Archive | October 2020

The Illustrated Child by Polly Crosby


 The Illustrated Child by Polly Crosby is a beautiful novel about love, exploration and discovering yourself. It is a very unique read and a fabulous debut novel.

The action begins in October 1987 – A date I remember well due to the infamous weather forecast by the BBC’s Michael Fish. We follow a young girl through her formative years.

There is a close relationship between the girl and her father. He immortalises her in his books but fame comes at a price. Their love is tangible and beautiful to witness.

Friendships are important too. We all need friends who will support us through life.

There is the difficult subject of dementia. I found this sentence heart-breaking: “Whatever happens, I’m still here. I’m still me, inside.”

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When The Music Stops by Joe Heap

Of Memories And Love

When The Music Stops by Joe Heap is a beautiful contemporary novel about life with its loves and losses.

The story has a serene atmosphere as we see the life an octogenarian has lived. The novel alternates between present day and significant events in her past.

The stories are linked by her love of music. The music remains even as the memory is going due to dementia. It is sad to witness the struggle for words but the power of past memories is huge. Present day is hazy but the past is rich and very much alive. As life is drawing to a close, far from being emptier, it is fuller as the memories of a life lived well mount up.

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Together By Christmas by Karen Swan

Best Friends

Together By Christmas by Karen Swan is a powerful contemporary novel about friends, fear and relationships.

Good friends are hard to come by. Some are far closer than family. There are some loyal friendships within the novel.

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. A close bond between war correspondents has broken down through fear and guilt associated with PTSD. What happened on the front line is an unspoken barrier to the future as two characters are trapped in a moment in time six years earlier. The reader gets glimpses of the past through memories.

The characters are well drawn and realistic. We feel empathy and sympathy for the main character who is bound by PTSD and fear. In her nightmares, she is comforted by her five year old son. There are some touching scenes. In her realisation that life is fragile, fear rules and trust is hard to come by. She does have a huge heart that looks to help others.

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The Berlin Girl by Mandy Robotham

The Birth Of Pure Evil

The Berlin Girl by Mandy Robotham is a thrilling historical novel that will have your heart racing as you read. A blend of fact and fiction, the reader will be equally entertained and horrified.

The novel is set in Berlin during 1938 – September 1939 as we follow the fortunes of a group of newspaper reporters from Britain and America. We see the gutsy Georgie, a young woman who does not let her female sex hold her back. She is brave and daring as she sets about uncovering horrors that the Nazis want hidden. She is also kind, compassionate and loyal, doing what she has to in order to help her friends.

Within Berlin in 1938 there is an air of dislike and mistrust as the Nazi regime ramps up its evil. “Maybe your average German doesn’t believe it, but they wouldn’t dare express it.” Fear rules lives meaning many stay silent when they should speak up. It reminds me of the famous quote, “For evil to flourish it just needs good men to do nothing.”

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