Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Michelle

      Important Announcement!   07/28/2018

      Dear BCF members,   This forum has been running now for many years, and over that time we have seen many changes. Generalised forums are nowhere near as popular as they once were, and they have been very much taken over by blogs, vlogs and social media discussions. Running a forum well takes money, and a lot of care and attention, as there is so much which goes on behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly.   With all of this in mind, and after discussion within the current moderator team, the decision has been made to close this forum in its current format. I know that this will disappoint a lot of our long term members, but I want to reassure you that it's not a decision which has been taken lightly.    The remaining moderator team have agreed that we do not want to lose everything which is special about our home, and so we are starting a brand new facebook group, so that people can stay in touch, and discussions can continue. We can use it for free and should be easier for us to run (it won't need to be updated or hosted). We know not everyone has FaceBook, but we hope that those of you who are interested will join the group. We will share the link, and send invites as soon as we are ready to go. Added: We may as well get this going, find us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/195289821332924/   The forum will close to new registrations, but will remain open for some time, to allow people to collect up any information, reading lists etc they need to, and to ensure they have contact details for those they wish to stay in touch with.    The whole team feel sad to say goodbye, but we also feel that it's perhaps time and that it feels like the right choice. We hope we can stay in touch with all of you through our new FaceBook group.   I personally want to thank everyone who has helped me moderate the forum, both in the past and the present, and I also want to thank every single person who has visited, and shared their love of books.. I'm so proud of everything we've achieved, and the home we built.   Please visit the new section in the Lounge section to discuss this further, ask questions etc.
Janet

Janet's Log - Stardate 2018

Recommended Posts

012-2018-Mar-03-The%20Word%20is%20Murder

 

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

 

The ‘blurb’

A woman is strangled six hours after organising her own funeral. Did she know she was going to die? Did she recognise her killer? Daniel Hawthorne, a recalcitrant detective with secrets of his own, is on the case, together with his reluctant side-kick – a man completely unaccustomed to the world of crime. But even Hawthorne isn't prepared for the twists and turns in store – as unexpected as they are bloody...

 

Well this got off to an odd start, it's fair to say! This book followed me on a trip to London last year when it was first out in hardback – it was in shop windows everywhere we went. It was on posters on numerous London Underground stations, and Waterstones wonderful flagship store in Piccadilly had a large display which featured a London telephone box (as depicted on the front cover).

 

012-2018-Mar-03-The%20Word%20is%20Murder

 

As I said, the book was… odd. I started reading it and immediately liked in in the first chapter, but then something odd happened. It's not really a spoiler in terms of plot, but I'll put it behind a spoiler anyway, just in case.

The author appeared in the book as Anthony Horowitz talking in the first person. Was I wrong? Was it really a non-fiction book? Well, not according to the Waterstones website or Goodreads. I carried on reading and was initially irritated by the author's numerous comments about his work - "when I was writing The House of Silk…", "in Foyle's War…" and the constant name dropping - "at a meeting with Peter Jackson and Stephen Spielberg", "Michael Kitchen insisted…"

and I felt ready to give up as it was not only odd but also irritating, but I decided to persevere, and once I actually got past that and settled into the story I really enjoyed it! There were plenty of twists and turns along the way. I worked out some of the outcome, but the ending took me by surprise.

 

I have read The House of Silk by this author and really enjoyed it (and have seen plenty of his TV adaptations/films). This was very different to that – he's obviously a very versatile author – I will have to look at his other books.

 

The paperback edition is 400 pages long and is published by Arrow. It was first published in 2017. The ISBN is 9781784757236. I read it on Kindle.

 

4/5 (I really enjoyed it)

 

(Finished 3 March 2018)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I managed to read the first 2 Strike books before the TV version was shown, but didn't manage to fit in Career of Evil.  I thought it was very good though, and Strike and Robin are really beginning to gel now - I didn't want her to marry Matthew!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Madeleine said:

I managed to read the first 2 Strike books before the TV version was shown, but didn't manage to fit in Career of Evil.  I thought it was very good though, and Strike and Robin are really beginning to gel now - I didn't want her to marry Matthew!

