The Power Of The Story
The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa (Translated by Louise Heal Kawai) is a powerful book about books. It is also a journey of self-discovery and growing in character.
We learn the value of books. They are to be savored. They are written to be read and not locked away in display cases, never to be touched again. Stories can teach us things. They can also fire up our imaginations.
We see that the richest people are those who have friends. The love of money will always lead to dissatisfaction as we strive to get more, more, more. “Once you got thinking about money there was no end to it.” When the grasping of money rules your life, you will never have enough.
Celebrating The Seasons With The Yorkshire Shepherdess by Amanda Owen is a most beautiful book that is the perfect accompaniment to the television series Our Yorkshire Farm.
The book is split into twelve months of the year as the reader learns what happens each month at Ravenseat Farm.
There are many beautiful photographs of the landscapes, the animals and the Owen family. I love to see the young girls wearing pretty dresses and wellies as they go about their chores.
To tempt the tastebuds there are recipes each month – one sweet and one savoury.
The Indomitable Spirit
Girls In Tin Hats by Annie Murray is a powerful historical tale that will break your heart whilst simultaneously filling it with love and admiration.
The novel is set in Small Heath in Birmingham during the early years of World War II. It is a close-knit community with some big personalities. People were poor, living in back-to-backs, food was rationed but they shared all they had and helped where they could. People were in and out of each other’s homes as the spirit of community was alive and well.
Birmingham suffered dreadfully during the Blitz. It is a well-known fact that much of Coventry was destroyed on the night of 14th November 1940 but Birmingham also suffered, being bombed night after night. (Incidentally my Dad who lived in Birmingham at the time kept a notebook of bombing raids, it makes for fascinating reading) The indomitable spirit of the Birmingham people could not be kept down.
We follow the wardens on their nightly duties. They keep others safe as they walk the streets whilst the bombs fall. They see sights that no one should have to see.
Horrifying And Heart Breaking
Mother And Child by Annie Murray is a powerful contemporary novel exploring parenthood, loss and friends.
As with many of Annie Murray’s novels, the story is set mainly in my hometown of Birmingham. The locations are familiar to me – I have been to Lodge Hill cemetery, Dudley Zoo, Wythall and more – knowing the locations enhanced my reading experience. I am even familiar with the location of Sainsburys in the book!
The novel is set in 2014 around a couple whose only son was killed by a drunk driver two years before the book opens. Their loss and devastation is keenly felt. In order to help with the healing process, the couple have moved house as the story opens.
A photo in a magazine showing the Bhopal disaster of 1984 (which I remember) awakens a passion in a character to make a difference. As a heart looks beyond self, inner healing begins.