#AtoZChallenge U: Untold Story by Monica Ali

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge  is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted.

 

Summary

The most famous woman in the world.
Her death mourned by millions.
What if she hadn’t died after all…..?

What if Princess Diana didn’t die? Her seemingly idyllic life was both nightmare and fairytale. She may have been living a priveleged life, but she often felt lonely and trapped. Could she have been tempted to take the opportunity to start her life over again, but this time live her life quietly, and out of the spotlight of the media glare.

Fictional English Princess Lydia, thought someone was plotting to assassinate her, so she decides to stage her own death and and start a new life in a quiet area of Midwest America. Life abroad goes well for her, as she makes Kensington her new home. She makes many new friends but she cannot forget the family she left behind.

Unexpectedly, she has an encounter with paparazzi and the new life, and her anonymity, that she has worked so hard to create for herself, are put under threat and she wonders if she will ever be able to put her past behind her.

My Thoughts

The topic and plot of this story drew me to it. However, I didn’t enjoy the way the story went from the present day, where it is narrated by Lydia and the photographer who is sure he knows her real identity, to the butler in her past, who helped her to disappear. The story is also told from the letters that Lydia wrote to the butler ten years earlier.

I was irritated by the way the chapters seemed to jump back and forward from past to future and to the letters.  This spoiled my enjoyment of the book. The premise and plot could have made an engrossing read, but the style that this book was written in, just didn’t do it for me.

My rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

About the Author

Monica Ali

 

Monica Ali is a British writer and novelist, born in Bangladesh.  When she was three years old, her family moved to England, where she still lives today with her husband and children.

 

First published in Great Britain by Doubleday, 2011.
This edition published by Simon and Schuster UK Ltd 2012. Paperback, 342 pages

img_7712-1h

This blog has been nominated for the Bloggers Bash Awards in the category of Best Book Review Blog. If you would like to vote for me click on the link below and scroll down to the Best Book Review Blog Section. You will find Best Bookish Blog there. I do appreciate you taking the time to vote.

https://annualbloggersbash.com/2019/04/10/the-annual-bloggers-bash-awards-2019-vote-is-live/

photo: goodreads

#A-ZChallenge T: Toymaker by Liam Pieper

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge  is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted.

Summary

Bold dark and compelling, The Toymaker is a novel about privelege, fear and the great harm we can do when we are afraid of losing what we hold dear – blurb

Adam Kulakov is middle aged and owns a toy company which brightens the lives of children all over the world. He is wealthy and seems to have everything that anybody could ever desire. But Adam makes  mistakes that threaten to destroy everything.

Adam’s grandfather, who began the toy business, was an Auschwitz survivor. But to survive, he had to make a very difficult choice. That choice has remained secret for his entire life. As he is now coming to the end of his life, he is watching his grandson managing the family business in such a way,  that it’s obvious to him that he will likely destroy it, and all he worked for in his life. But he must continue to keep his secret, so as not to destroy his family.

Written in both the present and the past, contrasting Melbourne, Australia today and life in Auschwitz in WW11.  The Toymaker is both dark and compelling. It tells the story of how close we all can be to losing what we love the most.

My Thoughts

I found most of the characters easy to dislike but the story is amazing. The subject matter  is at times quite challenging, especially towards the end, where the reader may question their moral attitude to doing what needs to be done to survive, at any cost.

The final chapters of this book are extremely powerful and meaningful with the best ending that I’ve read in a long while. I just didn’t see it coming. Pieper adds a twist to the novel that changed my entire perception of the story. As soon as I read the last page, I wanted to read the book again, knowing the ending.  Were there hints along the way that I missed?  

Recommendation

I couldn’t put The Toymaker down and have it on my list of best ever reads. It is a Holocaust book with a difference, like no other I have previously read. 

