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Greaders Review February/March books please

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AnninGlos Report 17 Mar 2017 10:08

OK a day early, being Saturday tomorrow I may be out so putting it up today.

Please review
The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley 111
And then: Any of the following with one vote that you have read.

Meridon by Philippa Gregory 1
The Secret Wife - Gill Paul 1
The Lost Soldier - Diney Costelloe 1
What happened to my Mother by Pamela Moriarty. 1
Things I want you to Know by Martina Reilly 1
Handle with care Jodie Piccoult 1
Under the Eagle by Simon Scarrow 1


AnninGlos Report 17 Mar 2017 10:10

From Pammy

The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley

Another book which introduced us to life in a different time and country. Although we all saw the statue of Christ on the TV during the Olympics it had not occurred to me how it was constructed, especially with the added difficulty of getting it up the mountain! Maia's story takes us to France and Brazil, both vividly descibed and woven into an engaging story. As Ann says it is good to know we can follow the story of the other sisters in the rest of the series (I want to know how Star manages to find the strength to escape from CeCe's rather overbearing care and if they both manage to find happiness ).

Handle with Care by Jodie Piccoult
My review from suggestions post -
I won't reveal too much more about the story as I don't want to spoil it for any one who chooses to read this.
The story of how the O'Keefes decide to sue over the birth of their child is told by each of the different characters involved, from Willow herself to the lawyer taking the case. It impacts on each character in various ways, a situation designed to make life better bringing moral dilemmas and conflicts. Jodi Picoult develops the characters well so that you feel for their worries and insecurities. I'm not sure I would describe it as an enjoyable read but it is definitely engrossing.

Thank you



AnninGlos Report 17 Mar 2017 10:16

Review of seven sisters

From the very first page, I was hooked as the story unfolded bit by bit firstly with the gathering of the sisters, the description of their home and the background of their lives. Then the realisation that there was a possibility of tracing where they had come from.
The sisters are close but, of course, being adopted, all have different characteristics and personalities. Two of them are extremely close which causes some concern to the others as one dominates the other. We have Maia’s story first as she is the eldest.
The story has many layers, many mysteries to be solved and, besides being a good saga, it is part travelogue, part history book. Rio in Brazil, Paris in France, all come alive with the wonderful descriptions. Then also the description of how the statue of Christ which stands above Rio was thought of, designed and sculpted. The story has fictional characters interwoven with real characters.
Along with all the above it is two love stories as we move from 2007 back to the 1920s
I was really immersed in this story and even more thrilled to realise at the end of the book that there was more to come, if I am right, each sister will have her own book. I loved it.
I have read books by Lucinda Riley before (eg the light behind the window) and she never fails to grip me with her story telling.

review Handle with care by Jodi Piccoult

This book is so full of sadness and despair that I found myself holding my breath at times while reading it. It is a story of consequences. The domino effect of what happens when an unfortunate birth is so devastating that it destroys, or starts to destroy the whole family and their close friends. Willow is born with seven broken bones already, she has what we know as Brittle bone disease. Charlotte her Mum, loves her, as do her father Sean and sister Amelia there is no doubt about that, they wouldn’t be without her. However, she costs a lot, she needs a lot to survive and Sean is a policeman, not too well paid, they have no money. Their family life starts to unravel when Charlotte decides the only way to become solvent and to have enough to look after Willow is to say she wishes she had never been born. And to sue the person who was responsible for looking after Charlotte before and during the birth, her greatest friend Piper.
The story is told from each of the family’s viewpoint, as if they are addressing Willow. After a while it is hard to say who is suffering the most Amelia’s dentist says ‘ every action has an equal and opposite reaction’. I found I didn’t know who to feel sorry for. The story puts Willow into the centre and Maybe we should feel sorry for her when she overhears that Charlotte has to say that she wishes Willow had never been born. But in turn I found myself identifying with and feeling sorry for, Charlotte, what a heavy load she had to carry. And then I could feel sorry for Sean, his adored daughter was hurting physically and mentally and he couldn’t help her. Maybe it was Amelia who was the one to be pitied, not only with all the peer pressures and problems that come with the hormones of a young teenager but now she feels pushed out, not noticed, even when she is bulimic and self harming poor girl. Piper, I don’t think I felt sorry for her, if she had not made a mistake she would not be in this position of being sued and a mistake of omission is a mistake. Even Marin the lawyer has her problems. On one hand she is making the case for the claim against a doctor for a wrongful decision regarding a birth and on the other she is having to face up to the fact that not all mothers want to keep their baby no matter what the problem. One thing is certain, there are few if any laughs in this story. And I didn’t like the ending. But I guess I wasn’t meant to.
But it is a good story, very readable and it certainly makes you think about the different solutions. Very well researched, great characters, I loved the bravery of little Willow and the feistiness of Amelia, I could feel the pain of all the main characters, Charlotte Sean, Piper and Marin.

