The Power Of The Story
The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa (Translated by Louise Heal Kawai) is a powerful book about books. It is also a journey of self-discovery and growing in character.
We learn the value of books. They are to be savored. They are written to be read and not locked away in display cases, never to be touched again. Stories can teach us things. They can also fire up our imaginations.
We see that the richest people are those who have friends. The love of money will always lead to dissatisfaction as we strive to get more, more, more. “Once you got thinking about money there was no end to it.” When the grasping of money rules your life, you will never have enough.
The Lights Will Come On Again
The Air Raid Girls At Christmas by Jenny Holmes is a delightful historical novel set during the weeks leading up to Christmas 1941. It is the second book in the Air Raid Girls series but can be read as a stand-alone.
The action takes place in a small Yorkshire town on the coast. We witness residents pulling together in their fight against Hitler. On the whole there is a solidarity and a sense of community.
All is not a bed of roses as there are those with racial prejudice, believing every German is an enemy alien. They do not take in the facts of those who are German but Jewish who fled persecution in Germany, only to be treated unfairly in England. Fortunately, kind hearts outweigh those who are black-hearted.
There is the theme of unmarried mothers. The act of how a pregnancy occurred is not taken into account. The father is not blamed but guilt and shame heaped upon the innocent. In contrast we see those with kind hearts who are determined to love and support and help heal those with broken spirits. It is shameful the way unmarried pregnant girls are treated by those who should know better as they are hidden away in homes run by the church.
After Beth by Elizabeth Enfield is the most beautiful contemporary novel that will tear your emotions to pieces.
It is a bittersweet story about love and life and grief – all three are naturally interwoven after tragedy strikes.
When death comes unexpectedly, there are a variety of emotions as those grieving re-examine events on the day, and the ‘what-ifs’ and the guilt begin to rule minds.
After Beth is a beautiful study of grief. It overwhelmed my soul whilst filling my heart with empathy and love.
The whole book is a work of great love, and with great love comes great pain. Memories rather than flesh and blood must keep us warm. Life goes on and those left behind have to learn how to smile again and to live again.
A Treasure Trove
Christmas Stories 32 Classic Stories And Poems For The Young And Old by Various is a delightful collection, mainly of stories and a few poems, all of which will warm the reader’s heart. Some stories are familiar although many are not, despite being written a century ago.
This is a book that can be dipped into or read cover to cover. I chose the latter, for the first reading.