“His writing is electric” – Weekend Australian

“Pieper is a sharp, smart and classy writer” – Saturday Paper

“Hugely memorable, The Toymaker is an unflinching examination of the dark instinct for survival that lies in all of us” – Hannah Kent, author

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About The Author

Liam Pieper is a Melbourne based author and journalist. His first book was a memoir, The Feel Good Hit of the Year, shortlisted for the National Biography Award and the Ned Kelly Best True Crime award. His second was the Penguin Special Mistakes Were Made, a volume of humorous essays. He was co-recipient of the 2014 M Literary Award, winner of the 2015 Geoff Dean Short Story Prize and the inaugural creative resident of the UNESCO City of Literature in Prague. The Toymaker is his first novel.

Published by Penguin Random House Australia in 2016. Paperback – 263 pages

Have you read this book. If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I promise to always reply to comments made in the section below.

To keep up with the latest book reviews, please pop your email into the box in the side bar. This will ensure you are notified of all updates.
Find me here: Facebook and Instagram and Goodreads

 

img_7712-1

This blog has been nominated for the Bloggers Bash Awards in the category of Best Book Review Blog. If you would like to vote for me click on the link below and scroll down to the Best Book Review Blog Section. You will find Best Bookish Blog there. I do appreciate you taking the time to vote.

https://annualbloggersbash.com/2019/04/10/the-annual-bloggers-bash-awards-2019-vote-is-live/

 

Image:  Goodreads

 

 

#AtoZChallenge Q: The Queens Colonial by Peter Watt

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge  is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted.

Summary

The Queen’s Colonial is the first in Australian author, Peter Watt’s new series featuring Captain Ian Steele, commander in the British Army, in the mid 1800s.

The story starts in Sydney in 1845, where Ian Steele, is supporting his frail and widowed mother, while dreaming of how much he yearns to live a life in uniform, in Queen Victoria’s army.

Meanwhile, in New Zealand, Second Lieutenant Sam Forbes, a gentle soul and a poet, from a wealthy and aristocratic, but treacherous, English family, wants nothing more than to leave the army, and live a more gentle life. Due to his family and his upbringing, he knows that is not likely to ever happen.

Later, these two men happen to meet in Sydney, and realise there is a striking likeness to their appearance. They very quickly devise a plan for Ian to take Sam’s identity and go to England, convince the family that he is their son that they haven’t seen for many years, and accept a commission into the British Army, who are about to face the Russians in battle.

My Thoughts

 At first I thought the story line about the swap of identities was ridiculous and unbelievable, but the author quickly convinced me that it made sense and it would work.

I have a love of history and war history, so this book was a pleasure for me to read. Even though The Queen’s Colonial is a novel, Watt has based it on thoroughly researched archival information. The battle scenes are taken from the actual eye witness reports of a newspaper journalist who posted war zone reports from the battle front via telegraph. These reports titled Reports From The Crimea were published frequently in The Times of London.

This is the first of Peter Watt’s books that I’ve read, and it seems that I’ve found a new favourite author. I will be watching out for the second book in this series.  I love the title, The Queen’s Colonial and very much look forward to the title chosen for the second book in the series. The book is beautifully presented with extremely beautiful artwork on the front cover.

My Rating: 4.5 star

About The Author

Peter Watt

 

Peter has been a soldier, articled clerk to a solicitor, prawn trawler deckhand, builder’s labourer, pipe layer, real estate salesman, private investigator, police sergeant and adviser to the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary. He has lived and worked with Aborigines, Islanders, Vietnamese and Papua New Guineans and speaks, reads and writes Vietnamese and Pidgin. He now lives at Maclean, on the Clarence River in northern New South Wales. He is a volunteer firefighter with the Rural Fire service, and is interested in fishing and the vast opens spaces of outback Queensland. – Pan Macmillan

Published in 2018 by Pan MacMillan. Paperback 396 pages, including author notes.

Have you read this book. If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I promise to always reply to comments made in the section below.

To keep up with the latest book reviews, please pop your email into the box in the side bar. This will ensure you are notified of all updates.
Find me here: Facebook and Instagram and Goodreads
#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

This blog has been nominated for the Bloggers Bash Awards in the category of Best Book Review Blog. If you would like to vote for me click on the link below and scroll down to the Best Book Review Blog Section. You will find Best Bookish Blog there. I do appreciate you taking the time to vote.

https://annualbloggersbash.com/2019/04/10/the-annual-bloggers-bash-awards-2019-vote-is-live/

Images: Goodreads

#AtoZChallenge O: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge  is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted.

