Archive | January 2022

Munich by Robert Harris

Thrilling And Tense

Munich by Robert Harris is a marvellous historical political thriller that gripped me from the start. It is a work of fiction but very much grounded in fact as it surrounds the Munich Agreement of September 1938, and the infamous ‘peace for our time’ from Chamberlain.

On the surface all is polite and everyone appears to be working towards peace but underneath there lurks tension and suspicion. Hitler was a man no one should trust. With hindsight we can easily see this, but would it have been so clear at the time?

Simmering away underneath it all is another event, just as important. We read with baited breath to see the outcome.

Old friends from Oxford, one German and one English, meet up in Munich to swap more than just old stories.

Continue reading

Before We Grow Old by Clare Swatman

So Beautiful

Before We Grow Old by Clare Swatman is a simply beautiful dual timeline novel that you definitely need to have the tissues nearby.

This is a love story. It is a life story. And it is a loss story. This story is about loving and living well, and about grieving.

Life is for living. At seventeen years old the two lead characters wrote a bucket list for before they were forty. Twenty five years later they decide now is the time to work through their bucket list. Their life is joyous and their joy is infectious.

The novel alternates between the past from 1982 to present day 2018. It is a very beautiful novel as we see love, friendship and family.

Continue reading

People Like Us by Louise Fein

Powerful And Heartbreaking

People Like Us by Louise Fein is a powerful and heartbreaking historical novel. It consumed me as I read. Louise Fein grounded her novel in fact which makes it all the more powerful and shocking.

The novel is set in Leipzig in the 1930’s. It is told in the first person from the point of view of an SS officer’s daughter.

The reader is horrified to see the extent to which the young (and the old) are brainwashed, and the pedestal on which they place Hitler. “Community work is – is holy. It brings us closer to the Fuhrer.” What terrible, awful thinking. Hitler is seen as a god and he was even prayed to. The thought of Hitler drove a character’s thoughts and actions. The eyes of the vast majority of a nation were blinded to the evil reality.

As a modern reader, it is totally incomprehensible and utterly appalling to witness Hitler and the Nazis brainwashing a nation. People are the same the world over. If you cut us, we all bleed the same and we all have hopes and dreams.

There are some truly harrowing scenes to read within the book.

Continue reading

Like Him by Julia Stevens


Like Him by Julia Stevens is a powerful Christian nonfiction book that will aid your walk of faith. It is full of scripture, poems, prayers, sound biblical advice and the author’s personal experiences.

Julia Stevens writes in a very personable way, making Like Him accessible for all. She explains some of the biblical happenings and backgrounds. I particularly liked the meanings of names including those of Jesus.

We learn about the heart of God. “Our Father… cares about the little things that matter so much to us all.” Nothing is too small for the concern of God. If it matters to us, it matters to Him.

God desires us to come to Him, rest in Him and learn from Him. We are to live in faith and love which will push fear aside. We can all come to God just as we are because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. “You are qualified through the Cross of Jesus.” We merely need to say yes to God because Jesus has already paid for our sins on the cross.

When we know God, our bodies become His temples. “We are a sanctuary for Him to inhabit.” As such, we need to be aware of what we put into our bodies and how we treat them.

Continue reading