Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Katherine Webb: A half-forgotten song

1937. In a village on the Dorset coast, fourteen-year-old Mitzy Hatcher has endured a wild and lonely upbringing - until the arrival of renowned artist Charles Aubrey, his exotic mistress and their daughters, changes everything. Over the next three summers, Mitzy sees a future she had never thought possible, and a powerful love is kindled in her. A love that grows from innocence to obsession; from childish infatuation to something far more complex. Years later, a young man in an art gallery looks at a hastily-drawn portrait and wonders at the intensity of it. The questions he asks lead him to a Dorset village and to the truth about those fevered summers in the 1930s ...

I picked this book up because I had run out of reading materials on my holidays and this book was available. Although I found "The Legacy" fascinating and gripping, this book left me a little disappointed at times, as the author went down the easy route of romance, when there wouldn't have been any in real life. There were some twists and turns relating to the life of Charles Aubrey and his relatives, and so I kept reading on. The novel made for easy reading and solid entertainment.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer: Between the lines

Delilah knows it's weird, but she can't stop reading her favourite fairy tale. Other girls her age are dating and cheerleading. But then, other girls are popular. She loves the comfort of the happy ending, and knowing there will be no surprises. Until she gets the biggest surprise of all, when Prince Oliver looks out from the page and speaks to her. Now Delilah must decide: will she do as Oliver asks, and help him to break out of the book? Or is this her chance to escape into happily ever after? Read between the lines for total enchantment . . .

I chose to read the story, as I am a great fan of Jodi Picoult and because she admits to have co-written it with her daughter, who had come up with the main idea. It's a light-hearted young adult novel, which will certainly appeal to daughters and young-at-heart Mums. Although there are some allusions to teenage fears and worries, the story is so fantastical that the book can be read for entertainment only.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Cecelia Ahern: One hundred names

As a journalist, Kitty Logan has spent the past few years chasing the big scoops – no matter the consequences. When she makes a terrible mistake, she finds herself mired in scandal, her career implodes and even her personal relationships are tested to the limits. At a loss, Kitty finds distraction in a list of one hundred names her late mentor and boss has left her. Kitty is to write the story behind the one hundred names as a tribute piece. As she tracks down the people on the list and tries to work out what connects them, Kitty meets some extraordinary people.

An easy, entertaining and uplifting read that teaches us about the importance of individuals and how ordinary people will tell us extraordinary stories if we just take the time to listen carefully enough.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Donna Leon: Brunetti 22 - The Golden Egg

Commissario Brunetti receives a call from his wife, Paola, who is evidently very upset. The middle-aged deaf mute with the mental age of a child who helped out at the Brunetti's dry cleaners has been found dead. To the neighbourhood he was just the 'boy' who helped out, but nobody knew much about him. That a soul could have lived such a joyless life is too much for Paola to bear, and she asks Guido if he can find out what happened. With the help of Inspector Vianello and the ever-resourceful Signorina Elettra, Brunetti tries to get to the truth and find some measure of solace.

Having accepted that the Brunetti series has somehow changed to account more about the private and public lives of Venetians, I actually enjoyed this story again. Brunetti's pondering during his walks through Venice are intriguing and the fact that he worries about his family makes him a more interesting character. Sometimes there are too many clich├ęs about the North and South divide in Italy, however.