Archive | June 2022

Letters To Doberitz by Derek R Payne

No Winners, Only Losers In War

Letters To Doberitz by Derek R Payne is a powerful tale about the experiences of the author’s grandparents and great grandparents during World War I.

The author has captured life at home, on the battlefields and in Doberitz, a prisoner of war camp. He vividly paints the scenes using his words. Horror does not come close to describing it. The trenches and the POW camp were places of sheer horror and terror. Writing letters home, the author’s relatives tried to shield their loved ones from the worst.

I found the description of the train journey to Doberitz particularly harrowing.

Derek R Payne’s grandfather suffered from an unknown neurological condition we would now call PTSD. He was experimented on in the POW camp with the hope of not only curing him, but developing a treatment for German soldiers. It did not work. He returned home with nightmares that would continue to plague him down the years.

War leaves many battle scars, some go deep down. “Will never talked about it [his wartime experiences] for many years.”

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More Precious Than Gold by Renee Yancy

A Slice Of History

More Precious Than Gold by Renee Yancy is a marvellous historical novel that surrounds the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918.

The novel is mainly set in New York City. It is a city of two halves – the haves and the have-nots. There are residents over-flowing with wealth and there are whole families living in squalor in just one room. The flu visited rich and poor alike. It showed no favoritism.

There are those who care only for wealth and titles. Their generosity is always for personal gain. In contrast there are those with pure hearts who long to help those who cannot help themselves – the poor and the children. Those with the biggest hearts are rich in love.

The world is teetering on a new age. World War I has opened up new avenues for women. We witness those who strive to be more than just trinkets on a man’s arm. There are still old-fashioned ideas to push against.

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Pets Are A Pleasure by Malcolm D Welshman


Pets Are A Pleasure by Malcolm D Welshman is the wonderful fourth book in the Pets In A Pickle series but can be read as a stand-alone.

Once more we follow the exploits of newly qualified vet Paul. We hear of his interactions with the animals within the practice and with their owners and his neighbours and friends.

This is a very light hearted and down to earth tale, easy to picture and to empathise with.

For a vet, he has a surprising amount of animal phobias – I certainly agree with him about spiders!

The whole book is extremely funny. I once more, found myself sniggering and laughing throughout. It was absolutely hilarious at times – especially the scene about the escaped lion!

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At The Captain’s Table by Gervase Phinn

Witty, Engaging, Delightful

At The Captain’s Table by Gervase Phinn is the most delightful contemporary novel giving the reader the taste of life on a Mediterranean cruise ship.

This is the latest offering from Gervase Phinn and I enjoyed every minute of it. I found myself torn – wanting to read on, but not wanting to finish the book!

Once more we are treated to an eclectic mix of characters sailing on the high seas. The setting is a departure from the Dales but equally entertaining and captivating.

I loved the interaction between the characters. I spent the novel either sniggering or laughing out loud – especially at some of the malapropisms! Young Oliver at twelve years old warmed my heart. He had a very old head on young shoulders. He looked seriously at the world and was wise and kind. He saw the invisible and he reached out with kindness.

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