Summary

In 1946, Claire Randall is taken from the Scottish Highlands where she is on a second honeymoon with her husband, back to 1943 where the first person she meets is a British army officer. He is her husband’s six times great grandfather, who she has often heard her husband talk of, as he researches his family’s genealogy.

“People disappear all the time. Ask any policeman, better still ask a journalist. Disappearances are bread and butter to journalists. Young girls run away from home. Young children stray from their parents and are never seen again. Housewives reach the end of their tether and take the grocery money and a taxi to the station. International financiers change their names and vanish into the smoke of imported cigars. Many of the lost will be found, eventually, dead or alive. Disappearances, after all, have their explanation. Usually” – written at the front of Outlander

Claire eventually finds herself torn between two very different men, living two totally different and irreconcilable lives.

My Thoughts

I have been resisting reading this book. Not because I didn’t think I would enjoy it. I enjoy historical fiction and the genealogy included in this book intrigued me. However, at over 800 pages, Outlander takes a huge time commitment. And then there are the subsequent books in the series at a similar number of pages.

But finally I gave in and I’m so glad I did. Gabaldon is a great story teller with a huge attention to detail as she asks: What if your future was the past?

I found this book to be very ‘unputdownable’ and read it fairly quickly, despite the huge number of pages. As I read the last line, I couldn’t wait to get started on book two in the series.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About The Author

Diana Gabaldon

 

Diana Gabaldon grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona and is of Mexican-American and English descent. She has earned three degrees – B.S. in Zoology, M.S. i Marine Biology and a Ph.D in Ecology.

 

Published in 1991 by Arrow Books, Penguin Random House.  Paperback – 863 pages

Have you read this book. If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I promise to always reply to comments made in the section below.

To keep up with the latest book reviews, please pop your email into the box in the side bar. This will ensure you are notified of all updates.
Find me here: Facebook and Instagram and Goodreads

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

This blog has been nominated for the Bloggers Bash Awards in the category of Best Book Review Blog. If you would like to vote for me click on the link below and scroll down to the Best Book Review Blog Section. You will find Best Bookish Blog there. I do appreciate you taking the time to vote.

https://annualbloggersbash.com/2019/04/10/the-annual-bloggers-bash-awards-2019-vote-is-live/

Images: Goodreads

 

 

#AtoZChallenge: N: Nowhere Child by Christian White

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge  is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted.

 

Summary

A two year old girl named Sammy vanished in Kentucky USA.  Twenty six years later, Kimberley, a photography teacher in Melbourne, is contacted by an accountant from America. He tells her that he is sure she is that missing girl. At first, she brushes him off, convinced he has the wrong person. But when she thinks about her past, Kimberley starts to wonder. To find out the truth, she must travel to America, on a quest to solve the mystery of her true identity.

“As the mystery of Sammy’s disappearance unravels, and the town’s secrets are revealed, this superb novel builds towards an electrifying climax” – blurb

My Thoughts

I first came across The Nowhere Child and it’s author, Christian White, when I attended his session on crime writing at The Bendigo Writers Festival. He read the first chapter of the book out to us and I was hooked. It sounded like a great story line and that first chapter was very suspenseful. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the book to find out what happened next.

Nowhere Child is a quick read but you will be kept wondering and in suspense from start to finish. As the climax builds I found myself with my heart in my throat at an unexpected turn of events which led to the climax.

Recommendation

Winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript.

“White skilfully builds an uncertain, noxious world of dysfunctional families and small-town secrets – The Nowhere Child is a gripping debut from an exceptional new talent” – Mark Brandi, author

My Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About The Author

Christian White

Christian White is an Australian author and screenwriter. The Nowhere Child is his first book. An early draft of this novel won the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, and rights were quickly sold into fifteen countries. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and their adopted greyhound, Issy.

 

Published by Affirm Press in 2018. 371 pages, paperback.

Have you read this book. If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I promise to always reply to comments made in the section below.