I wasn't sure if she would go through with it.   I guess the books need Matthew to stop Strike and Robin actually getting together because it would change their working relationship?  I think JKR said there would be six books in total - maybe they'll have a fling in book 6?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think JK said they wouldn't get together, but you never know!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Charles Dickens
1. The Pickwick Papers (1837) finished 18.04.18
2. Oliver Twist (1839) finished 09.06.13
3. Nicholas Nickleby (1839) finished 21.12.14
4. The Old Curiosity Shop (1841)
5. Barnaby Rudge (1841)
6. A Christmas Carol (1843) first finished 29.12.07
7. Martin Chuzzlewit (1844)
8. Dombey and Son (1848)
9. David Copperfield (1850)
10. Bleak House (1853)
11. Hard Times (1854) finished 09.02.16
12. Little Dorrit (1857
13. A Tale of Two Cities (1859) finished 17.11.15
14. Great Expectations (1861) finished 05.11.16
15. Our Mutual Friend (1865)
16. The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870)

7/16

I am trying to read my way through all of Charles Dickens' novels.  So far I have read the ones highlighted in red above.  I seem to manage one a year, so at that rate I will finish in 2027!

 

My question to anyone who has read all/some of these books is... would you read the remainder of them in date order?  I am inclined to leave David Copperfield to last because it is my Mum's favourite book, but I'm not sure about the rest.

 

Does anyone have a favourite from my unread ones? Or one they loathed!

 

Also, has anyone read The Mystery of Edwin Drood?  It's unfinished - I've never read a book that is unfinished (apart from Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell, but it was obvious where that was headed and was completed by editor Frederick Greenwood).  I will read it for the sake of completion, but probably not leave that one until last.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad to see you liked Caraval, I have it on my shelf and I think it was the similarities to The Night Circus that attracted me to it too. I'm interested to see what the part you didn't like was though!

 

I've only read four of the Dickens books not already marked on your list but I wouldn't personally bother reading them in publication order. Of the four (Dombey and Son, David Copperfield, Bleak House and Little Dorrit) David Copperfield is my favourite and I think probably Dombey and Son my second favourite, although I loved all of them to be honest! I know a lot of people consider Bleak House the best book Dickens wrote and I think it's probably the best example of the way he intertwines the stories of different characters, which is great. So basically I think they're all brilliant and that really wasn't very helpful :blush:

 

I feel the same about The Mystery of Edwin Drood. I do want to read it eventually but I know it's going to be really frustrating not ever being able to find out the intended ending!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read a similar number to you, and most of the same, with a couple of variations.  I can understand why Hayley says David Copperfield is her favourite, and it is on my 6-star, all-time favourites, list (currently including 74 novels plus some non-fiction). However, I am one of those for whom it is 'beaten' by Bleak House - in my top half dozen.  Interesting to read that you're contemplating reading them in chronological order, as that is what I'm doing too (I'm not sure if I'm going to reread all the ones I've already read, but will certainly read some).  I don't think there's any need to do so, but I'm interested to see how Dickens's writing developed.  My next one will be The Old Curiosity Shop. 

Personally, I wouldn't leave Copperfield till the end.  What if you never got round to it?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎22‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 5:20 AM, Janet said:

It's just so interesting reading about people's lives in the past, isn't it. :) 

 

They're my favourite kind of books :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/23/2018 at 9:16 PM, Hayley said:

I'm glad to see you liked Caraval, I have it on my shelf and I think it was the similarities to The Night Circus that attracted me to it too. I'm interested to see what the part you didn't like was though!

I definitely preferred The Night Circus, but this was very enjoyable.  I hope you enjoy it when you get round to it.  (I hope I can remember what irritated me about it - I tend to forget quite a lot of things when it comes to books!  :blush:  ).

