January books- 2020
A mixed bag of books for the start of the year. Have you read any of these, what did you think?
Bridget Collins- The Binding- I was keen to read this book as I thought it was a novel about book binding.Young farm worker given chance of apprenticeship to a book binder. It’s not about book binding! At least not in the accepted sense of book binding. The plot unfolds in three parts through two narrators. I found Part One completely baffling. I couldn’t tell what period it was set in, 1800’s maybe with references to factories and grime, but then the crusades? The crusade part was never explained and I think it probably meant a moral crusade but who knows? Part two was much better, and part three brought things to a conclusion. It was quite enjoyable, and that’s the best I can say. And the book binding bit- painful memories bound into a book, either to be stored safely or sold onto “gentlemen”!
Elizabeth MacNeal- The Doll Factory- A most satisfying book! Set in Victorian London Louis Frost is an artist in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Iris his model and pupil. Silas is obsessed with Iris and will not take No for an answer. A well written and enjoyable plot.
Neil Gaiman- Coraline- This was a suggestion for book bingo but took too long to arrive. What to say- seriously weird. Not sure what age grop it’s intended for. It’s simply told so could be an older child’s book. The library has classified it as Young Adults, which I would assume means 18-25 years, I suspect older teenager would be better-14-16. The style and content seems to be at odds. I would not be happy giving the book to a child as it is scary. In some ways like Roald Dahl, but lacking warmth. Not my cup of tea.
Claire Douglas- Last Alive- Top notch pyschological thriller, lots of twists, and I didn’t see them all coming.
Lorna Gray- In the shadow of Winter- Set in the hard winter of 1947 somewhere in the Cotswolds, Eleanor Phillips runs her own stables. One night her stable boy finds an injured and distressed man out in the felds. This is Matthew Croft her former beau in need of shelter as he flees the police who want him for murder. It has quite a slow pace for a romantic thriller, and I kept loosing the plot. Ok only.
Clover Stroud- The Wild Other- Clover , whose half sister is Emma Bridgewater, had an idyllic childhood, with her sister Nell, father Rick and mother Charlotte, in the small market town of Minety in Wiltshire. Think big kitchens, red wine, horses and freedom. This came to a crashing halt when her Mum was severally disabled in a riding accident, and spent 22 years in a nursing home, unable to properly respond to her family. Rick takes himself off to London to work and the treasured home is sold. Clover embraces her wild side with a gusto- gypsies in Ireland, cowgirl in Texas and amongst ex- soldiers in the Caucasus Mountains, before settling to a tamer existance in Wiltshire. All the time trying to cope with the loss but not loss of her mother. I’ll be honest I found the book a bit of a struggle, too many horses and I didn’t feel any rapport with Clover herself. Goodness knows how her children will cope with the revelations she makes. Anyway has anyone read this and what did you think?
As I said a mixed bag of books for the start of the year. I have a stock pile of books from the library, so have plenty to go at in February and probably into March, but I always like to know if you have read anything really good, and if you read any of my January books and if so what did you think about them?