To keep up with the latest book reviews, please pop your email into the box in the side bar. This will ensure you are notified of all updates.
Find me here: Facebook and Instagram and Goodreads
#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

This blog has been nominated for the Bloggers Bash Awards in the category of Best Book Review Blog. If you would like to vote for me click on the link below and scroll down to the Best Book Review Blog Section. You will find Best Bookish Blog there. I do appreciate you taking the time to vote.

https://annualbloggersbash.com/2019/04/10/the-annual-bloggers-bash-awards-2019-vote-is-live/

*photos: Goodreads

#AtoZChallenge L is for The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge  is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted.

Summary

Grace is trying to rebuild her life, after losing her husband during the war. One day, as she was on her way to work, and passing Central Station, she finds an abandoned suitcase  under a bench seat. On opening it, she finds photographs of a dozen different women. For some reason that she can’t explain she quickly closes the suitcases and hurries off with the photographs.

After spending time researching the photos, she discovers that the owner of the suitcase was Eleanor Trigg, the leader of a group of female secret agents who were sent to Europe during the war to help with the war effort.

Grace finds herself drawn to these photos. She can’t leave them alone and feels she must find out more, if only to find the families so she can pass on the photos.

This story is inspired by true events during world war two and shines a light on the incredible bravery of these otherwise ordinary women.

My Thoughts

I found this story to be inspiring, troubling and unforgettable. One of my favourite genres is world war one and two historical fiction and this book didn’t disappoint.  I was so caught up in the story of these girls, that I didn’t want to be finished reading the book. I even read the last couple of chapters, very slowly, a couple of pages at a time, to delay the ending. I really didn’t want it to end.

I found The Lost Girls Of Paris to be a page turner which didn’t disappoint. This is the first book that I’ve read by this author but I now plan to read her previous book,  The Orphan’s Tale.

Recommendation

“Fraught with danger, and filled with mystery, and meticulously researched, The Lost Girls Of Paris is a fascinating tale of the hidden women who helped win the war” – Lisa Wingate, New York Times best selling author of Before We Were Yours

“Pam Jenoff’s meticulous research and gorgeous historical word building lift her books to must-buy status. An intriguing mystery and a captivating heroine make The Lost Girls Of Paris a read to savour” – Kate Quinn, New York Times best selling author of The Alice Network

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About the author
Pam Jenoff

Pam is the author of several novels, including her most recent The Lost Girls of Paris and The Orphan’s Tale, both instant New York Times bestsellers. Pam was born in Maryland and raised outside Philadelphia. She attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge University in England. Upon receiving her masters in history from Cambridge, she accepted an appointment as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. The position provided a unique opportunity to witness and participate in operations at the most senior levels of government, including helping the families of the Pan Am Flight 103 victims secure their memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, observing recovery efforts at the site of the Oklahoma City bombing and attending ceremonies to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of World War II at sites such as Bastogne and Corregidor.

Following her work at the Pentagon, Jenoff moved to the State Department. In 1996 she was assigned to the U.S. Consulate in Krakow, Poland. It was during this period that Pam developed her expertise in Polish-Jewish relations and the Holocaust. Working on matters such as preservation of Auschwitz and the restitution of Jewish property in Poland, Jenoff developed close relations with the surviving Jewish community.

Having left the Foreign Service in 1998 to attend law school at the University of Pennsylvania, Jenoff practiced law at a large firm and in-house for several years. She now teaches law school at Rutgers – Goodreads.com.au

Published in 2019 by Park Row. Paperback 34 pages

Have you read this book. If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I promise to always reply to comments made in the section below.

To keep up with the latest book reviews, please pop your email into the box in the side bar. This will ensure you are notified of all updates.
Find me here: Facebook and Instagram and Goodreads

This blog has been nominated for the Bloggers Bash Awards in the category of Best Book Review Blog. If you would like to vote for me click on the link below and scroll down to the Best Book Review Blog Section. You will find Best Bookish Blog there. I do appreciate you taking the time to vote.

https://annualbloggersbash.com/2019/04/10/the-annual-bloggers-bash-awards-2019-vote-is-live/

Images: Goodreads

#AtoZChallenge I -I Was Here by Gayle Forman

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge  is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted.