review Meridon by Philippa Gregory

This is a big book but like all of PG’s books not a word is wasted.557 pages of real escapism for me at least.
Meridon, given to the gypsies as a new born baby, and knowing no other life, dreams of a big house called Wide and longs to go there. Growing up with a gypsy sister Dandy they eventually escape to join a travelling horse show where she excels on horseback and Dandy on the trapeze. Beautifully written inasmuch it was so realistic I was practically holding my breath when reading about the falls and the successes of both of them in the ring.
It is a book in two parts really because tragedy means Meridon leaves the show family on her beloved horse, Sea, and goes where he takes her. The second half is Meridon as she discovers her past. The descriptions of the ‘quality’ and the poor of the area and the interaction; the characters, and the countryside, all bring the story to life. I honestly couldn’t put it down and I really didn’t want to get to the end I felt so involved with the story. I loved it.
As it happens, I read Wideacre in 2001 and the Favoured Child in 2008. And I remember being immersed in both but I really couldn’t remember the whole story. (Both books strangely are still on a book shelf in a spare room). When I have time I shall re-read them. This is the final book in the trilogy, easily read alone but even better knowing a little bit of the back story.
Philippa Gregory is such a good story teller.


Mersey Report 17 Mar 2017 13:59

Seven Sisters - Lucinda Riley

All sisters are gathered together where they grew up in Lake Geneva,
after their adopted father died and for some unusual reason buried
at sea. The girls father Pa Salt is a billionaire and after his death it is d
discovered that each sister has a very different clue about where each
other came from and why.
Maia one of the sisters is given a clue regarding her heritage which begins
in Rio de Janeiro.
I found the whole story fascinating and I love the fact that each twist
turn, suprises are all captivating in this book. Past and present storyline
is full of intrigue and I for one was gripped. After reading this I jumped straight
into Storm Sister and may well go onto Shadow Sister.

Was also reading a few weeks back that there is to be a tv series possibly
being made of all seven books once written and published :-D

The Things I want You to know - Martina Reiley

Kate Deegan dies and Nick has to bring up two small children. Everything
goes through his mind on how he is going to cope and then the realisation
sets in which makes him worry even more so about the future for his
children and also himself.
He finds a book written by Kate on the day of her funeral giving him a full
do's and don't on bringing up their children, but not only that a challenge
of five dates with five women.

I enjoyed the book , made me smile a lot and also touched with sadness.
It is full of love, loss and so many touching moments but most of all hope.
I love the way the author writes as it is picked up while reading . So easy
to read with such a lot of feeling.

Look forward to reading more of her books


AnninGlos Report 17 Mar 2017 22:36

From Perse

The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley..

