Oh, I’ve got some good reads for you today! Here’s another six books which you can snuggle down with and hopefully enjoy too.
One Moonlit Night by Rachel Hore
Rachel Gore’s latest is historical fiction, set during WW2. It is the story of a family and secrets that have been concealed for decades.
It is a nice read, a simple linear story which reveals what happens to Maddie and her two children after they leave London and wait to discover the fate of Philip, their husband and father.
I really like stories set in large ancestral homes in a rural setting. They are always appealing; I find the descriptions of nature restful, there are plenty of secrets hidden within and scope for strained relations and mysteries at the heart of the household.
The Lido by Libby Page
The story of Kate, a 26-year-old local newspaper reporter and Rosemary, an 86 year old lifelong daily swimmer. Kate goes to interview her and find out about the potential closure of the Lido in Brixton, London. This is the start of a blossoming friendship, an unexpectedly good thing for both for different reasons.
As you’d expect The Lido is a story about community, relationships, and the importance of fighting for what you believe is important. It also describes a very touching love story.
This is a light and rather lovely read. It would be a perfect holiday read if you’re off to find some sun. (Just don’t tell me about it. I’ll be envious.)
The Romantic by William Boyd
*Will be published on 6th October (UK)*
A fictional auto-biography which incorporates most of the 1800s as we follow events and relationships in the long life of Cashel Ross. It is the study of a life fully lived, and lived during an extraordinary period of history, filled with innovation and change.
This is truly escapist fiction. It made me really want to travel again, particularly after a few years grounded with the pandemic.
I particularly enjoyed the depiction of the long friendship between Cashel and Ignatz. You find yourself cheering Cashel on as he gets into all sorts of scrapes and commits misdemeanours.
The Romantic is a book where not everything is neatly wrapped up. The loose ends where you wonder what happened to so and so, are just like real life. In particular I was left with a lingering sense of wanting to know what would happen to Frannie…
By the way, if you’ve never read Any Human Heart by William Boyd then I recommend searching out a copy. It’s a 5 star read.
The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
‘Few aristocratic English families of the twentieth century enjoyed the glamorous notoriety of the infamous Mitford sisters. Nancy Mitford’s most famous novel, The Pursuit of Love satirizes British aristocracy in the twenties and thirties through the amorous adventures of the Radletts, an exuberantly unconventional family closely modelled on Mitford’s own.
The Radletts of Alconleigh occupy the heights of genteel eccentricity, from terrifying Lord Alconleigh (who, like Mitford’s father, used to hunt his children with bloodhounds when foxes were not available), to his gentle wife, Sadie, their wayward daughter Linda, and the other six lively Radlett children. Mitford’s wickedly funny prose follows these characters through misguided marriages and dramatic love affairs, as the shadow of World War II begins to close in on their rapidly vanishing world.’ From Goodreads
I’ve just reread The Pursuit of Love for probably the third time. The best parts are when the girls are at Alconleigh and especially when they’re altogether again near the end. (I LOVE the Bolter! I remember after I first read this years ago, I got a book about Idina Sackville who was almost certainly the person the character was based upon: The Bolter by Frances Osborne.)
I bought the complete Nancy Mitford collection for a little sum when it was a recent Kindle Daily Deal. I’m planning to read the other two books in the trilogy at some point too.
Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson
I’ve been waiting for publication day to come around since I read this in July, so I could tell you about it. It’s a five star read. I adore￼ Kate Atkinson’s books and this is one of her best.
An absorbing read, with a multitude of characters. This is London in the hedonistic 1920s, post-war, fizzing with energy, opportunity, money and lots and lots of crime. Nellie Croker is the Queen of the Soho Clubs, she wants to advance the futures of her six children, but her empire is facing multiple threats.
Kate Atkinson’s writing is so gripping, I enjoy it so much that I read slowly, every single word and sentence is savoured, so as to make the book last.
I loved the structure of the book; it basically loops around introducing an event or character and then revisits it, or them, more fully, often from another point of view.
It was a relief that I could read this on my Kindle. There are many characters fleetingly mentioned, when they reappear I feel compelled to look up where they first came into the story. If I was continually flicking back and forth through a paperback it would have taken me weeks to finish!
There’s a little mystery at the end, a will they-won’t-they and a generally satisfying rounding up.
The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves
I read this in May and have waited a long time to write about this too! It’s just been published. 2022 really is my year of reading Ann Cleeves books. I started another last night, well actually it was the ungodly hour of four o’clock this morning. I might need to start it again, things were hazy after a gin cocktail and red wine, plural.
The Rising Tide is book number ten in the series and this time we find Vera Stanhope investigating a murder on Holy Island off the Northumberland coast. 50 years ago a group of teenagers went there on a camping trip, every five years they get together again for a reunion weekend. This time one of them is found hanged.
It’s an engrossing read which I really didn’t want to put down. I loved the concept of the school friends meeting up for a reunion. It gave so much scope for backstories to explore tensions and past relationships between the group.
I really didn’t know who the murderer was, until Vera worked it out. That’s the mark of an extremely well plotted and executed (!) murder mystery.
I’ll be interested to see if this one gets made into an episode of the TV series.
There is nothing like snuggling up with a good book on chilly autumn nights. I like to read all year round, but there is definitely something so cosy about going to bed early with a book at this time of year. I find I keep looking at my watch to see if you can go to bed yet. The other night I went up at nine thirty to read. Bliss!
What are you reading at the moment? Any books you’d like to recommend?