Review: No Man’s Land by Simon Tolkien

So an embarrassing full literary disclosure….I have never read any of The Lord of the Rings books so I have no first hand knowledge of JRR Tolkien’s writing abilities but the popularity of the series speaks for itself. Many have praised this debut novel by Simon Tolkien (JRR’s grandson), as worthy of the Tolkien name in the literary world.

When this novel came across my desk for review, the last name of course immediately captured my attention and I was eager to see what the novel was about. Obviously the Tolkien name carries a lot of clout in the literary world but I wondered if this new author would be able to live up to the famous family name?

The title and cover imply that it’s a WWI period novel so right there it was an easy ‘yes I’ll review the novel’ response! Edwardian era and WWI England are a sure way to my literary heart.

From the slums of London to the riches of an Edwardian country house; from the hot, dark seams of a Yorkshire coalmine to the exposed terrors of the trenches, Adam Raine’s journey from boy to man is set against the backdrop of a society violently entering the modern world.

(more…)

Review: Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

I am going to preface this post by saying that Queen Victoria is absolutely my favorite queen! I’ve had my eye on this book for MONTHS waiting for it to come out.

When this came up for review I literally jumped for joy. So I was already geared up to love this one but my biggest fear was that because I was so excited to read it that I didn’t want to be let down if it wasn’t good.

Well my fears were entirely unfounded! This was an excellent read!

Less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, a young Alexandrina Victoria is roused from bed with the news that her uncle has died and she is now Queen of England.

The men who run the country have doubts about whether this sheltered young woman can rule the greatest nation in the world. Surely she must rely on her mother and her adviser, Sir John Conroy, or her uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, who are all too eager to relieve her of the burdens of power.

She has very definite ideas about the kind of queen she wants to be, and the first thing is to choose her name.

Everyone keeps saying she is destined to marry her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, but Victoria found him dull and priggish when they met three years ago. She is quite happy being queen with the help of her prime minister, Lord Melbourne, who may be old enough to be her father but is the first person to take her seriously.
(more…)

Review: At the Edge of Summer by Jessica Brockmole

A couple of years ago I read Jessica Brockmole’s debut novel, LETTERS FROM SKYE and it was one of my most favorite books! I loved it! So when her follow up novel AT THE EDGE OF SUMMER came out, I was eager to read it and see if it too had the same magic as her first novel.

Luc Crépet is accustomed to his mother’s bringing wounded creatures to their idyllic château in the French countryside, where healing comes naturally amid the lush wildflowers and crumbling stone walls.

Yet his maman’s newest project is the most surprising: a fifteen-year-old Scottish girl grieving over her parents’ fate. A curious child with an artistic soul, Clare Ross finds solace in her connection to Luc, and she in turn inspires him in ways he never thought possible.

Then, just as suddenly as Clare arrives, she is gone, whisked away by her grandfather to the farthest reaches of the globe. Devastated by her departure, Luc begins to write letters to Clare—and, even as she moves from Portugal to Africa and beyond, the memory of the summer they shared keeps her grounded.

Years later, in the wake of World War I, Clare, now an artist, returns to France to help create facial prostheses for wounded soldiers. One of the wary veterans who comes to the studio seems familiar, and as his mask takes shape beneath her fingers, she recognizes Luc.

(more…)

Review: The Lake House by Kate Morton

Alice Edevane grew up in a charming lake house on Cornwall coast just after the Great War. Cornwall is a mystical place that inspires imagination and welcomes thoughts of magic. A perfect place to inspire a young girl to write.

Alice always knew she wanted to be a writer and living in a large home full of people with their own ‘stories’ she couldn’t help but write them down. But one summer, the unthinkable happens….her brother disappears without a trace never to be seen again. Alice thinks she knows what happened and for the next seventy years she harbors extreme guilt.

Now a successful mystery writer, Alice buries her secret deep within and prays that no one will find out what really happened to her little brother Theo and after seventy years and the case still unsolved, she begins to feel safe…..until Sadie Sparrow arrives in Cornwall.

(more…)

Review: Longbourn by Jo Baker

Reader beware…..if you love Jane Austen and are looking for something that will give you a new ‘perspective’ about the Bennet sisters, keep on looking.

Sure this novel includes the Bennet sisters and follows the traditional Pride and Prejudice story but that’s about it.

Jo Baker remakes the classic story of Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of the below stairs staff but yet it’s a story all its own and noting close to the Austen classic.

Sarah has been a maid at Longbourn since she was a child. She cleans the chamber pots, scrubs the laundry, polishes the floor and of course waits on the Bennet sisters.

(more…)

%d bloggers like this: