Saturday 25 June 2016

The 20 Books of Summer Challenge


Cathy at Cathy 746 has a yearly challenge to read twenty books over the summer months starting on 1 June 2016 and running until 5 September 2016, and this year, I’ve decided to join her.

I'm always up for a bookish sort of challenge and as I need to clear some space on my book shelves I thought that this was a good challenge to get involved in. I'm not sure that I'll achieve the 20 books challenge but it's worth a try and in order to keep me motivated I'll be joining in with the rest on Twitter using the hashtag #20booksofsummer.

I picked up this book primary because it's set in London in the years just after the death of King Charles 1 and the idea that a young mother could be incarcerated after the death of her baby and on such flimsy evidence of wrongdoing was intriguing. I didn't know that there has been an act passed in 1624 to prevent the destroying and murdering of bastard children, how dreadful a crime does that sound?

When a baby is found buried in the woods, all blame seems to be laid laid squarely on Rachel Lockyer, an unmarried glove maker who had an illicit affair with the political agitator, William Walwyn. This is the story of how Rachel, by concealing the dead child, was considered to be guilty of murder, and what then follows is the story of her incarceration in the notorious Newgate prison, and of her subsequent trial and devastating sentence.

Blending fact with fiction The Glove Maker should have been an interesting look at both the social and political history of puritan London, but I'm afraid to say that the book was something of a disappointment. There are some really interesting facts about the Levellers and of their political significance in the early part of the seventeenth century which I enjoyed reading, but overall the book lacked a certain oomph and sadly, it never really progressed sufficiently to maintain my interest.

This is a nicely done story of French life which looks at the small quirks that make up the minutiae of day to day living. Interspersed with culinary tit bits this is one of those lovely little stories which you can dip into and out of at whim and still find something interesting to read.

The author, Susan Loomis talks about her decision to move to France in 1980, and of her early start as a student of French cuisine ,through to her subsequent marriage to Micheal Loomis, and of their decision to settle in Louviers, in a house on the Rue Tatin which was in need of some renovation work!

The story caught my attention and I enjoyed the Gallic feel of the narrative which reminded me so much of the little French towns I have passed through whilst on Holiday in Normandy and Brittany. I especially enjoyed reading the recipes which are interspersed at regular intervals, there is one for
Melting Apple Custard which sounds delicious.

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