Summary

This story, set in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington USA, follows eighteen year old Cody in the months following the suicide of her best friend Meg.  Cody is feeling numb and can’t believe that her friend didn’t confide in her that all wasn’t well with her. As she searches for answers as to why she has lost her best friend, she goes on a journey of self discovery. Cody starts to question her relationship with Meg, and what death, love and forgiveness mean to her.

My Thoughts

This traumatic subject matter is handled very realistically and delicately by the author, but at the same time is very emotional to read. As well as suicide, there is a romantic story line which I didn’t enjoy at all. I found most of the writing about the romance and the relationship to be quite predictable and not essential to the story.

I Am Here is classified as Young Adult fiction. I’m in two minds about this. I’m not really sure if the story line is suitable for early teens. But then again, this is a topic which affects so many teenagers in modern times, so perhaps it should be brought more into the open.

Recommendation

“I Was Here was a pitch perfect blend of mystery, tragedy and romance. Gayle Forman has given us an unflinchingly honest portrait of the bravery it takes to live after devastating loss” – Stephen Chbosky, author

“Partly tautly paced mystery, part psychological study of suicide and it’s after effects….An engrossing and provocative look at the devastating finality of suicide, survivors guilt, the complicated nature of responsiblity, and even the role of the internet in life and death decisions” – Kirkus Reviews.

Goodreads Choice Award nominee for Young Adult Fiction

My Star Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

About The Author

Gayle Forman

 

Award winning author and journalist, Gayle Forman has written several best selling novels for young adults.  She has had written essays and non-fiction work which has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Elle and Time. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughters.

 

 

Published in 2015 by Viking Juvenile. Hardcover – 270 pages

Have you read this book. If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I promise to always reply to comments made in the section below.

To keep up with the latest book reviews, please pop your email into the box in the side bar. This will ensure you are notified of all updates.
Find me here: Facebook and Instagram and Goodreads
09c64-atoz2019tenthann
Images: Goodreads

#AtoZChallenge H is for Heartbreak Hotel by Deborah Moggach

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge  is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted.

Summary

Heartbreak Hotel is a romantic comedy set in Wales. Buffy, a retired actor, needs a change and decides to make the move from London to a rural area of Wales. He has taken possession of a very run down B&B in a very isolated area. Very quickly he realises he needs to something to encourage guests to stay at his establishment.

Eventually, the guests start to arrive and we meet a very diverse group of people, who  arrive to stay in this very quaint establishment. At first glance they appear to have nothing at all in common, but they come to realise that perhaps they have more commonalities between them, than at first thought. 

My Thoughts

Hotel Heartbreak is a comedy, with a huge cast of characters. Some of them, I found to be quite charming. However, I did struggle to keep up with who they all were, and where they fitted in to the story. I found the structure and story line to be very stilted and all over the place.

I listened to this book as an audio book, and was quite annoyed by it. I would probably have enjoyed it more, if I had read the paper copy, as I felt I needed to keep flicking back the pages, to check up on who particular characters were. This wasn’t possible on the audio book, so I did become quite confused.

Heartbreak Hotel is the second book in the Buffy series. As I haven’t read the first book, it is probably not fair of me to rate this book harshly. I kept wondering if I would have enjoyed the book more, had I read the first book that introduced Buffy. 

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

About The Author

Deborah Moggach

Deborah Moggach is British born and the author of many novels including The Ex Wives, Tulip Fever and These Foolish Things. She has adapted many of her novels as TV dramas and has also written film scripts including the screenplay for Pride and Prejudice. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was a huge bestselling and the movie adaptation was an award winning hit.

 

Published in 2013 by Chatto and Windus, an imprint of Penguin,
Random House London

Have you read this book. If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I promise to always reply to comments made in the section below.

To keep up with the latest book reviews, please pop your email into the box in the side bar. This will ensure you are notified of all updates.
Find me here: Facebook and Instagram and Goodreads

 

AtoZ2019tenthAnn

Images: Goodreads

 

#AtoZChallenge G is forThe Good People by Hannah Kent

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge  is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted.

