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Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Forgotten Room

I had not read a book written by three different authors and what brilliant writers each of them are. This is what attracted me to this book. I knew it had to be very good and very good it was.

Told in three different time lines each story was dramatic and full of suspense. Each story was from the beginning linked to another so that you knew at the end it was going to come together, happily or not. There was so much sadness, separation, hardship during the course of each story that it was not an easy read at all but I kept going because the characterization was so very good and each woman in the story was made of really good stuff and extremely admirable (in each circumstance). Very strong, very much to be admired women.

1945 Dr Kate Schuyler facing antagonism just for being a female doctor not just from fellow doctors but even from fellow nurses who feel that she is above them and she should be just one of them. There is Lucy looking for the father she feels is out there and someone she never knew and Olive who works as a servant in the mansion designed by her father and is bitter towards the people who now occupy it.

The period in which each story was set was also a tumultuous time not just for America but for the whole world - a time of much change especially for women and this was also a highlight of this book.

The stories blend and contrast very well and though at times I found it a bit difficult to keep the stories apart - the book in itself is a wonderful read.

Sent to me by Netgalley courtesy of Penguin Group Berkeley.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas at the Vicarage by Rebecca Boxall

I hadn't started on anything for the season and though this was not exactly a Christmas story, it certainly was a story of love, hope, survival and new beginnings which is an equally good Christmas

The writer wrote the story in two time frames (I seem to be reading more and more books like this these days) and one related to Rosamunde as a youngster and then a teenager to the present day time of Rosamunde as a 40 plus. It was a slightly different change to time lines in lots of stories where the main character would be in her late twenties and still embarking on new journeys. In this story, Rosamunde has done enough of journeys and adventure and has decided to come home. She wants to put her heartache of the years gone by behind her and make a life for herself where her family are.
She finds that being back in the village of her teens, with the father she adored and the comfort of the known all around her she will find contentment and happiness at last.

Very well told and exuding a feeling of warmth, comfort and goodwill towards all, I finished the book very happy. Success on the author's part indeed.

The book was sent to me by Netgalley courtesy of Lake Union Publishing for an unbiased review.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Promise of Provence by Patricia Sands

This post is being done in October though it will appear on the blog in December. I have just returned from Melbourne and wanted something light to read, trying to cope with tiredness and jetlag!  This was the ideal pick up.

Patricia Sands's book is not just a novel but also about  a woman recovering from a divorce, after an uneventful 22 year old marriage. It is also a travelogue of Provence and what a travelogue it turned out to be. The stories blend beautifully and one is carried on Katherine's story and to cheer her on and support her in her new adventures.

The descriptions were fabulous. You want to go immediately to Antibes, to Monaco and to Provence. You want to savour the bread, the wine and specially the cheeses. Everything from the skies to the vineyards seem picturesque.  The roads, the buildings - especially the buildings caught my interest very much. Something modern is "only five hundred years old". Such a nice way of describing something!!!  I cannot visualize a building standing after a hundred years and to know that houses are being actually lived in after such a long period of time and especially very poignant was that lots of houses have been in a family for several generations.

Katherine was 55 years at the time of her divorce. Starting anew at any age after a divorce must be traumatic. Starting at 55 with no children and only an aged mother as support would be particularly hard. Her husband walked out on her on their 22nd anniversary leaving her a bouquet of flowers which he did every year and a note. The story with all its emotions, frustrations, anger and finally finding peace was a very satisfying story for me.

This book was sent to me by Netgalley via Lake Union Publishing.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes


I have been wanting to get hold of Jojo Moyes books for a very long time.  For some reason or the other Netgalley and Edelweiss both proved futile.Even the giveaways were always US only and with that I thought the possibility of getting one of her books was impossible.

Then I got this from a friend and I was entranced. A love story which keeps you on the edge. Very moving and a story of a very unlikely couple. This is one book which you have to finish in one go. There is no putting this aside for another day.

This is an ideal book for a book club discussion.You can have arguments, discussions on the whys and why nots forever.

The title was a bit confusing till a reader clarified it.  The cover does not do justice to it at all!Very sad cover!!!