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Sheltering Rain by Jojo Moyes

An Epic Read

Sheltering Rain by Jojo Moyes is a marvellous dual timeline novel that I just could not put down.

The novel is about three generations of women within a family – the grandmother, mother and daughter. Their relationships are strained with each other. The mothers do not understand their daughters and vice versa.

It has been many years since Sabine saw her grandparents. As her mother’s relationship breaks down – again! – Sabine is sent to her grandparent’s remote house in Ireland. Here, it is like stepping back in time, with servants and stabled horses; set mealtimes in the dining room and separate bedrooms. Although it is the 1990’s (the book was written in 2002) there is no internet or mobile phone for Sabine.

Sabine arrives, a moody teen from London who does not want to be in a remote location where horses and hounds are more important than people. As the time goes on, we see Sabine transform into a caring, compassionate girl as her moods are banished. It is beautiful to see her connecting and making relationships.

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The Lie Maker by Linwood Barclay

Exciting & Compelling

The Lie Maker by Linwood Barclay is a gripping contemporary crime suspense that I became totally engrossed in.

Linwood Barclay knows how to weave an excellent tale. His plotline is complex and well executed. I hung on for dear life as the tale twisted this way and that.

We see that people and life are not always black and white. More often than not, people come in varying shade of grey.

Family is important. Sometimes in order to protect the family, tough choices have to be made. Sacrifices are the order of the day. In contrast, a warped sense of loyalty sees a character determined to get revenge, and will stop at nothing in order to achieve it.

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The Woman In The White Kimono by Ana Johns

Lost & Found

The Woman In The White Kimono by Ana Johns is a powerful and heartbreaking dual timeline novel that I just could not put down. Though it is a fictional story, it is based on fact.

The action is set in Japan in 1957 and also in present day America and Japan. The chapters alternate between the two periods. In present day a young woman searches for the truth about her father’s navy career that took him to the Far East. A deathbed revelation means that she travels to Japan to find out the truth.

Japan in 1957 was very different to modern Japan. Fresh in the minds of its’ people was World War II and the dropping of the atomic bombs. Marriages and alliances with Americans were actively discouraged. Every family wanted their daughters to make fine matches with good Japanese families. Daughters who chose American partners were cast out. Any babies that were of mixed race, and especially those born to single girls were unwanted at best, cruelly denied life at worst.

The reader follows a character to a dreadful, beyond words, maternity home that was actually based on real life.

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The House In The Water by Victoria Darke

Secrets

The House In The Water by Victoria Darke is a marvellous dual timeline novel that I just could not put down. It is set in 1943 and 2013. The chapters alternate between the two time periods. The war years are told by a mixture of letters and narration. The house is the key on which everything hangs.

In 1943 the house is used by the army to treat soldiers who are battle scarred. “Their scars might be invisible, but they are no less real.” Today we would recognize PTSD but not in 1943. There were some very primitive methods used to treat mental illness, including electric shock therapy. These poor men received brutal treatment. Mental illness was not understood.

We also meet a nurse who is battling her own demons. She also has PTSD but shockingly “the army is not interested in treating women, even those who almost died in an enemy attack.”

The action in 1943 is seen through the nurse’s eyes. We get to know her intimately. She is kind and she is brave.

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