The Best Of Intentions by Susan Anne Mason is a perfectly charming historical novel and the first book in the Canadian Crossings series.
The setting is 1919 as the world recovers from World War I and the Spanish flu epidemic which followed. So many families suffered losses.
The novel is about fulfilling a sister’s wishes and caring for her baby son. Babies have the capacity to soften hearts and help to heal losses.
There are the themes of guilt and earning love from a parent. One young man has been forever in his brother’s shadow, trying to earn the affections of his father. Now he feels guilty because he is the one left living when he knows he is his father’s second choice. The reader is reminded that God loves us all equally. There are no favourites in God’s Kingdom, neither do we need to earn His love. God loves each and every one of us unconditionally.
The Rose Code by Kate Quinn is a marvellous historical novel that blends fact and fiction. It consumed me from the start.
The action alternates between November 1947 just before the Royal Wedding and the war years, mainly at Bletchley Park. The reader learns that there has been a severe miscarriage of justice, as the novel progresses we see the roads that led there.
Bletchley Park was a place of secrets. The people who worked there had to learn to lie about their work or be guilty under the official secrets. It is against this background that three young women from differing walks of life meet and form a friendship. Bletchley Park was a unique place to work. Pockets of friendship groups sprung up supporting each other. It was a closed community and strong bonds were formed. These bonds would remain long after the war ended. If one of their own was in trouble, others dropped everything to offer support.
War is hard for all. Some are facing the enemy for the second time. The nightmares from World War I still loom large in a life. “I haven’t seen the world in full colour since I was sixteen years old and buried in mud at the front.” The battle scars never leave as the memories play on.
Seeking The Truth
Stalin’s Gold by Mark Ellis is a thrilling historical suspense. It is the second book in the DCI Frank Merlin series which is marvellous. It can be read as a stand-alone.
The setting is mainly in London in 1940 at the height of the Blitz. The reader witnesses the continual destruction night after night by the Luftwaffe. The British bulldog spirit is strong as the people stand firm.
Alongside the crime of looting stands murder and a mystery to solve. Frank Merlin is thorough at his job, a steadfast English detective who endears himself to the reader.
The reader also gets a glimpse into the character of Stalin. He was an evil dictator who would always have the last word.
Growing Old Disgracefully
The Car Share by Zoe Brisby is the most delightful contemporary novel about living life to the full no matter how old you are.
The novel is charming and absolutely hilarious. I was literally laughing out loud at the outrageous antics of a young ninety year old lady as she definitely leads a twenty five year old man astray, whilst simultaneously opening up his life to new possibilities.
Both characters have burdens that weigh them down. As each tries to lift the other up, so their burdens become lighter. They both have hearts of gold.
The misquotes from ninety year old Maxine are gems of pure gold that make the reader smile. I love the fact that in all her years, her true wisdom is from Kung Fu Panda! “The secret to happiness is being content with what you have.”