Searching For Sandra by Jane Harvey is a charming dual timeline novel and the third book in the Hummingbird House series. It can be read as a stand-alone but I recommend reading the previous books first for maximum enjoyment and to see the character progression.
The story is set in 1968 and present day. Fledgling friendships in 1968 stand the test of time as neighbours become friends.
In both time periods a character seems to have fallen off the grid. And in both time periods, a concerned friend is looking for her.
The landlord of Hummingbird House has a huge heart and a caring nature. If you live in Hummingbird House, you soon become part of the family under the watchful eye of an octogenarian in present day.
In both time periods there are unmarried mothers to be. We witness the difference in attitudes. In 1968 to be an unmarried mother was seen as shameful. The expectant mother could be bamboozled by family into courses of action they did not want. In present day babies are seen as a gift and a cause for celebration whatever your circumstances are. The reader is so thankful that attitudes have moved on.
Evil At Alardyce House by Heather Atkinson is the fourth book in the marvellous Alardyce House series. It can be read as a stand-alone but I recommend reading the previous novels first.
Twelve years have passed since the end of book two as we follow the fortunes of Robert Alardyce and his family. We travel from Edinburgh to Africa and back again. The intervening years have helped Robert Alardyce realise what is really important and what he wants from life. Returning to his family they have to decide – is Robert the man he was? Or is he who he now claims to be?
Family is important. Matriarch Amy holds the family together, knowing that one day the mantle will pass to the next generation – but who?
We see the strength of character of both Amy and her daughter-in-law Jane. They have an inner resilience that means they are survivors.
Life is a battle between good and evil. We see souls in torment as a battle rages within.
A Sister’s Destiny by Rosie Clarke is a marvellous historical novel that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The action is set from just before World War I to just afterwards. It was a time of change for women as the war presented them with opportunities. These did not go far enough as women, when they married, had to give up their jobs.
The leading lady is very much a modern woman for the times. As the novel progresses, she develops a strength of character. She faces challenges but overcomes them with courage, dignity and kindness.
World War I offered opportunities to become a nurse. Hard work, dedication and a strong stomach were needed to survive, especially if one was sent to the Front.
The Llama Farm On New Moon Lane by Laura Briggs is a very delightful contemporary tale that will warm your heart.
The story is mainly set in Yorkshire. The llama farm is in complete contrast to urban Reading which was stifling a character. In the countryside characters can flourish as the surroundings prove to be a tonic to ill health.
The llama farm is home to a few animals in need of love and care. They are those that others have rejected, including Dimitri, an elderly donkey who needs peace and quiet in his old age.
Just being with animals can be therapeutic for both children and adults alike. We meet a young boy with special needs who bonds with the animals especially Larry the llama.
Laura Briggs has perfectly painted the scenes with her words. The reader can ‘see’ the beautiful landscape as we also ‘bond’ with the animals.