Tag Archive | Hodder and Stoughton

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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Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

Wow – So Powerful

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult is a powerful contemporary novel opening in March 2020 and moving forwards as the world dealt with the COVID pandemic.

Jodi Picoult focuses in on a couple, who are a microcosm for the experiences of many. Living in New York City, a doctor finds all of his leave cancelled as he faces the COVID outbreak in the hospital. We witness his life of PPE, hard work, impossible situations and sadness.

In contrast we see his partner, an art expert, trapped in the beauty and tranquility of the Galapagos Islands. But paradise can soon become a prison when you are trapped there with no flights in or out. “When you’re stuck in heaven, it can feel like hell.” We see the kindness and compassion of a local community.

The hospital is in contrast to the islands. Here it is hell on earth as bodies pile up and COVID takes hold. The experiences traumatise both staff and the patients who do recover. Survivors search for answers, trying to make sense of experiences that cannot be explained.

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A Class Act by Gervase Phinn

Absolutely Charming And Highly Amusing

A Class Act by Gervase Phinn is another wonderful novel and the third book in the Top Of The Dale series. It can be read as a stand-alone but I recommend reading the previous books first to meet the characters and to witness their development.

A return visit to Risingdale is just the ticket to brighten a gloomy autumnal day. The reader is once more delighted to meet up with the teachers, pupils and local residents.

Gervase Phinn writes with insight and humor. His books always have me laughing out loud. Many years working in education have enabled Gervase Phinn to perfectly capture the nature of children. Their honesty is refreshing, and living in a farming community, their knowledge of sheep and other livestock is impressive.

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The Car Share by Zoe Brisby

Growing Old Disgracefully

The Car Share by Zoe Brisby is the most delightful contemporary novel about living life to the full no matter how old you are.

The novel is charming and absolutely hilarious. I was literally laughing out loud at the outrageous antics of a young ninety year old lady as she definitely leads a twenty five year old man astray, whilst simultaneously opening up his life to new possibilities.

Both characters have burdens that weigh them down. As each tries to lift the other up, so their burdens become lighter. They both have hearts of gold.

The misquotes from ninety year old Maxine are gems of pure gold that make the reader smile. I love the fact that in all her years, her true wisdom is from Kung Fu Panda! “The secret to happiness is being content with what you have.”

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