telling, nothing too complicated but a good plot and good well formed characters.


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 26 May 2016 16:52

Excuse me while I swear!! Have just done a (rather long) review of Silent Boy.

And there it is. GONE!! Will be back later when I've stopped swearing.


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 26 May 2016 21:07

I 'm back.

Review of The Silent Boy, by Andrew Taylor.

I had recently read an Edward Savil book by Andrew Taylor (The Scent of Death, set in America c1773), and enjoyed it.

I was therefore eager to read about Edward Savile again in The Silent Boy and was not disappointed.
This is a gripping story, partly set in Paris during the early days of the French Revolution - murder and mayhem stalk the streets. Fear is the overwhelming emotion of young Charles. ( The Silent Boy), who was told by his mother to. "SAY NOTHING!"

The tale switches to England when Charles arrives with French people known to his mother. They live a rather secluded life in the country.
Then Edward Savile enters the fray. He has family connections to Charles, and has been asked by his ex employer to bring Charles home.

But nothing is as it seems, or is it? Intrigue follows deceit as Edward tries to find out the truth, to gain the fearful and silent Charles' confidence and get him to the safety he craves.
But who can be trusted? There are many twists to the plot, so many different agendas.
Subtly written. this kept me page turning till the early hours of h morning. I wanted to know if things turned out well for Edward and Charles (and Edward's daughter, who also has a part to play in the story)
Nothing is guaranteed. You will have to read it to find out!

I am now a complete Andrew Taylor convert.

Back later with more reviews.


Pammy51 Report 26 May 2016 21:28

The Silent Boy
The story starts in Revolutionary France with a young boy, Charles, seemingly surrounded by blood and violence. We know something dreadful has happened but not exactly what, all we do know is that Charles was never to speak of what had happened. The idea that he must never reveal what he anything he saw or heard works so strongly on his mind that he becomes mute. The story continues with the rescue of Charles by his mother's estranged husband. The people round Charles have their own agendas and someone wants to make sure he is silent permanently.
At first I was not sure I was going to enjoy this book but I soon got sucked in to the mystery. Charles is an interesting character, using displacement activities to try to control his increasingly disrupted world. It did slow down a little in the middle but the ending was really surprising.
This is my first Andrew Taylor book but as Tess says I'm converted!


AnninGlos Report 26 May 2016 21:32

*sigh! Ok I will have another go at it. :-D


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 26 May 2016 21:36

Good to hear that Ann. Hope you enjoy it next time.
But nothing wrong in having totally different opinions or tastes. What a boring world it would be if we didn't. ? :-)


Pammy51 Report 26 May 2016 21:39

I suspect it might be a bit like Marmite as the Amazon revues are quite mixed!


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 26 May 2016 22:07

A Promise Given, by Meg Hutchinson.

I was looking forward to reading this book, especially as I live close to the Black Country, support a Black Country Football Team and have also worked there.
My ex husbands ancestors and their site lings were involved to working on the canals. Some of the women made bricks too. So there are family links.

First I have to admit that I have a quibble with the story, which irritated me a little. While most of the main characters spoke with a local accent,unless they were well off and not of the labouring class, the main character, Rachel Cade was very well spoken, there was no explanation as to why. I was quite at ease with being knowledgeable about thingsshe had seen and thingsher father had told her about, this did not mean that her accents would have been different to that of her neighbours.

Moan over!! I don' t want to give away any of the plot and spoil it for any on who has not yet read it but it is a good story.Rachel Cade is accused by her stepmother of murdering by drowning) her young half brother. A distraught Rachel plead her innocence, but ell anyone believe her?
Rachel is forced. to leave the area with no money and little knowledge of what she can do to make her way in the world.

She meets various people, some more than ready yo help but others hoping to take advantage of her.

It shows how difficult things were for the disadvantaged in those times. ( although no actual year is give, the Tipton Slasher, a real person, is mentioned, he was born in 1819. and had his first fight in 1835. so the story has to be set after that year.).

A god story, if rather melodramatic. Not a page turner n the same way as some of the other GR books I had read recently.e.g The Quality of Silence and didn't loose myself in the story, was aware all the way through that it was just a story.
I worked out a lot of how the story would end, just wondered how the author would get us there.

However, there was one thing that took me by surprise!!

I would read more books by Meg Hutchinson. As this was a good if not brilliant book, very easy to read.


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 26 May 2016 22:11

Thanks Pam. I haven't looked at the reviews on Amazon. (or any where else,,). Will do so shortly.

Will be back with another review tomorrow.


Persephone Report 26 May 2016 22:38

Review Love and Other death Experiences by Mil Millington

Unusual story. Rob works in the wee small hours of the morning at a radio station and one night instead of playing his usual jazzy music and being unobtrusive he launches into a story about himself. His producer is at first thoroughly annoyed with him but the listener response is a deluge of e-mails and calls to the station, and that they either suffer the same problems as Rob or how to cure them. The producer does a quick about turn and wants Rob to talk more but Rob is not sure he can. His first encounter happens in the street when he goes to collect his car, he manages to elude the chap a couple of times but this chap is not to be deterred he is an American Vet and he has been wondering why me, he stood on a land mine whilst relieving himself and his friends ended up getting killed by a vehicle smashing into them. He decides he is on a mission from God and can help Rob. Then Rob meets up with a suicidal woman who is a literary professor but uses profanity all the way through the book which was a bit OTT. Her suicidal reasoning is because she went out to buy smokes and the hotel she was staying in burned to the ground and was not there when she got back. Following this there is this very weird woman, a mystic who is warning Rob about the servants of Azrael.. she is really off her trolley but none of the three (Rob, the American and the professor) realise this. The nutcase is actually out to kill Rob but she tells him that they need to meet a "non existent professor".. it is hillarious in places and one can't help being amused at the scrapes they get into. Meanwhile back at the radio station a young woman is bending over backwards to take Rob's place while Rob is supposedly on leave. The producer does not want her running the jazz program. It all ends up happy tunes for everyone and Jo who Rob was engaged to and had given him the ultimatum to sort himself out hence his crazy quest does not marry Rob but gets back together with her old boyfriend. The old boyfriend is also a friend of Rob's and Rob has asked him to look after Jo whilst he is off on his mission to find out why he is like he is. Confused.. well no, it actually all does end for the best.