 

On 4/23/2018 at 9:16 PM, Hayley said:

I've only read four of the Dickens books not already marked on your list but I wouldn't personally bother reading them in publication order. Of the four (Dombey and Son, David Copperfield, Bleak House and Little Dorrit) David Copperfield is my favourite and I think probably Dombey and Son my second favourite, although I loved all of them to be honest! I know a lot of people consider Bleak House the best book Dickens wrote and I think it's probably the best example of the way he intertwines the stories of different characters, which is great. So basically I think they're all brilliant and that really wasn't very helpful :blush:

It seems to me that David Copperfield is the favourite of many people.  I haven't seen an adaptation of it (although I do have it on DVD) so I don't know the storyline. 

 

Peter bought me two box sets of Dickens adaptations for Christmas so I have lots to look forward to. :)

 

Regarding your last sentence above, helpful or not, it's really good and encouraging to hear that you enjoyed them all so much!  :)

 

On 4/23/2018 at 9:16 PM, Hayley said:

I feel the same about The Mystery of Edwin Drood. I do want to read it eventually but I know it's going to be really frustrating not ever being able to find out the intended ending!

It will be frustrating.  I think a couple of versions have been filmed (not in either of my box sets) so I'll probably try one of those once I have finished.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 23/04/2018 at 10:33 PM, willoyd said:

I've read a similar number to you, and most of the same, with a couple of variations.  I can understand why Hayley says David Copperfield is her favourite, and it is on my 6-star, all-time favourites, list (currently including 74 novels plus some non-fiction). However, I am one of those for whom it is 'beaten' by Bleak House - in my top half dozen.  Interesting to read that you're contemplating reading them in chronological order, as that is what I'm doing too (I'm not sure if I'm going to reread all the ones I've already read, but will certainly read some).  I don't think there's any need to do so, but I'm interested to see how Dickens's writing developed.  My next one will be The Old Curiosity Shop.  

Mine too..  :)   I walked past The Old Curiosity Shop in London last month.  It's allegedly the shop that inspired Dickens!

 

On 23/04/2018 at 10:33 PM, willoyd said:

Personally, I wouldn't leave Copperfield till the end.  What if you never got round to it?

Well, there's a cheery thought!  :D  :giggle: 

 

At the rate of one a year (from next year) I should get round to it in 2023 if I read them in order - I'll be 56/57... or nine years from next year if I leave it until the end.  We never know what's round the corner, of course, but God willing I'll still be alive and well and not pushing up the daisies!   :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

013-2018-Mar-16-Wives%20and%20Daughters_

 

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

 

The ‘blurb’

Seventeen-year-old Molly Gibson worships her widowed father. But when he decides to remarry, Molly's life is thrown off course by the arrival of her vain, shallow and selfish stepmother. There is some solace in the shape of her new stepsister Cynthia, who is beautiful, sophisticated and irresistible to every man she meets. Soon the girls become close, and Molly finds herself cajoled into becoming a go-between in Cynthia's love affairs. But in doing so, Molly risks ruining her reputation in the gossiping village of Hollingford - and jeopardizing everything with the man she is secretly in love with.

 

Seventeen-year-old Molly lives with her widowed father, Dr Gibson, in the small village of Hollingford in rural England. When her father's apprentice Mr Coxe declares his love for Molly to Dr Gibson, he sends her to stay with Mr and Mrs Hamley from Hamley Hall. They are delighted with her company, especially Mrs Hamley who comes to look upon Molly as a daughter. Molly forms a close friendship with the Hamleys' youngest son Roger and looks forward to making the acquaintance of his older brother who is away at Cambridge and considered to have a sparkling future. Whilst Molly is away, her father proposes to Mrs Kirkpatrick, much to Molly's disappointment – she and her father have always shared a close bond, and she resents that someone will come between that. There is, however, some good to come out of the match, for Molly is to gain a step-sister, Cynthia.

