Fun And Light-Hearted
The Burglars Ball by Julia Golding is a marvellous historical YA novel that will entertain you whatever your age. It is suitable for ten years and above. It is the second book in the Jane Austen Investigates series but can be read as a stand-alone.
As a huge Jane Austen fan, I love this series focusing on the teen Jane Austen. With knowledge of Jane Austen’s novels, I can see parallels within the stories and the style of writing is reminiscent of Jane Austen. There are elements within The Burglars Ball that remind me of both Emma and also Pride And Prejudice (my favourite all-time novel).
The character of Jane Austen is lively and likable. She believes in equality for all and is willing to stand for those without a voice. She has an innate sense of justice and dislikes prejudice in all its forms. She is quite the young tom-boy too.
We witness racial prejudice and injustice as a character is judged by the colour of his skin and not the content of his character. Jane Austen sets out to prove his innocence.
There is a wonderful cosmopolitan feel to the novel as we meet up again with characters from book one who now own a bakery making and selling Indian pastries. We also meet an elephant called Betty and a colourful parrot called Don Pedro.
The Burglars Ball is a fun, light-hearted novel where we follow the tenacious Jane Austen determined to investigate the crime.
Jane Austen Investigates is a really fun series, just perfect to introduce young readers to Jane Austen, and also wonderful for die-hard Jane Austen fans such as myself.
I received a free copy via Net Galley. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.
Cast Your Cares On Him
The Thorn Of Truth by S.L. Russell is a marvellous Christian crime suspense that consumed me from the start.
The main themes are of being truthful and living with integrity. The main character faces a dilemma between representing the truth or bowing to popular opinion and twisting the facts to suit. Walking the truthful line is not always popular but it is the right thing to do. Sometimes it seems as if the line between truth and lies is not always black and white but a blurred shade of grey as even those who should represent the truth forget to do so.
Living a life of integrity enables us to walk tall with a clear conscience. We will have nothing to reproach ourselves for if we live truthful, open lives.
When we struggle with life we need to tap into God. “There’s a higher power with a better view of your problems.” What worries us does not worry God. He sees the bigger picture.
Hope Lives Here
Summer’s Out At Hope Hall by Pam Rhodes is the most delightful Christian contemporary novel about community and care. It is the second book in the Hope Hall series.
Hope Hall always produces a warm, wrap-around welcome for the reader. It is just like a hug in a book and will leave you smiling.
Pam Rhodes has created a marvellous eclectic mix of characters such as you would find in any town. At the heart of the village stands Hope Hall – both literally and at the centre of village life. From babes to seniors, life happens for all in Hope Hall.
Summer’s Out At Hope Hall is a charming, breath of fresh air. As lives open up we share in the laughter and we share in the tears.
The Familiar Springs To Life
Mosaic Life In Pieces by Chris Aslan is a marvellous Christian historical novel that will enthral and consume you.
It is set in the Middle East during the time of Jesus and just beyond. Familiar Bible stories spring to life, giving men and women from the Bible fully rounded characters that are woven into the reader’s heart. Although we realise this is a work of fiction, the characters seem very real. I would recommend reading the Gospels alongside the story, to familiarise yourself with the minor characters.
Chris Aslan has a masterful pen. His descriptions of the scenes really bring them to life. The reader can ‘see’ the hazy heat and ‘feel’ the dust and the relief when a public bath is taken.
There is much relief when we wash the dirt and dust off ourselves but we need clean hearts too. “You can wash me clean but I’m still full of filth.” We must deal with our insides and love others and God as Jesus has loved us. If we love then there is no room for hate.