Oh dear it is over 600 pages long, what if I doesn't interest me from the beginning. This was a bit of an uh oh and I was heading away for a few days and wondered whether to take it or one of Linda La Plante's from my collection that I had started. I did start it before we went and it did not entirely grip me. So Linda La Plante's "Silent Scream" went with me. It got finished after I got home and then I put off continuing The Seven Sisters... now that I have read it I do wonder what my apprehension was all about I loved it from where I left off until I finished it. Once Maia was off on her own I was intrigued, the relationship between Bel and her intended and the relationship with her lover were so far apart. Bel was a dutiful daughter in that she did not want to fail her father and oh what an awful mother-in-law she had and for Maia's grandmother to think that her own daughter may have inherited her grandmother's tendencies could not have been so far from the truth. A very tangled web, but such fun untangling it. Then to end with Maia's sister picking up the phone and hearing what she does.... well I may very well have to read Ally's story and then Star's story since both are published. I do hope they are shorter even though once into Maia's story I rapidly devoured it.
One puzzle for me was who opened Pa Salt's office? Did I miss something? Was it Georg?
Good choice GlossieAnn, and to think I got Jodi Piccoult out as well just in case, as she is an easy read and I needed to have one to review. I didn't read hers as thought best to return to my own pile of books.


Things I want you to Know by Martina Reilly
Glad you enjoyed it Mersey, I thought it was poignant in places and like I said in my suggestion type review, it really does not have a plot unless you consider that Kate had planned and plotted a timeline for Nick to follow. The daughter Emma was a bit of a handful but she was also quite endearing. To think I only grabbed it by chance in the library because it was not shelved back in line with other books in the library and I thought hmm must be meant for me.


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 18 Mar 2017 17:02


The Seven Sisters, by Lucinda Riley. Maia's story.

This wasn't one of the books that I voted for, mainly because there was such a good and varied choice ( again)..
Requested it from the Library, luckily I didn't have long to wait.....
Was a little apprehensive when I collected it. A hard backed version of over six hundred pages, it looked heavy and cumbersome.

However, it didn't take me very long to read, it was a 'page turner'. covered into easy bite sized chunks. But NOT a light 'airy' read.
I didn't know any of the legends of The Severn Sisters, so came to the story with no preconceived ideas. This lack of knowledge did not impair my enjoyment.

Almost from the first page we learn that ' Pa Salt' adoptive father to Maia and her sisters, andman of mystery, has died, ( or has he????).
We learn almost nothing about him - not even his name - but possible clues are scattered around in the story. A sort of sib- plot to Maia's story.

After hearing that her father has died Maia, a linguist and translator, returns to the family home, in distress.
This becomes the gathering place for all the sisters, even though there is to be no funeral. The sisters, all of them adopted, are given clues about their origins.

Maia's clues lead her to Rio in Brazil, where she meets up with a man whose book she has recently translated. He joins her in her search for her roots, and the reason for her adoption.
The story takes us to France, where we meet all sorts of interesting people, living in Paris, during the making of the famous statue of Christ, that overlooks Rio.
I found the story of Maia's ancestry, and the story of the statue, both very interesting. The history, both social and cultural, in both France and Brazil, grabbed my
As Maia learns about her family history, she blooms, - learning about the heart ache experienced by her ancestors - help her to come to terms with her own.

Maia is able to solve most of the mysteries of her past, but we are left wanting to know more about her past, present and future.

We were given a few details of the other sisters, while all the sisters were together in the family home. Perhaps we will learn more about the unsolved issues in Maia's story, and the true story of Oa Salt.

Really enjoyed this book, looking forward to reading about another sister.


AnninGlos Report 18 Mar 2017 17:07

Thank you Tess, glad you enjoyed it. :-)


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 18 Mar 2017 17:29

Loved it Ann,
sorry that my review is so wordy, didn't do the plot, or the way it wss told, justice.

Will be back later with two further reviews.

:-( :-)


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 19 Mar 2017 20:10


Handle with Care, by Jodi Picoult.

This book didn't get my vote because the last of (quite a few of) this author's books that I read I found majorally upsetting. I am always swept away by her story lines, which grab the social conscience, and make us think about how we would have behaved in the same circumstance ( well that is the effect they have on me), but I couldn't stop feeling involved, even long after finishing it. I therefore decided not to read any of her books for a while.