 

Cynthia is everything Molly hopes for and more and the pair quickly become the best of friends. But Cynthia is flighty and fickle and when Molly becomes involved in Cynthia's exploits, the village gossips set to work and Molly risks both her reputation and the alienation of her friends…

 

Having read and loved North and South, and the novella Cranford and, to a lesser degree, Lois the Witch, I was looking forward to this, especially as @poppyshake loaned me the BBC Adaptation on DVD a long, long time ago (so long ago that I can't actually remember when, but well over a year ago! :blush: ). Although not as powerful as North and South and with fewer themes, I really enjoyed this book. I loved Molly – who wouldn't and I liked her relationships with various different characters, particularly the Hamleys. I thoroughly enjoyed the DVD too - thanks, Kay.  :)

 

This was Gaskell's last book. She died before completing it, but it wasn't far off being finished and the ending was obvious so it was complete by Editor Frederick Greenwood – I was happy with the way he ended it.

 

I have been um-ing and ah-ing on whether this is a 4 star or 5 star book (if I wasn't trying to eliminate halves it would definitely be a 4½!), but on reflection I didn't enjoy it quite as much as North and South so it gets the former, but nevertheless I enjoyed it very much. :)

 

The paperback edition is 816 pages long and is published by Penguin. It was first published in 1864. The ISBN is 9780141389462. I read it on Kindle.

 

4/5 (I really enjoyed it)

 

(Finished 16 March 2018)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought Wives and Daughters on Kindle and Audible last week to make use of the WhisperSync, so good to see you enjoyed it so much. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

014-2018-Mar-20-Aberystwyth%20Mon%20Amou

 

Aberystwyth Mon Amour by Malcolm Pryce

 

The ‘blurb’

Schoolboys are disappearing all over Aberystwyth and nobody knows why. Louie Knight, the town's private investigator, soon realises that it is going to take more than a double ripple from Sospan, the philosopher cum ice-cream seller, to help find out what is happening to these boys and whether or not Lovespoon, the Welsh teacher, Grand Wizard of the Druids and controller of the town, is more than just a sinister bully. And just who was Gwenno Guevara?

 

Schoolboys are mysteriously disappearing in Aberystwyth and Louie Knight, the town's only Private Investigator, is called upon by exotic singer Myfanwy to find her missing schoolboy cousin, Evans the Boot. The town is largely lawless now - the police have scant power and the town is being controlled by a Druid faction, a kind of contradictory mafia! Knight's former PE teacher is now their leader and Knight is convinced that he is somehow involved and that it has something to do with the Patagonian war of 1961. As he investigates further he discovers that the present and his own past are inextricably linked to the disappearances and his own safety is about to be compromised…

 

Well, this was a rather bonkers book, and one I would never have picked up in a million years if it wasn't chosen for my Book Club!  :lol: I gather that this book style is called 'noir' in a similar vein to Jasper Fforde (I know so many people who love his books, but they just sound rather too off-the-wall!) and as it's not a genre I have read before, so I had no idea what to expect! Set in alternative Aberystwyth on the west coast of Wales, this book had the curious feel of being set in the future and the 1950s all at the same time, even though it's actually set in the 1980s! I loved the quirky characters, especially Louis's sidekick 'Calamity' Jane, a streetwise truant-playing schoolgirl! 

 

The book was chosen by the one member of our club who is Welsh. She was at uni in Aberystwyth in the late 1990s which gave the book the extra edge for her, and of course, being Welsh she 'got' a lot of the in-jokes which bypassed the rest of us. Nonetheless, it was a fun, if barmy, read. I'm not sure I'll ever get round to reading any Jasper Fforde books, but I might try the second of these sometime!

 

The paperback edition is 256 pages long and is published by Bloomsbury. It was first published in 2001. The ISBN is 9781408800676.

 

4/5 (quirky – I enjoyed it)

 

(Finished 20 March 2018)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, chesilbeach said:

I bought Wives and Daughters on Kindle and Audible last week to make use of the WhisperSync, so good to see you enjoyed it so much. :)

This was (I think) the first book I have ever properly WhisperSynced - such clever technology, although I stuck to listening in the car as I read faster than the book is narrated (if that makes sense - it does in my head!).

 

I do hope you enjoy it.  As I said, not as powerful as North and South but very good.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm exactly the same - listening only when I can't read it myself!  If the narrator is a slow reader, I sometimes increase the speed to 1.25x or 1.5x as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't realise one could do that, @chesilbeach:blush:  I will look next time!