Persephone Report 26 May 2016 22:39

Review The Blue Hour by Douglas Kennedy

I enjoyed it but it is not his best work. Once again he has written from the woman's point of view and I have to say he is extremely good at doing this. As I said in the recommendation Robin did not originally want to go to Morocco with Paul her husband who is several years older than her and who had been to Morocco before. She is hoping to get pregnant and he seems to be enthousiastic but all is not what it seems and she eventually finds out that he has had a vasectomy. Paul disappears and Robin becomes the suspect in that she could have killed him. Tables get turned on her time and time again, people that have befriended Paul in the past are most unhelpful regarding her plight. The depiction of Morocco sounds like Douglas Kennedy has been there it all certainly seems realistic... though I suppose the internet can provide that. It certainly becomes a page turner as Robin searches for Paul and there is a very harrowing time for her in the desert after a brutal assault on her. She certainly has courage, but will she ever find Paul. She thinks she sees him several times but he always disappears. An interesting hunt on her part.


Persephone Report 26 May 2016 22:40

Yew Tree Gardens by Anna Jacobs

Picked it up on a Thursday 28th in the afternoon when we were in Auckland and whilst I don't read when travelling I stayed up late and finished it Fri 29th. Great story. Her writing style is similar to Lynda Page. Found out since I finished it that it is a third book in a series (seem to keep doing this), I enjoyed it as a stand alone read. It is set in a time when dresses were long and the motor car was just coming on the scene. Women were "trying" to get the vote and play a more important part in the work force. 1910 to 1913... well women already had the vote in NZ.(1893). It could have been set in anytime period as repression of women can still be seen to be happening. It is a delightful story with a few diversions along the way including the sinking of the Titanic. I may even read her other books, but by looking at all the books I have to read that may not be a good idea and to think I was buying more in Huntly as the majority of books were packed in boxes. I didn't realise I had so many. It is a delightful book that takes you away from your everyday chores with some happy reading.


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 27 May 2016 08:14

I also read. The Stone Cutter, by Camilla Lackberg. (suggested previously).

I got this book from a charity shop ages ago but hadn't got round to reading it. Was one of my duggestions( received one vote) recorded to read and review it before returning it to a charity shop.

The "hero" of The Stone Cutter" is Patrik Hedstrom, a local police detective (who has just become a father), he is called to what appears to be an accidental drowning of a young child. He realises that he knows the little girl, Sara, and later he discovers that Sara has been murdered.
The story follows the twists and turns of the investigation, some of Hedstroms colleagues are not useful members of the team, which made things even more difficult
We are gradually introduced with 'new' people, without a clue of where they fit into the murder investigation. Are they important? or just red herrings.
So many of the people concerned have secrets and we are telling the truth. This makes the plot even more intricate. This meant that I had to take it slowly as each new person entered the fray and stop to think once n a while, not a bad thing!
Would Hedstrom sort the truth from the lies, would this help to bring the killer to justice. Would his baby stop crying???

I was kept intetested throughout, so much so that I will be trying to get the follow up book. ( or any other book by Camilla Lackberg).


AnninGlos Report 27 May 2016 20:54

The silent boy

I did finally manage to read all of it. It was not my type of book at all but I felt it was well written. I doubt I would read more books by this author by choice. Is it me or was Charles supposed to be autistic, with the constant counting of everything.

I did feel the actual end was abrupt, I wanted to have some sort of hint tbat he would talk again. At least a stronger hint than the shadow game.

Anyway I read it :-D :-D


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 28 May 2016 06:19

Ann. not sure if Charles is on the Autistic Spectrum, now there is food for thought. I suppose that he does keep saying "that is a fact" which does tend to suggest that you are right.
I had just thought that he was reassuring himself in an unsure and unsafe world.
Possibly the abrupt ending is to encourage the reader to read the next book - but I your case it hasn't worked!
Sometimes the pace seemed to be a little slow and I had to keep reminding myself that this book is set within the lifetime of Jane Austen, when the slow pace of her stories are part of their beauty.

If I do read another Andrew Taylor book staring Edward Savile and featuring Charles, I will let you know if you are right. I wonder how ASD behaviour was accounted for at that time.
Perhaps I will find out!


AnninGlos Report 3 Jun 2016 08:25

reviewing one of my choices that didn't get chosen:

Review The Girl next door by Elizabeth Noble.
This is only her second novel. She wrote Things I want my daughters to know which was very good.
EN has an uncanny ability to get inside her characters and make them so real. This is about an apartment block in New York and the people who live there, so we follow their individual stories and how they link with the other residents (or don’t).
The residents are a mixed bunch, from Eve and Ed, newly arrived English, and 78 year old Violet English but lived there many years, who always laid the table the night before for breakfast, with a linen napkin and silver cutlery, toTodd and Gregory a gay couple. There are young families, elderly curmudgeony men and Cuban doormen who all have a part to play.
The individual stories are very well written as is the way they interact with other residents. It is sad and funny, very readable and clever.
A really good book that held my attention and that I really enjoyed.