The Good People

Summary

In the year 1825, in a remote valley lying between the mountains of south west Ireland, near the Flesk river of Killarney, three women are brought together by strange and troubling events.

Norah Leahy has lost her daughter and her husband in the same year, and is now burdened with the care of her four year old grandson, Micheal. The boy cannot walk, or speak, and Nora, mistrustful of the tongues of gossips, has kept the child hidden from those who might see in his deformity, evidence of otherworldly interference – from the back cover

My Thoughts

I don’t usually use the wording from the blurb for the summary. But felt in this case that I had no choice. I loved this book so much that I was concerned that I would give away too much of the storyline if I used my own words to summarise this amazing story.

I heard Hannah Kent discussing this book on a Podcast on ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) She spent time living in Ireland while she researched and wrote The Good People. Her indepth research is obvious as she bases her story on Irish folklore that has been around for centuries. It is difficult to imagine, in these modern, sophisticated times, that people actually believed these ales. But, not only did they believe them, they actually lived their lives around them. Some of their beliefs explored in this novel, made me laugh and others I found horrifying.

I would rate this book as one of my favourite books of all time. I love it so much that I have read it twice and listened to it twice as an audio book.  I’d recommend the audio book as a way to absorb this story. The Irish lilt of the narrator brought this story to life for me.

The characters were very well developed and both lovable and very easy to dislike. Sometimes, the one character would be easy to like and at the same time , very easy to dislike.

There are two pages at the back of the book, written by the author about her research and Irish folk lore which are a wonderful addition to the book.

I’m waiting very impatiently to see what is next from this young and very talented author.

Recommendation

“The Good People, takes us straight to a place utterly unexpected and believable, where amidst the earnest mayhem people impose on each other, there is no patronising quaintness, but a compelling sense of the inevitablity of solemn horrors” -Tom Keneally

Awards

Winner of the Booker Prize and Miles Franklin Literary Award.

About the Author

Hannah Kent

 

Hannah Kent is the co-founder of Australian Literary Journal, Kill Your Darlings. In 2011, she won the inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award for her debut novel, Burial Rites. Since it’s publication in 2013, Burial Rites has been translated into nearly thirty languages, and has received numerous awards and nominations.

My rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Published in 2016, in Picador by Pan McMillan Australia Pty Ltd. Paperback, 3 pages.

Have you read this book. If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I promise to always reply to comments made in the section below.

To keep up with the latest book reviews, please pop your email into the box in the side bar. This will ensure you are notified of all updates.
Find me here: Facebook and Instagram and Goodreads

img_7712

Images: Goodreads

#A-ZChallenge F – Fragments by Toni Jordan

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge  is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted.

Summary

In 1939 a beautiful, successful, but reclusive novelist Inga Karlson dies in a fire in New York. She leaves behind the manuscript of her second book and an unsolved mystery that has captivated her fans for decades. Almost half a century later, a Brisbane bookseller, while waiting in line to see an exhibition of the famous Karlson Fragments, starts to talk to another patron who is also waiting.  This conversation changes her life and sends her into a frenzy of having to find out more about the Karlson mystery.

My Thoughts

This literary mystery is set in both New York and Brisbane and told in two timelines. I really enjoyed this format and the mystery that was unfolding, which moved along at quite a fast pace. I didn’t see the ending coming at all. I have been a fan of Jordan’s previous novels and this book is no exception. Jordan is a great storyteller.

Recommendation

“Brilliantly conceived and tightly written…a sensitive and beautiful novel, a slice of Australia’s working class history, that is a joy to read” – NZ Herald on Sunday

“A wonderful, witty, treat of a novel”- Liane Moriarty, author

My Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About The Author

Toni Jordan

 

Toni Jordan lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and has written five novels which have been hugely successful and published internationally.

 

 

 

Published by Text Publishing Melbourne in 2018

Have you read this book. If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I promise to always reply to comments made in the section below.

To keep up with the latest book reviews, please pop your email into the box in the side bar. This will ensure you are notified of all updates.
Find me here: Facebook and Instagram and Goodreads

img_7712

Images:  Goodreads