 

I'm a bit out of Audible at the moment - I think I have 3 credits, and another one due!  I need to start walking again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 25/04/2018 at 2:49 PM, Janet said:

Well, there's a cheery thought!  :D  :giggle: 

At the rate of one a year (from next year) I should get round to it in 2023 if I read them in order - I'll be 56/57... or nine years from next year if I leave it until the end.  We never know what's round the corner, of course, but God willing I'll still be alive and well and not pushing up the daisies!   :)

 

I hadn't really thought about it in that way, but now you mention it.......  ;)

 

I'm reading them in order to see how his writing develops.  If I read them out of order, then something's missing.  Books, ideas, techniques, styles etc etc do grow from each other, and I think that's already apparent with Dickens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

015-2018-Mar-26-The%20New%20Mrs%20Clifto

 

The New Mrs Clifton by Elizabeth Buchan

 

The ‘blurb’

At the close of the Second World War, Intelligence Officer Gus Clifton returns to London. On his arm is Krista, the German wife he married secretly in Berlin. For his sisters, this broken woman is nothing more than the enemy. For Nella, Gus's loyal fiancée, it is a terrible betrayal. These three friends wonder what hold Krista has over decent, honourable Gus. And, they ask themselves, how far will they have to go to permanently get her out of their home, their future, their England?

 

Widowed Julia and her younger, livelier, sister Tilly live in Clapham in a bomb damaged street, patiently awaiting the return of their brother Gus from World War Two where he has been working interrogating Nazi suspects. They are shocked when he brings a wife back with him – a German. Until recently, Krista was their natural enemy and they can't believe what they see as their brother's betrayal, not only of his country, but also of Nella, the quiet, gentle woman to whom Gus was engaged. As Krista tries to settle in she faces hostility not only from her new family, but also from the wider community – just what it is that Krista has over Gus, and what can be done to break that hold…?

 

I wanted something light and easy to read on a recent trip to London and this book fitted the bill perfectly. I really liked the characterisation in the book. Although none of those Krista encountered in London have much sympathy for Krista in her new surroundings, which was entirely understandable, I liked the way she dealt with her new situation with dignity, able to understand how her arrival must seem to everyone. The couple's marriage was frowned upon by Gus's employers, but at the same time, they knew that Krista would be a useful asset. The war may be over, but there was still work to be done seeking out war criminals. Although one sister was initially slightly warmer towards Krista than the other, that situation began to reverse. It was an interesting study of human nature from these elements of the story, I think.

 

Although it was indeed an easy read, I found it to be quite an absorbing story with a great ending. I don't know much about the author but will definitely investigate some more of her work.

 

The paperback edition is 416 pages long and is published by Penguin. It was first published in 2016. The ISBN is 97811405918190. I Read it on Kindle.

 

4/5 (I enjoyed it)

 

(Finished 26 March 2018)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad you enjoyed Wives and Daughters Janet, both book and DVD :) I think that was the first one I read of hers (so started with her last, first :blush: ) but that's because I saw the adaptation when it was televised (I don't think I'd heard of her before that :unsure: ) and then went on to read it and soon wanted to read her other books. She's a great writer.

 

Great reviews of that and The New Mrs Clifton .. I really enjoyed it too especially the ending, it was compelling reading (I liked the way the author poses a bit of a mystery at the beginning and you have it in mind but you don't know which of the girls it will affect.) I'm going to take it to my Mum's when I go next weekend .. I think she'll enjoy it.

 

Looking forward to seeing you and Claire soon xx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, poppyshake said:

Glad you enjoyed Wives and Daughters Janet, both book and DVD :) I think that was the first one I read of hers (so started with her last, first :blush: ) but that's because I saw the adaptation when it was televised (I don't think I'd heard of her before that :unsure: ) and then went on to read it and soon wanted to read her other books. She's a great writer.

