Sunday 15 January 2012

Books in my week...

Wherever does the time go - the week has flown by so quickly, and despite feeling, or in spite of feeling rather poorly, I have managed to have some really good reading time.

These are the books in my week...

Cavalier QueenCavalier Queen by Fiona Mountain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
jaffa's rating 4paws - only dogs in this one !

Primarily, this is a love story between a strong and determined woman, and the two men who loved her.

Henrietta- Maria, a Bourbon princess, was only 15 when she was married, by proxy, to Charles I of England, The marriage,initially difficult, eventually blossomed into a strong and tender partnership. However, this novel also focuses on Henrietta-Maria's life long association, and possible love affair, with one of her courtiers,Henry Jermyn.

Overall, I thought it was a well thought out historical romance, the writer has taken time and effort to research the period, and this is reflected in the story. At the start of the book I knew very little about Henrietta - Maria, other than she pawned the English crown jewels in order to fund the Cavalier cause, but at the end of the story I felt that I had learned a little more about this fascinating period in English history.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
jaffa's rating 5paws

I seem to have been waiting to read this book for months, and was determined to make it one of my first reads of 2012. Sometimes when you anticipate a book, there is always the danger that it won't live up to expectations, thankfully, this is not the case with Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

The story draws you in from the very beginning, and has you stamping your feet at the injustice of a world gone mad. Beautifully tender in places, and downright sad in others , this book is to be savoured like fine wine, it is from start to finish, simply wonderful.

Nectar from a Stone: A NovelNectar from a Stone: A Novel by Jane Guill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
jaffa's rating 4paws

Set in medieval Wales in 1351 - in a land devastated by plague, and alive with superstition.

Elise, a young visionary is shackled by a violent marriage, but fate intervenes and releases her from her miserable existence. Together with her servant Annora, Elise travels the North Wales countryside searching for peace and prosperity.Her journey will intercept with Gwydion, a moody Welshman who is seeking to revenge his murdered family, and reclaim his plundered family home.

Reminiscent at times of the work of Karen Maitland,this is a fascinating glimpse into life in medieval Wales. Set against the stark beauty of the Welsh countryside, medieval skulduggery is expertly explored,the characters come vividly to life, and the story bounds along at a cracking pace.

Naming the BonesNaming the Bones by Louise Welsh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
jaffa's rating 4paws

I've long been a fan of the darkly different books of Louise Welsh. This slightly unusual thriller really grabs your attention from the opening page, it quickly becomes one of those books you simply can't put down.

Set in Edinburgh, and largely focused on academic Dr Murray Watson, and his research into the life of an enigmatic Scottish poet, Archie Lunan. With very little information, Dr Murray begins to uncover a web of intrigue, which will eventually lead him into danger, and a journey of self discovery.

Strong characterisation, excellent plot and the ability to engage the reader from the first sentence, all make this book well worth reading.

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