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Everything posted by Madeleine

  1. What's the weather like?

    Cold and drizzly today, really dark in the mornings too now, makes getting up early even harder.
  2. Willoyd's Reading 2019

    It's a funny expression isn't it! I wonder how it came about, why a curate's egg?
  3. What's the weather like?

    Quite windy and a bit chilly but not that cold considering the time of year. Very squally though, I found our dustbin lid halfway down the garden this morning!
  4. Never Ending Book Titles

    A Time to Kill - John Grisham
  5. Willoyd's Reading 2019

    Yep it's hard to beat The Woman in Black! I've tried a couple of her other ghost stories but they don't even come close.
  6. Christmas planning and chat

    Actually got a new tree yesterday, bit difficult finding a small one - only wanted a 3 footer due to space restrictions - but finally got one in Wilkinsons for a fiver. Have decorated most of it, I might also put up my old tatty one, we'll see. Have also finally started doing some Xmas shopping as well.
  7. Never Ending Book Titles

    Hollywood Wives - Jackie Collins
  8. Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

    "Over Sea, Under Stone" by Susan Cooper - this is the first book in the classic children's fantasy series "The Dark is Rising", and is a grail quest in which siblings Simon, Jane and Barney Drew find themselves getting involved with all sorts of skullduggery when they go on holiday to Cornwall and stay in a house rented by their mysterious Great Uncle Merry, who is a famous archaeologist and has rented The Grey House from a supposed sea captain. Bored one day, the children rummage around in an old attic, and in true style find an old map. It seems they're not the only ones interested in the map, the house is broken into and although nothing has been taken someone was definitely looking for something. Then they're befriended by "brother and sister" the Winters, and meet a rather scary vicar. There are further adventures involving a kidnapping, until it culminates in a genuinely tense final search for the mysterious grail, and is there more to Great Uncle Merry than he's letting on? It was an enjoyable romp, very much of it's time with lots of "jolly this and that" and "I say", very similar to the Famous Five (there's a dog as well!) but the last part was quite exciting and gripping. Onto the next one in the sequence now, which is set during Midwinter. 7.5/10
  9. Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

    It was definitely an ambiguous ending.
  10. Little Lies - Fleetwood Mac
  11. Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

    Thanks Hayley, yes I wondered about And I wonder why Dorothea didn't do more at the end, I suppose there was no real proof though and it would have been her word against the others.
  12. Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

    The Christmas Party by Karen Swan - Declan Lorne is the last proper knight in Ireland, and when he dies suddenly, his widow and 3 daughters are left stunned and bereft, his wife Serena goes into denial, his eldest daughter Ottie, who helps run the estate and castle campsite, is bewildered when his will leaves the castle to the youngest daughter Willow, who fled to Dublin 3 years earlier and has hardly spoken to the family since. There's also strong-willed (to put it mildly) middle daughter Pip, who runs the stables, but it's up to Willow who comes home to sort out the estate - basically the only thing they can do is sell the castle, and Willow sets about doing this almost immediately. But she finds herself drawn to the only buyer - in fact it's fairly obvious who all 3 sisters will end up with romantically pretty much from the start. Along the way there are various trials and tribulations, a couple of near tragedies, but the book bowls along to a satisfying, happy ending. No surprises but readable, although a couple of the sisters did annoy me! 7/10
  13. Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

    The Corset by Laura Purcell - Dorothea is in her mid 20s and unmarried, which is unusual for this historical novel, but she lives with her widowed father and, despite a steady procession of suitors, she only has eyes for one man, David, a policeman, who of course can't marry someone of her superior social status,, so the relationship is a secret, known only to her maid. Dorothea is also desperate to reform the lives of female prisoners, which is how she meets teenager Ruth, on trial for the murder of her mistress. Gradually the story unfolds, and we get Ruth's back story, of how she came from a poor but happy family, until her baby sister died - not unusual in those days, but Ruth bizarrely blames herself, and sets in motion a chain of events which lead to her murder trial. Ruth's story is tragic but fascinating, and much is made of the precarious nature of women's positions in society; only in this case, it is women who are also the worst enemies of their own gender. Poor Ruth suffers terribly when she is sent to work for Mrs Metyard and her daughter Kate, who run a draper's shop and have a small team of girls working for them -girls who no one wants, either from impoverished families who can't afford to feed them, or from the Foundling Hospital (which still exists today as a museum). When the Metyards' treatment leads to a tragedy, Ruth swears her revenge on both of them. Meanwhile, Dorothea, after initially believing that Ruth is innocent, finds herself unable to decide what is true and what is in Ruth's head. Indeed the ending, which does have a twist, is also slightly ambiguous, but to say any more would give things away! I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, I felt sorry for poor Ruth and also liked Dorothea, and prefer this book to the author's debut "The Silent Companions". This one is nowhere near as creepy as that, it's more of a gothic psychological thriller, beautifully written and well paced as the two stories are gradually revealed. 8/10
  14. Thanks for the background info, still think it was handled rather clumsily though despite it being in referred to in the original book.
  15. Never Ending Book Titles

    A Body in the Bath House - Lindsey Davis
  16. I agree about the flash forwards - there were so many that it was fairly obvious how it was going to end, so hardly any suspense, and the climate change references weren't exactly subtle were they? Nor was George's speech, asking if it was punishment for the English for invading so many other countries - so was England the only country affected? And if so, was it only London and Surrey? I haven't read the book so don't know how closely the original story was followed (not very closely judging by your comments!). And the aliens were a bit disappointing it has to be said. I also has misgivings when I read that period pieces are being updated for a modern audience - if they're going to update it then why not just do something new instead?
  17. Never Ending Book Titles

    The Body in the Ice - A J McKenzie
  18. A Book blog, 2019 by Books do Furnish a Room

    Sounds perfect, love a bit of gothic and an atmospheric setting. Good review.
  19. Andrea's reading in 2019

    I agree about Frenchman's Creek, very different to her other books in that it's quite light, a good summer read but not that memorable compared to some of her other novels.
  20. Rest in Peace

    Also lost yesterday were chef Gary Rhodes, and theatre director Dr Jonathan Miller.
  21. Never Ending Book Titles

    The Virgin in the Ice - Ellis Peters
  22. Never Ending Book Titles

    Virgin Earth - Philippa Gregory