She is a great writer.  I'm definitely planning to read more.  :)

 

7 hours ago, poppyshake said:

Great reviews of that and The New Mrs Clifton .. I really enjoyed it too especially the ending, it was compelling reading (I liked the way the author poses a bit of a mystery at the beginning and you have it in mind but you don't know which of the girls it will affect.) I'm going to take it to my Mum's when I go next weekend .. I think she'll enjoy it.

My Mum got it out of the library today at my recommendation!  :D  I haven't read the author before - have you?

 

7 hours ago, poppyshake said:

Looking forward to seeing you and Claire soon xx

Me too - I just hope I remember your DVD!  :blush: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

016-2018-Mar-28-Wide%20Sargasso%20Sea_zp

 

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

 

The ‘blurb’

If Antoinette Cosway, a spirited Creole heiress, could have foreseen the terrible future that awaited her, she would not have married the young Englishman. Initially drawn to her beauty and sensuality, he becomes increasingly frustrated by his inability to reach into her soul. He forces Anoinette to conform to his rigid Victorian ideals, unaware that in taking away her identity he is destroying a part of himself as well as pushing her towards madness. Set against the lush backdrop of 1830s Jamaica, Jean Rhys's haunting novel was inspired by the first Mrs. Rochester, the mad wife in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre.

 

This novel is a prequel to the wonderful Jane Eyre, (although it would stand up on its own - I think I possibly got more out of it knowing what it was leading up to) Charlotte Brontë's classic story of a young woman who falls in love with her employer only to find that they cannot be together because he is not free to marry. Rhys takes the idea of Rochester's wife Antoinette, referred to as Bertha by Rochester and examines how she ended up insane and in the attic at Thornfield Hall. The book is in three parts.

 

The estate on which Antoinette lives has fallen into disrepair since the abolition of slavery, the family's former trade, and the family are now in very reduced circumstances. Antoinette's mother Annette marries a wealthy man called Mr Mason, but their marriage causes tension amongst the former slaves and events trigger Annette's slip into an insanity borne of grief. Antoinette is sent away to live with her Aunt Cora. Time moves on and Mr Rochester has had an arranged marriage to Antoinette. At first they are happy but after their honeymoon Rochester discovers that there is a history of insanity in Antoinette's family and he drags his wife back to England. The final part of the novel, the shortest of three, reflects the events that take place in Jane Eyre.

 

I loved the writing in this novel and I really loved Antoinette's character. I wasn't so keen on Rhys's treatment of Mr Rochester, although it has been a long time since I read Jane Eyre, so maybe I'm remembering it through rose coloured glasses? Either way, I enjoyed the book, but think I will remember Mr Rochester as Charlotte portrayed him.

 

This book counts towards my very-long-term World Challenge as Rhys was born in Dominica, and part of the novel takes place there too. :)

 

The paperback edition is 160 pages long and is published by Penguin. It was first published in 1966. The ISBN is 9780241951552.

 

4/5 (I enjoyed it)

 

(Finished 28 March 2018)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

017-2018-Mar-30-Parliament%20of%20Rooks%

 

Parliament of Rooks: Haunting Brontë Country by Karen Perkins

 

The ‘blurb’

 

Nine-year-old Harry Sutcliff hates working at Rooks Mill and is forever in trouble for running away to the wide empty spaces of the moors – empty but for the song of the skylark, the antics of the rabbits, and the explorations of Emily Brontë. Bound together over the years by their love of the moors, Emily and Harry develop a lasting friendship, but not everyone is happy about it – especially Martha, Harry’s wife. As Martha's jealous rages grow in ferocity, Harry does not realise the danger he is in. A hundred and fifty years later, this danger also threatens Verity and her new beau, William. Only time will tell if Verity and William have the strength to fight off the ghosts determined to shape their lives, or whether they will succumb to an age-old betrayal.

 

I came across this on Amazon a few weeks ago and it sounded interesting. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I had been pretty poorly and wanted something that didn't take too much thinking about, and thought this might fit the bill. It's about a woman called Verity who, on the breakup of her marriage to her cheating husband, buys an old building on the steep hill in Haworth and gives up her job in order to turn it into a Brontë-themed guest house, which she will then run. With a team of builders appointed and her two best friends to help, she sets about doing the building up, but it seems she's not alone in the building – it appears to be haunted! Verity has flashbacks to the past – to Emily Brontë – and as the flashbacks increase they threaten to bring everything she has worked for crashing down...