Then Handle with Care was suggested and when I went to the library to check the book shelves, there it was, waiting for me to take it home and read. So I decided to become a Picoult reader again.

I am so pleased that I did. This is a story about Willow O'Keefe, a young child born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta Type 111 (OI) - otherwise known as Brittle Bone Disease.
Willow had already got seven broken bones before she was born, and frequent ( often severe) breaks from then on.

It is told by the people close to her,including her mother, father, sister, lawyer, mother's best friend ( and on/gun) and Willow herself
Each person is addressing Willow, and it reads as if they are writing to her to explain what they did, why they didit, and what they felt like. A feeling of regret ooze's from the page.
Even Willow has her say, such an aware little girl, full of pain, understanding, disappointment and hope.
Everyone else was bearing their souls and innermost thoughts to Willow with such sadness, sorrow and regret, that I began to have worries about the outcome. ( the format increased my concerns). Unfortunately my concerns were justified.
As this wasn' t a 'who dun it' this did not make me feel any better. It was obvious that there would be no miracle cure. This is a realistic story and O.I. doesn't just disappear. However I kept wishing that I was wrong and that things would turn out as well as could be e pe Ted.
Willow, and her disease, touched so many people, the O.I. bringing nothing but heartbreak and pain, while Willow captivated everyone whomet her.
The whole family were overwhelmed by OI a really nasty disease that shows no mercy. We read of the difficulties everyone encounters.
The story highlights for me the importance of the N.H.S. in the U.K. and how imperative it is. O.I. is such a devastating condition, but made even worse when the patient can not have things they need because of costs - even things like a correctly fitting wheelchair - which was prohibitive.

This book, with its multilayered stories, raises many other issues too.
A great book for discussion of many subjects.
A well written gripping story.
Tissues are a must when reading it.


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 19 Mar 2017 22:24


The Lost Soldier, by Disney Costeloe.

I voted for this book because I was intrigued by the description when it was recommended. Thankfully it came equal second so I was justified in indulging myself by reading it.

The Lost Soldier, like many of the books I have read recently ( new/ish books) is set I two different time zones In this case it is set in 1915-1921 and the present day - 2001-2..
As I am interested in history ( especially family and social history) this format appeals to me.

The story opens with the secret planting of a sapling in the special memorial Ashgrove in 1921, where eight trees to commerate individual soldiers have already been planted. It continues in the present day, Rachel Elliott, a young journalist from the local paper attends a public meeting at Charlton Ambrose Village Hall, where a proposed housing development is being discussed.
There are mixed feelings within the village but the cat is set among the pigeons when an elderly resident, Cecily Strong, objects vehemently against the destruction of the memorial trees in the Ashgrove, which is seemingly the only way to get access to the new building site. Mike Bradley, managing director of Brigstock Jones, the developers, is taken by surprise. He didn't know that the trees were a special memorial - so he has no answer for Cecily. The meeting is bought to a close, till things can be clarified.

Rachel decides to investigate further, who are the men the Ashgrove is dedicated to? What about the 'extra' tree?
She interviews Cecily, and anyone else that will help her. She also chats to her grandmother, who bought her up. From her she learns that there is a family connection yo the village.

Rachel becomes increasingly embroiled in the story, especially after reading letters written by her great grand mother, a lady who served as a nurse in France in WWI.
We follow the stories of Molly, the great grandmother, her employer and friend, Sarah, who both nursed in WW1, and also the stories of Freddie, Tom and Harry, just some of the soldiers who fought in the war.

A moving story, made extra interesting to me because the past and the present are linked. Although dome of the info. is ' gifted' to Rachel, in the form of a family diary and letters. She also researches the past by checking church records, newspaper archives, b.m.d certs. as well as talking to people.

The Lost Soldier met my expectations. I am interested in reading a follow up ( about the convent) and wonder if the two stories overlap at all.

A really good read.


AnninGlos Report 20 Mar 2017 09:19

Thank you Tess, might look out for that one. I like disney Costello, I didn't vote for the book as I already had three to read. It sounds a good read. :-)