 

Okay, so I mostly enjoyed this. I felt the modern elements weren't so good – for me, the writing just wasn't very good and the characters and plot were rather clichéd. When I first started the focus was mostly on the modern period and I felt it was heading for a 2/5 score. However, the historical parts were very well written and I really enjoyed those, so it ended up as a 3/5, but only because the third part of the book was so good (if quite short) and I really loved Harry, Martha and, of course, Emily.

 

One thing in particular rather irritated me - the author references Haworth as being the scene of the iconic Hovis advert from the 70s (once voted the nation's favourite TV advert) – but it was actually filmed in Gold Hill in Shaftsbury, Dorset. I know, because I've walked up it! I know it's not a big thing in the great scheme of things, and it didn't affect the story, but fact would have been easily verified by Googling and it's a shame the author didn't do that as it just felt a bit sloppy. I'm not sure I would read this author again – I was only drawn to it for the Brontë element - but overall it was enjoyable enough and just what I needed when not feeling 100%.

 

The book is self-published and I'm pretty certain this is the first such book I have read.

 

The paperback edition is 364 pages long and is published by LionheART Publishing House. It was first published in 2017. The ISBN is 9781910115770.

 

3/5 (I liked it) (Finished 30 March 2018)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, it's a shame the author didn't check her facts re the Hovis ad, especially when it's so famous and as you say, easy to check!  Sloppy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Madeleine said:

I agree, it's a shame the author didn't check her facts re the Hovis ad, especially when it's so famous and as you say, easy to check!  Sloppy.

I was talking to Kay about this, and she said it's a popular misconception, so giving the author the benefit of the doubt, maybe the character made that mistake (although the author has links to the advert on her website, so maybe not!).  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

018-2018-Mar-31-Sky%20Chasers_zps6ewfu9a

 

Sky Chasers by Emma Carroll The ‘blurb’

 

An encounter with a boy dangling from the sky changes pickpocket Magpie's life forever. Like her, the boy dreams of flying over the rooftops of Paris. His family, the Montgolfiers, are desperate to be first to discover the secret of flight. Together with Pierre, Magpie is soon caught up in a world of inflatable bloomers, spies and a trio of unruly animals in a race to be the first to fly a hot air balloon - in front of the King and Queen of France.

 

This book was the result of The Big Idea Competition where the winner comes up with an idea for a story and an established author writes it up. The winner, Neal Jackson, came up with the outline of a story called The First Aeronauts in 2014 and the result is Sky Chasers.

 

Magpie lives on the streets of Paris and relies on her wits to survive. When she witnesses a runaway hot air balloon with a boy in tow she steps in to help capture it and finds herself flying, just for a short time, until she comes down to earth with a bump! Her act of helping is fortuitous, as she is offered the opportunity to work for the balloon's creators – the Montgolfier brothers, Joseph and Jacques (known as Étienne). At last it looks as though Magpie's life is looking up – she works hard but finds time to be friends with Joseph's son, Pierre. The Montgolfiers hope to be the first to get their invention to fly, but the English are on their tails with their own prototype balloon and when King Louis XVI of France invites the brothers to Versailles to demonstrate their balloon, the race is on to see who can be the first to truly fly.

 

Emma Carroll is my favourite contemporary children's author so I always look forward to her releases, and this one didn't disappoint. She writes such believable characters – sometimes, like with this one, with real-life people/events and although this is a children's book there was definitely enough in it to keep me entertained. Carroll has two books coming out later this year – more for me to look forward to. :)

 

The paperback edition is 336 pages long and is published by Chicken House. It was first published in 2017. The ISBN is 9781910655535.

 

4/5 (I enjoyed it)

 

(Finished 31 March 2018)

 

Edit:  On a shallow note, isn't the cover pretty!  :wub:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×